At the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) today, Land Rover will unveil its vision of the future with the world premiere of the Land Rover LRX concept car, a new three-door premium cross-coupé prototype, made to showcase the latest in design technologies. One of its highlights will be its unique panoramic roof and side and rear windows, made from SABIC Innovative Plastics’ Lexan GLX* high-performance plastic glazing with exclusive Exatec** coating technology.
As a result of the close collaboration with Land Rover, SABIC Innovative Plastics was able to contribute to the automaker’s objective of using lighter weight and more sustainable materials on the LRX. Through the use of SABIC’s high performance Lexan PC with Exatec coating; Land Rover was able to design differently and reduce the LRX’s overall weight by close to 40 pounds (19 kilograms).
“As automakers create the vehicles of the future, each are looking to trim weight in different ways to achieve improved fuel efficiency and lower environmental impact,” said Amanda Roble, executive director, SABIC Innovative Plastics. “Replacement of traditional materials such as glass with lightweight but durable plastics is a great way to reach weight-reduction goals. SABIC Innovative Plastics was pleased to work with Land Rover in this unique collaboration on many aspects of this unique glazing development for this eco-responsible concept.” SABIC Innovative Plastics was involved with the design and feasibility reviews of glazing panels, and sourcing for tooling and part manufacture.
Wraparound Glazing for a Bold Design Graphic
In addition to important environmental benefits, the SABIC Lexan PC offered significant design advantages not possible in traditional materials. Land Rover designers were supported by the SABIC Innovative Plastics glazing and design teams in developing the LRX unique transparent glazing signature that wraps around the entire car, showcasing the fluidity of its lines and excellence surface quality. The car’s upper body design is accented by an enhanced visibility as a result of the clear window glazing. At the same time, the interior of the LRX concept offers the feeling of a more-spacious cabin with the use of the transparent plastic panoramic roof that is supported by a “spider” frame running into the A-pillars. The rear quarter pillars show how the Lexan material can enhance design freedom, incorporating an aerodynamic boundary layer separator as well as a sharp wrap-around to meet the backlight.
High-performance Lexan GLX polycarbonate with Exatec coating systems also provides high impact strength and UV protection for the LRX concept. The polymer glazing material is used in the A-posts, side windows, rear quarter windows, panoramic roof, and backlight. Incorporating several glazing technologies from Exatec LLC enables the usual mast antenna to be eliminated, with hidden antennas incorporated within the panoramic roof glazing.