BMW: Carbon-fibre for series production vehicles

Pete Mait

Carbon-fibre bodywork has the benefit of being lightweight but also works out rather expensive. That's why the material has so far been generally reserved for racing cars. Carbon-fibre components have played a vital role in helping Formula One teams keep their cars both light and stable. Nonetheless, the material has yet to prove its suitability for series production, as it is considered too expensive, too difficult to shape properly and too problematic to repair if damaged in an accident. For their part, however, BMW are convinced that they can make a go of it. The Munich-based carmaker has plans to use carbon fibre on a large scale in future vehicle production. In particular, they see it as perfect for use in a new generation of low-emission urban runabouts. BMW have got together with carbon specialists SGL Group from Wiesbaden to set up a joint venture for the production and processing of this super-light compound for the automotive industry.