Burscheid, Germany -- Interiors manufacturer Johnson Controls is providing innovative door panels, seat structures and instrument clusters for the new BMW 3 Series.
The door panels for this new car are made using a combination of natural fibres and polypropylene that is 20 percent lighter than conventional components.
The structures for the driver's seat saves 3-4 kg, depending on the model. And Johson Controls said the instrument cluster features an Automotive Pixel Link (APIX) high-speed, point-to-point connection.
"With our innovative products, we are helping BMW make the new 3 Series comfortable and sustainable. We offer high-quality, lighter-weight components that reduce fuel consumption," said Beda Bolzenius, president of Johnson Controls Automotive Experience, in a company announcement. "We also use renewable and environmentally-sound raw materials in the interior components."
Non-visible door panel elements for the BMW 3 Series sedan and sports wagon models are largely made of wood fibre. The natural fibre carrier is directly moulded with PP, which makes the door panel "considerably lighter," the company says.
A process called 'groove lamination' is used to apply fabric or leather trim to the door panel, with the trim being joined in recesses, eliminating the need for an additional component and further reducing weight.