Magna Has Created A Carbon Fiber Front Subframe For Ford

Magna has delivered a prototype of its advanced carbon fiber subframe to Ford and has plans for the component to be put into mass production by the end of the year.

The subframe has been installed in the front of a Ford Fusion sedan and acts as a cradle for the engine and wheels. It weighs 34 per cent less than a usual metal subframe and uses two molded and four metallic parts to replace 45 steel parts.

Magna and Ford started developing the subframe in early 2017 as a way to test the use of carbon fiber in the structural parts of a vehicle.

In a statement issued to Automotive News, Magna’s global product line director for lightweight composites, Andrew Swikowski, said neither Magna or Ford know whether or not the technology is ready for production.

“We delivered a series of parts to the customer at the end of last year, and they’ve already started component testing. By the end of the year, we’ll know whether the technology is ready for production or not,” Swikowski said.

Beyond its weight-saving properties, using a carbon fiber subframe reduces tooling investment by a considerable 30 to 40 per cent.

As carbon fiber cannot absorb impacts as well as metal, the subframe has been designed to drop the engine below the vehicle in the event of a crash. Consequently, the subframe would be used alongside high-strength steel if it does make its way into production.

  • Lloyd Anthony D Peters

    “Drop the engine below the vehicle” is all that stook our to me. Lol.

  • Dr Strangefingger

    Finally an article suggesting a proper use for carbon fiber. Sick of the trashy looking CF accessories that bling cars these days. CF dash sticky stick-ons anyone????

    • eb110americana

      The one that always gets me, is the dash and door trim in 2 ton+ German sedans being carbon fiber. I kind of like the matte stuff if it’s functional, but the shiny bits in such a heavy luxury car are not only cheap looking, but entirely non-functional. I’d much prefer some nice open-pore wood instead.

      • Dr Strangefingger

        Agree

      • rodriguez256

        Kind of like someone ordering a triple cheese burger with extra large fries and then ordering a Diet Coke.

    • SgtBeavis

      *golf clap*

  • smartacus

    good idea.
    Very very
    good idea.

    Anything
    that lowers
    the weight
    distribution
    from up front

  • Vassilis

    This is pretty great!

  • Six_Tymes

    This is pretty amazing. Nice going Magna and Ford engineers.

  • Smith

    Carbon fiber is too expensive and while the claim of 30 to 40% savings in tooling costs sounds promising to balance the costs, the tooling has already been bought and paid for, for the existing steel version, so this would not make a lot of difference in the short to medium term. It has already been determined by many automotive manufacturers, that while carbon fiber sounds great, it is totally wrong for mass production vehicles, because the numbers do not add up, cutting profits and slowing the process. Nice try Magna, but you really need to look outside the box, carbon fiber is a material of the 1990’s and is passé.

  • Kagan

    I haven’t checked for info so maybe someone can tell me why is carbonfiber expensive?
    It is only plastic coverd by carbon, two cheap materials?

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