The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox unveiled in September shed 400 pounds over the 2017 edition, and Chevrolet gave us a closer look at how it used higher-strength steel to lightweight the body of the popular compact SUV.
Also, the hood is aluminum, spokeswoman Courtney Moats confirmed Friday.
As the Equinox is Chevrolet’s No. 2 seller (278,000 last year) after the Silverado truck, take a look at the diagrams here ahead of the formal vehicle and repair procedures release. The 2018 Equinox goes on sale in the first quarter of 2017.
Collision repairers will likely see quite a few examples of the Equinox — even if it does offer autonomous crash prevention technology as options — and the body-in-white’s design proves that knowing proper advanced- and ultra- high-strength steel (and aluminum) procedures will be crucial.
The 2018 Equinox is 11 percent ultra-high-strength steel, up from 10 percent, creating a tough, light cage around the driver and heavy restrictions upon what a shop can and can’t do. (Essentially, replace-only.) But advanced high-strength dual-phase and other multiphase steels also rise from 12 percent to 31 percent — and General Motors has specific repair instructions regarding such grades as well.
For example, “The use of heat to repair damage is not recommended for this classification of steel,” GM writes (in red!) of dual-phase steel, defined as up to 800 megapascals in strength. Shops can’t even perform “cold” repairs if a dual-phase part is kinked — it’s replace-only, and GM also notes this steel can only be sectioned under certain conditions.
Get General Motors repair procedures and technical bulletins on the Genuine GM Parts site here.
“It is an all-new SUV from the ground up and one that takes on the industry’s biggest competitors with a stronger architecture, greater efficiency and more technology,” executive chief engineer Rick Spina said of the 2018 Equinox in a statement. “And it looks great doing it.”
New steels and auto body repair at SEMA
Collision repairers seeking information on what higher-strength steels mean to their shops should check out courses like “Structural Repair and Materials for 2016 and Beyond” with Ken Boylan of CHIEF Automotive and “Case Study of the Procedures for Steel Quarter Panel Replacement” with Larry Montanez of P&L Consultants. Those sessions are part of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists’ Repairer Driven Education Series from Nov. 1-4 during SEMA. Register here.
Chevrolet, Sept. 22, 2016
Chevrolet, Sept. 22, 2016
Chevrolet shows off the the 2018 at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago on Sept. 22, 2016. (Brian Kersey for Chevrolet/Copyright General Motors)
Advanced- and ultra-high-strength steel content in the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox is shown in this body-in-white provided by General Motors. (Copyright General Motors)