BMW Will Use More Carbon Fibre in the Future

A while back, everyone heard about the new i3 and its sportier brother, the i8. At first we were shocked to hear that the i3's body will be made completely out of Carbon Fibre and wondered what astonishing price tag this new, all-electric vehicle will have.
BMW i3 3 photos
Colored Carbon FibreBMW i3 Chassis
The truth is that BMW developed a whole new manufacturing process around this precious material. Starting with the roof of the E9x M3, the Bavarian company managed to reduce the time needed to manufacture certain components by up to 50%.

"Compared with initial industrial production of carbon-fibre M3 roofs, we have succeeded in lowering manufacturing costs for carbon-fibre body components by as much as 50 per cent", said Harald Krueger, board member of the BMW Group for Autocar.

Furthermore, the raw material costs have been reduced to such extent that now, its viable to build cars out of Carbon Fibre exclusively. However, it's not the case just yet. Excluding the i3, that will be the first car to extensively feature this material, other cars will use it in a limited amount.

The i8, for example, will be extremely light on its feet but will not be using only carbon fibre. The same applies to the future G11 7 Series, which will be lighter than the current generation 7er.

All these efforts are done in the desperate attempt to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 levels. Actually, the i3 will have zero emissions (excluding the cars fitted with the range extender) but that's not also the case with other future endeavors.

Don't think for a second that these improvements were done over night. For the i3 alone, the research took over 10 years. It's true, some remarkable progress was done but that's still a decade's worth of had work from the engineers.

We know things look grim at the moment and everyone worries that future cars will be all sporting that Carbon Fibre color but recent news say otherwise. According to Autoguide, a British company successfully built both maroon and green panels of the material.

“We’ve validated the technique with samples in really gorgeous, deep shades of maroon and British Racing Green under a glass-like lacquer. It’s a substantial step beyond conventional carbon trim finishes, offering something very special for exclusive vehicle options and other luxury products,” Prodrive composites manager Ian Handscombe said.

So, we have that covered too. We all like the idea of light cars with incredible fuel consumption numbers but how about the daily use of such a car? How will ensurance companies deal with them?

Why are we talking about the ensurance companies? Because you have to purchase insurance for your car and fender benders are as usual in a crowded city as there are crazy homeless people in New York. What happens when someone rear-ends you?

Usually, current-day cars are easy to fix due to their plastic bumpers and conventional materials but with Carbon Fibre we're talking different numbers. Even though BMW claims that the costs have been reduced drastically, the lightweight material is still more expensive than plastic.

That means we should expect the prices for insurance to rise, quite a lot. How will everyone cope with this new age in car manufacturing? We don't know for sure but things will definitely get interesting once BMW releases it's new breed of cars.
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