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BMW To Integrate Carbon Fiber

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On: Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 4:05PM | By: Chris Weiss

BMW To Integrate Carbon Fiber

Carbon fiber has long been an expensive, high-tech material most at home in expensive, high-tech devices like space shuttles, F1 race cars and $10,000 bikes. It's certainly no stranger to the automotive world, but it usually socializes in the highest echelons only.

The tides are slowly turning for carbon fiber, though. Last year, GM announced a partnership aimed at integrating carbon fiber into mainstream vehicle production. Across the Atlantic, BMW is planning a similar move, though, of course, its vehicles are a step above mainstream.

In an effort to drop weight and boost efficiency, BMW will first use carbon fiber in its green i line, in both the i8 plug-in hybrid sports car and the i3 city car. After it launches those models in 2013, BMW will make carbon fiber an even more integral part of its line by adding it to its flagship 7 Series sedan, according to Autocar.

While details are sketchy, Autocar says that BMW will use carbon fiber along with traditional steel and aluminum components. It's believed that the hood, roof and trunk lid will be crafted from carbon. The 7 Series will first get carbonized around 2015.

In December, GM announced a partnership with Teijin Limited, a carbon fiber manufacturer that innovated a means of mass developing carbon fiber. GM hopes to leverage the partnership toward integrating carbon fiber into its line for increased fuel economy purposes.

If things keep going this way, we may see every day mid-sized sedans with Veyron-style glossy carbon bodies in the not-so-distant future. Or we hope, anyway.


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