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Any car company make a carbon fibred-bodied sedan?

imageWIS

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To my knowledge no car company makes a carbon fibred-sedan, a-la high-end exotic, but I'm curious if it would be a good material to use in a high-end sedan-manufacturing automobile company like a RR or a Maybach? If the current Phantom (I saw a white one today: I just can't believe how massive they truly are) was bodied in carbon fiber wouldn't that help with both gas mileage and acceleration, since there would be less weight for the engine to propel forward?

Plus, for about $375,000+, it's not like you're not paying for it.

Jon.
 

DNW

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I'm not aware of any cf-bodied sedan either, and I think they don't exist for good reasons. First, cf is used to maintain structural integrity of the car while saving weight. At the supercar level, every ounce counts when you need to go faster. Thus, the cost is justified, and there are buyers willing to pay the premium. For sedans, however, people will not pay for things they don't value. Let's take the Phantom, for example. At 5,500 lbs, a full cf body will probably shave off less than 10% of the weight. This weight saving will add a minimum of a hundred grand to it, not to mention the impracticality of repairs in case of damages. While that will undoubtedly improve on speed and mpg, the difference is not significant enough to justify that extra premium. I don't think people will pay for this. A guy being chauffered in a Phantom won't care whether the thing gets to 60 in 6 or 5.5 seconds, or whether it gets 15 or 10 mpg. However, he'll care that he has to write a check for an extra 100 grand for something he'll never use and never see.

At some point, cf will be as cheap as steel to manufacture...then you'll probably see it everywhere.
 

SGladwell

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I don't know about specifically carbon fiber, but one of Warren Mosler's ideas a while ago was a 5-door MPV (Mazda5/VW Touran/Renault Scenic/Citroën Picasso type deal) made out of a composite monocoque like his Consulier and MT-series exotics. I don't know if anything came of it, but the mere fact that the only party to even attempt it is a brilliant but lone entrepreneur somewhere in the sticks says volumes about the motor industry's interest in R&D to me.

As for his sports cars, I actually liked 'em better when they were the ugliest things on the road and beat everything despite that junky little Chrysler turbo 4 than I do now that they're big, sleek, and have about 4 liters more engine than they need.
 

imageWIS

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Originally Posted by SGladwell
I don't know about specifically carbon fiber, but one of Warren Mosler's ideas a while ago was a 5-door MPV (Mazda5/VW Touran/Renault Scenic/Citroën Picasso type deal) made out of a composite monocoque like his Consulier and MT-series exotics. I don't know if anything came of it, but the mere fact that the only party to even attempt it is a brilliant but lone entrepreneur somewhere in the sticks says volumes about the motor industry's interest in R&D to me.

As for his sports cars, I actually liked 'em better when they were the ugliest things on the road and beat everything despite that junky little Chrysler turbo 4 than I do now that they're big, sleek, and have about 4 liters more engine than they need.


You mean like the F40, with its twin-turbo 3.0-liter V8, with massive turbo lag due to the size of the two turbos?

Jon.
 

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