We designed and developed a magnesium cross car beam for the Land Rover Discovery 3 and Range Rover Sport. Our work revolutionised how cross car beams are designed at Land Rover. This highly technical component is vital to the way the vehicle performs. The project faced many challenges. For example, the beam needed to:
- support 70kg of various instrument panel components
- perform in a crash to control the relative positions of the pedals and steering wheel
- meet MVH requirements while minimising use of magnesium material
- be manufactured from an open and shut one direction tool.
A further challenge was that the design had to work with two separate vehicle packages. Typically, a cross car beam for a car of this size would be manufactured from steel tube fabrications. The advantage of magnesium is that its lighter weight brings down the whole vehicle’s centre of gravity, improving stability and road handling – essential for a car of this type. The magnesium also lends itself to integrating many components, including:
- in-car entertainment
- air ducting
- secondary restraint systems
- adjustable steering mechanisms
- knee bolster brackets
- glove box.
The entire cockpit assembly is sub-assembled to the magnesium cross car beam and installed as one module in the vehicle.