A year ago here at BF we had revealed that BMW M was working on CF suspension components. More specifically they were to be used in the M3 and M4 as the goal for the M engineers was to get the power to weight ratio of the F80 generation better than that of the E90 CRT. To do that they were exploring every option they had to shave weight, much like a hardcore mountain biker using titanium bolts the guys and gals at M were focussed on the scale. Decreasing weight improves everything from handling to fuel economy and acceleration so at the end of the day the high tech material investment is worth it.
While we can ‘t say definitively that the next M3/M4 will feature this technology we can once again say that they are working on it. Patents reveal that a carbon fiber axle support has been developed using CFRP to form an upper and lower shell to form a hollow body when assembled together. The upper and lower shells are screwed together via metal insert parts laminated into the shells. Shear stresses are transferred over a larger area by the use of a laminated foam like core.
BMW and its partner SGL are hard at work changing the construction methods of passenger vehicles so it should come as little surprise that BMW continues to be at the forefront in terms of bring CF technology to mass produced vehicles. We look forward to what the future brings as cars that are more efficient, lighter weight and more powerful sounds like an enthusiast ‘s dream come true!