World First: BAC Develops Graphene-Bodied Car

BAC Mono with graphene rear wheel arches 7 photos
Photo: BAC
BAC Mono with graphene rear wheel archesBAC Mono with graphene rear wheel archesBAC Mono with graphene rear wheel archesBAC Mono with graphene rear wheel archesBAC Mono with graphene rear wheel archesBAC Mono with graphene rear wheel arches
Graphene is, all things considered, a honeycomb-like mesh made of carbon atoms. Apparently, graphene is a structural element of things like charcoal, graphite, and carbon nanotubes. But can you make a car using this material? According to BAC, you sure can.
Briggs Automotive Company has recently developed a car featuring graphene panels in the form of the BAC Mono you can admire in the accompanying photo gallery. The graphene panels in question were developed with the help of Haydale Composite Solutions. If you look closely at the rear wheel arches, you’ll spot that there’s a small difference in weave pattern between the graphene and the carbon fiber used for the rest of the body shell.

Made from sheets of carbon one atom thick, the graphene rear wheel arches are lighter and stronger than similar panels made from carbon fiber. BAC highlights a weight reduction of around 20 percent for the material, which is said to be 200 times stronger than run-of-the-mill steel. And yes, less curb weight and more torsional rigidity equal better handling characteristics.

BAC co-founder Neill Briggs is very proud of this world first: “This development work is further proof of our ability to work with the very latest materials and innovators. At BAC we don’t wait for new technology to come to us, we actively seek it out and work with the very best in the industry to stay at the forefront of the automotive and motorsport industries.”

What the British automaker and Haydale Composite Solutions have yet to tell us is exactly how much does a graphene rear wheel arch costs. I admit I suck at chemistry, but my gut tells me this material is a bit more expensive than carbon fiber or what carbon fiber reinforced plastic. Still, the automotive industry is looking forward to the next big thing after carbon fiber.

When will the first car made entirely out of graphene will go into production? Let's wait and see, but chances are BAC will be the first carmaker to do it.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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