<a class=BMW M6 carbon fiber roof 250 PR Photo" src="http://www.weblogsinc.com/common/images/5966420217674842.jpg?0.8904994189024198" align="right" border="1" height="188" hspace="4" vspace="4" width="250" />

The Department of Energy and USCAR - the consortum composed of DaimlerChrysler, Ford, and GM - have teamed up to develop (relatively) inexpensive "automotive grade" carbon fiber. It's said that this, combined with other lightweight materials, may allow automakers to reduce vehicle weight by 25 to 70 percent. Now that we've got "compact" cars that weigh nearly as much as rear-wheel-drive midsize cars from 25 years ago, weight reduction on that scale would be great if it can be brought to market at a reasonable cost - which is exactly the challenge in front of the team. We probably shouldn't expect the next Malibu to sport a roof like the BMW M6 pictured to the right, though. Darn.

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