Ford and automotive supplier Magna International have developed an experimental carbon fiber composite subframe that could soon be used by production vehicles.
Although using carbon fiber for the underpinnings of vehicles is nothing new, even cars with carbon fiber monocoque typically have metal subframes.
Well, Magna and Ford’s solution could spell the end to such setups by improving rigidity, reducing weight and using fewer parts. The composite front subframe consists solely of two molded pieces and just four metal components and is 34 per cent lighter than a more traditional steel subframe.
Currently, the subframe is being tested to evaluate corrosion, stone chipping and bolt load retention but Magna is hopeful that it will make its way into a street car.
Speaking about Ford’s partnership with Magna, Ford director of vehicle enterprise systems with Ford Research and Advanced Engineering, Mike Whitens said “Collaboration is the key to success in designing lightweight components that can give our customers fuel economy improvements without compromising ride and handling, durability or safety. We must continue to work hard to achieve these lightweight solutions at the most affordable costs. Magna and Ford working together on this carbon fiber composite subframe is a great example of collaboration on advanced materials.”