Carbon Fiber Creations in Auto Applications
Appears in Print as: 'Carbon Fiber Creations'
INFINITI Project Black S
INFINTI is a technical partner of the Renault Sport Formula One team. In Formula One, carbon fiber is as common as hamburgers are at McDonald’s. The designers and engineers at INFINTI called on their Renault Sport colleagues to help develop a concept vehicle based on the production Q60 sport sedan, which is designated “Project Black S.” A large part of it is a dual-hybrid powertrain, which produces 563 hp. The performance powertrain added about 200 kg to the production vehicle. So the team went at it, minimizing weight wherever possible. As in the replacement of body panels with carbon fiber components is extensive: hood, fenders, decklid, and roof. The objective is to reduce weight. For example, compared to the steel hood, the carbon fiber panel is 3.02 kg lighter. The decklid is reduced by 2.7 kg. The roof panel reduces 10.2 kg of mass. Carbon fiber is used for the spoiler, diffusers and side skirts. On the inside, the seat shells are fabricated with the composite. And the metal decorative trim on the donor car gives way to carbon fiber. At the end, the Project Black S has a curb weight of 1,776 kg, just 24 kg more than the original car.
Camaro’s Rear Wing
The Chevy Camaro ZL1 1LE has a 650-hp 6.2-liter supercharged V8 because you never know when you’re going to need to hit 60 mph in less four seconds. It also has a carbon fiber rear wing. Which is there for more than aesthetics.
A More Limited Ford GT
Ford doesn’t just use carbon fiber for a limited-edition version of the GT: It calls it the “Ford GT Carbon Series.” Those two stripes running down the hood? Exposed carbon fiber. In addition to which, the A-pillars, lower body panels, and wheels. (Although as mentioned carbon fiber signifies performance, so too does titanium, so this the GT Carbon Series also features a titanium exhaust and even titanium lugnuts.)
Lexus RC F
Lexus offered the RC which looks awesome. It added the RC F trim to make it look and drive more dynamically. And now it offers the 2020 RC F Track Edition, which features an array of carbon fiber components. Taking it from the top—literally—the roof and hood are carbon fiber. In the front there is splitter with canards that increases front downforce. The bumper beam reinforcement is carbon fiber, as well (not everything is aero). The engineers developed a fixed carbon fiber rear wing in place of the active spoiler, but through the overall shape of the wing as well as making a slight modification to the angle of attack, the fixed wing provides up to 58 pounds of greater downforce than the active spoiler. There is a carbon fiber partition behind the rear seats. And, of course, carbon fiber trim on the inside—red carbon fiber trim.
Cadillac is using carbon fiber trim on the Sport version of the 2020 XT6. As chief engineer John Plonka explains, “Premium Luxury models provide an elevated level of refinement, while Sport models offer a performance-oriented feel.” Yes, when you see carbon fiber, think “performance.”
While you are probably familiar with origami, the classic art of paper folding that results in things like birds that flap their wings when you pull the tail, or plot devices in one of the Blade Runner films.
Ram Truck chief exterior designer Joe Dehner talks about how they’ve developed the all-new pickup. “We’ve been building trucks for over 100 years,” he says. “Best I could come up with is that this is our 15th-generation truck.”
Airbags are seemingly everywhere on the interior of vehicles. But what about on the outside? One day we could see them there, too.