Faurecia Creates a Conceptual Hatch
Faurecia has developed a concept for a crossover tailgate and roof that is not only composite-intensive, but it has a clever design that doesn’t use the conventional hinged design, but slides over the top of the vehicle. This results in a 9.8-inch reduction of the height of the hatch when opened, which means that lower roofs aren’t a problem (say in a small garage or parking structure) and there is 7 inches of additional space behind the vehicle because the roof moves up and over, not out and up.
The backlight is polycarbonate rather than glass.
The roof of the Urban Liftgate vehicle is produced with a flax-resin composite material. Flax, which is grown, not manufactured, is not only natural, but it is also much less costly than carbon fiber.
The surfaces below the rear glass has interesting surface treatments. Just below and around the rear ducts there is a spray metallization in place of chrome: first a primer is applied, then a two-part liquid that react to produce a thin, mirror-like finish. That surface is then coated. The process is said to be 5 to 20% less expensive than chrome electroplating, and weighs from 10 to 20% less.
On the lower fascia, they’re using a painting technique (that was actually used on the 2015 Peugeot 208) that uses microbeads in the varnish coat resulting in a granulated effect.
Conventional thinking would have it that the world’s most successful small car plant would be located either in Asia, Eastern Europe or South America. It’s not. Convention also would dictate that the most affordable small car on the market would not be made from plastic, but it is. Here’s how Little Tikes defies convention.
I'm not talking about a plastic Revell model of a '57 Chevy, but a real vehicle, one that rolls off an assembly line in 1999 with another 99,999 just like it right behind. Is it possible, or is this just a fantasy of the marketing department at Elmer's?
We're not going to make the case that moving away from plastic body panels caused the ultimate demise of Saturn. But if you take away the front and rear fascias, it is somewhat difficult to come up with cars that have a significant use of polymers for exterior body panels. Here are some notable ones.