For some reason, we all get to drink beverages from vessels made of aluminum, and aluminum bicycles are everywhere, but the lightweight material sees little usage in passenger cars. Supercars such as the Corvette Z06 and Ferrari F430, however, are not only using aluminum but also applying grades and manufacturing techniques not traditionally associated with automotive applications. The F430, for example, uses the extremely strong but finicky 7075 grade in its floor structure; this is the first use of that material in an auto chassis. The Z06 gets a set of hydroformed aluminum chassis rails that supposedly can be run in the same tooling as the steel rails used in the lower-end Corvette, which is quite an accomplishment. Hopefully, some of this technology trickles down towards cars that more of us can afford.


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