MAGNA STEYR presents the third concept vehicle in the MILA innovation family at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show. The MILA Alpin is a compact off-roader with a body specially designed for integrating various different types of alternative drives. This means: Excellent all-terrain capability, wide-ranging uses and emissions of under 100 g CO2 per kilometer. Creating an attractive vehicle was by no means MAGNA STEYR’s only priority in the MILA Alpin project.
The entire product development process was also designed always to make assembly as cost-efficient as possible – whatever the market demands.A new vehicle segment
Its unique configuration makes the MILA Alpin a vehicle that stands out because of its excellent all-terrain capability and outstanding rough road characteristics. As a result, it is not only suitable for recreation but also as a utility vehicle for special uses. What allows such wide-ranging applications is the mid-engine layout with a low-cost, but effective all-wheel drive system. Its climbing ability is impressive: 100% or 45 degrees. On the road, too, exceptional handling makes the MILA Alpin great fun to drive. What’s more, the hybrid drive using natural gas reduces the impact on the environment. The MILA Alpin’s shape language also adds to its attraction – inspired by Nature, its lines are as clear as rock and ice.
The engineers at MAGNA STEYR set themselves the challenge of developing an off-roader in several variants with maximum climbing ability – all at low cost. And they certainly succeeded.
The frame consists of straight sections, which are made of different materials to guarantee low weight and enable a flexible body concept. Modular design makes it easier to use components and systems from volume production and combine them with various different innovative modules and optional extras. Thanks to independent suspension and ESP, the chassis guarantees safe on-road characteristics. The mid-engine layout ensures good traction. The considerable ground clearance, large overhang angles, option of locks in the transfer case and axle drives, and low crawling speed all go to make driving safe and relaxed off the road.
A higher sitting position that is relatively far forward and large panoramic roof give the driver and passengers perfect visibility. The MILA Alpin has 3 + 1 seats. There is also the option of a CNG drive, a hybrid or a small, supercharged gasoline engine.
From concept to reality
To manufacture a vehicle with low production volume and high number of variants economically, tool investment has to be reduced as far as possible. This fact in particular was taken into account when designing the MILA Alpin. Given the modular design, automation can be kept at a low level and, at the same time, flexibility in assembly at a high level. The MILA Alpin concept can therefore be used for volume production without any problems – especially by a flexible specialist in engineering and vehicle assembly, such as MAGNA STEYR. The requirements for production have been met by optimizing the overall process and the individual systems at every stage of development. This approach also enables the costs of any subsequent modifications due to market demand to be kept down to a minimum.
All the innovative components, such as energy storage systems, and the expertise for hybrid drives stem from in-house advance development. MAGNA STEYR has developed and designed the vehicle to be brand neutral. It can therefore be built together with various OEMs.
Text and photos courtesy of Magna Steyr