Carbon fiber has long been heralded as a wonder material for the automotive industry due to its inherent strength and light weight. Despite this favorable strength-to-weight ratio and the fact that it's now been around for decades in one form or another, the composite has yet to see widespread use in our cars and trucks. There are a number of reasons for this, including the well-known duo of cost and manufacturing difficulties.

With the backing of BMW, though, it seems that the time may finally have come for carbon fiber to come to the fore of automotive technologies. Now, another German company, automotive supplier ZF, is looking to get in on the front line of composite technology with a new carbon fiber MacPherson strut assembly.

According to the manufacturer, this new suspension component cuts up to 9 pounds at each corner through the use of an integrated wheel carrier, a piston rod of carbon fiber, a fiberglass spring (a use seen on cars such as the Corvette for years) and a plastic top mounting plate. While this unit is initially designed for the upcoming wave of small cars, ZF says the technology can be applied to larger offerings as well.

[Source: Automobile Magazine]