Carbon fiber has been utilized for decades to build racecars, as a means to cut weight while maintaining strength. But until recently, the space-age material has been largely absent from the street on anything but supercars because of the expense to use it. Recently, BMW signaled a major shift in that trend when it starting using carbon fiber reinforced plastic panels on the i3 and i8. This relatively small scale start might be just the beginning; the German company believes that a breakthrough
H2 Tanks Will Likely Need To Be Inspected Every Few Years
Turns out, Toyota had a surprising ace in the hole when it came to building the new fuel tanks for the FCV hydrogen fuel cell car, which is coming next year. Well before Toyota became the Toyota Motor Company, it was the Toyota Industries Corporation and it made textile looms. This is important because the main structure of the hydrogen tank is wound carbon fiber. When Toyota set out to increase the strength of the tanks to hold hydrogen stored at 10,000 psi (up from 5,000 in the previous tanks)
Jay Leno's Garage usually focuses on looking at cars new and old, speaking to their owners and then Jay taking a drive to see what he thinks. However, Leno throws his usual shtick to the curb this week to do a full product test of the carbon fiber wheels from a company called Carbon Revolution. If you're not interested in hearing about wheels for 18 minutes, don't worry. They get mounted on a Porsche and are tested back-to-back with stock wheels, and Leno takes the 911 for a track test, too.
Bicycling is a great, environmentally friendly way to get around town, but, let's face it, sometimes pedaling sucks. E-bikes are a wonderful compromise, especially for those uphill climbs, offering a bit of electronic assistance when you need it. Combine that with smart technology, a rear-view camera and gears that shift on their own, and you've got quite the two-wheel package. Build that all onto a sexy carbon fiber frame, and suddenly that four-wheeled hunk of metal sitting in your driveway se
The immense amount of resources BMW has poured into its i brand program hasn't stopped, and recent developments indicate it's likely to pay off for BMW and BMW buyers outside the i brand. The i8 has already sold out its first year run, the i3 racked up 10,000 orders before it even went on sale and is already the subject of public discussion about being stretched into an i5, and a new investment in carbon fiber production has the automaker talking about CFRP use in non-i and non-M models.
The Saroléa SP7 is an electric carbon-fiber phoenix on a mission from the gods of speed and industry. Just revealed to the public Saturday, it will soon take to the Isle of Man where it will battle the best battery bikes yet built for the 2014 TT Zero trophy. It will also relaunch a Belgian brand that, though it had an eight-decade record of producing motorcycles, has been dormant for the past 50 years.
The Citroën SM sat on the first set of production glass fiber and resin wheels in 1972 when parent company Michelin developed the exotic hoops in order to take the SM rallying. It wasn't until 2008 that we got the first all-carbon-fiber wheel for passenger cars in the form of a prototype model from Weds Sports in Japan that remained a prototype. Australian company Carbon Revolution followed that a year later with its CR-9 all-CF wheel, first introduced on the Shelby Ultimate Aero and now av
One of the problems with designing an electric vehicle is figuring out where to fit the battery pack. Volvo – as a part of a European Union research project – is working on a way around this issue by replacing standard parts with lightweight components that double as batteries on both conventional and plug-in vehicles. The image above shows one such piece on a Volvo S80. While looking like nothing more than a carbon fiber plenum cover, the piece is actually a battery pack that can st
There's any number of applications in which you might expect to find carbon fiber on an automobile, but a Rolls-Royce is not one of them. That could change in the near future, however, as the super-luxe auto marque is reportedly looking into using the lightweight material on a range of special models.
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Spania landed at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show with its GTA Spano. The latest take on the company's supercar packs a 900 horsepower twin-turbocharged 8.4-liter V10 with a similarly impressive 737 pound-feet of torque. With just 2,976 pounds to move around, that big mill has no trouble hustling the car to speed. Spania says the GTA Spano can blink to 62 miles per hour in under 3 seconds and knock out a top speed of 217 miles per hour thanks in part to a 7-speed sequential gearbox.
Koenigsegg took to the 2013 Geneva Motor Show to celebrate a milestone in the company's history. The Swedish supercar manufacturer has officially built 100 units over the past ten years, and to mark the occasion, designers whipped up the Agera S Hundra. Swedish for – you guessed it – one hundred, the Hundra heralds the arrival of the latest flavor of Agera. While the standard Agera S features a twin-turbo 5.0-liter V8 engine good for 1,040 horsepower, carbon fiber wheels that tip the
BMW has been at the forefront of volume automakers looking to invest in carbon fiber technology. The latest development in the German automaker's efforts is in the form of a joint venture with aircraft giant Boeing. According to a joint press release, the two companies will collaborate on further development of the lightweight material, including production methods and carbon fiber recycling.
Caterham may be looking to expand its product scope beyond its current offerings. After the company announced an alliance with Renault yesterday, Caterham Chairman Tony Fernandes was quoted as saying the partnership is "the start of a line of products from Caterham." Fernandes went on to say the purist sports car manufacturer could move to begin producing crossovers and city cars in the same way that Porsche has evolved its position in the market. Don't start crying at the thought of a five-door
HRE has brought some pretty excellent wheels to market in the past, such as the retro-tastic Vintage Series, bridging old and new in fantastic fashion. The wheel-maker's latest offering is the Carbon Series CF2 Concept, now on display at SEMA.
Carbon fiber has been in use for many years in the automotive industry in the name of performance, but Ford is trying to bring this lightweight material to the masses in the name of fuel economy. As a part of the German-funded Hightech.NRW project that began in 2010, Ford and Dow Automotive Systems have been trying to come up with a way to make carbon fiber feasible for everyday cars.