For composite manufacturers and suppliers to the automotive industry, the annual North American International Auto Show in Detroit is the Holy Grail. This year, there has been no shortage of composites innovation on the show floor, as many models on display prominently featured FRP.
BMW has used the show as the platform to debut its newly upgraded i8 Coupe and X2. The Coupe isn’t drastically different from when it debuted in 2014 as the first mid-engine car to offer a carbon fiber passenger cell. In addition to its composite passenger cell, the new Coupe features a new CFRP windscreen frame that helps reduce the vehicle’s overall weight.
Alongside the BMW’s new models was its i8 Roadster, which debuted in December at the Los Angeles Auto Show. As it does for the Coupe, the single-piece carbon fiber passenger cell contributes to the vehicle’s rigidity and dynamics.
Ford displayed the 2018 Raptor, which featured both exterior and internal composite components. The OEM also used the show to tease the 2019 release of its Mustang Shelby® GT500® with its 700-plus horsepower. The preview video for the speed demon reveals a carbon fiber front splitter and a Ford GT-style spoiler. Given its production history with the GT350, the GT500 could also potentially feature carbon fiber wheels.
— Composites Institute (@iacmihq) January 15, 2018