Carbon-fibre bonnets are usually only seen on supercars and modified cars, but it seems Ford is keen to buck the trend and put the incredibly light but super-strong material into mass production for its bonnets on future cars. The Blue Oval is keen to reduce its vehicle’s weight over the next ten years by some 300kg, so going down the carbon-fibre route is definitely a win/win situation.
It seems like Ford is happy to roll with the times and wake up to 21st century technology, but it does beg the question: will the prices go up as a result? The reason why carbon fibre is rarely used in mass-produced cars is due to its higher expense to build and time it takes to construct. Ford, however, believes it will be able to create the material in a viable way.
"Reducing a vehicle’s weight can deliver major benefits for fuel consumption, but a process for fast and affordable production of carbon fibre in large numbers has never been available," said Inga Wehmeyer, Advanced Materials and Processes Research Engineer, Ford European Research Centre. "Customers should not expect to see carbon fibre bodied examples on sale in the near future; but techniques developed could be transferred to [mass production] at a later date."
It should be an interesting few years for one of the world’s most popular car manufacturers.