Carbon fiber has been around for years now and still maintains an exotic status among production materials despite being widely used in both motor sports and aviation to reduce weight and increase the strength of various components. The exotic material has also developed an allure with consumers and is fast becoming an attractive design element. The BMW M6, for instance, has a carbon fiber roof that helps lower the car's center of gravity, though BMW decided to leave it exposed and unpainted to enhance the car's image as a high-tech and exotic performance machine. The U.S. government would like to see carbon fiber widely used in automotive production to reduce vehicle weight and increase gas mileage, and the material's increasing popularity should lead to the faster development of a cheaper way to produce it. The only downside of the high demand for carbon fiber has been the glut of faux fiber appliqués that adhere to so many interior panels in less expensive performance cars today.


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