The 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show in Germany, September 15–25, showcased a number of innovative designs using composite solutions. Carbon fiber has long been used in racing panels and luxury car structures seen at the Frankfurt Auto Show, but this year composites were found in a vast array of developing concepts and production commuter cars for interesting applications. Here are five new designs that highlight the use of composites materials in unique concept cars.
Composites in Hydrogen Fuelled Design
Mercedes Benz F125! Concept
Mercedes Benz celebrated its 125 anniversary with the debut of the F125!, a hydrogen-hybrid concept car. The F125! uses a hybrid chassis made of FRP composites and a metal alloy to lightweight the design as well as an integrated a carbon fiber hydrogen tank to contain the hydrogen fuel cell. The composite design is the first fuel tank to be integrated into floor assembly and acts as a structural element of the car. The concept car runs similar to a Chevrolet Volt in that it uses a lithium-sulphur battery pack interchangeably with hydrogen fuel but operates without expelling emissions. Mercedes predicts that the technology used in the F125! may be used to replace Mercedes luxury CL Class in 2025 and some of the sleek exterior components will be replicated in the 2013 S Class.