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Why is Carbon Fiber Used in Exotic Cars?

Why Carbon Fiber?

Okay, you know that your car has some carbon fiber parts (or, if you drive a Koenigsegg One:1, your whole car is pretty much carbon fiber), and you want to add more carbon fiber to your car, but why? Well, it turns out that Carbon fiber–reinforced polymer (carbon fiber) is the perfect material for many parts of your exotic car.

Carbon fiber is made of of thin strands of carbon (thinner than a human hair). The strands are twisted together into strands, then woven into a mat that can be laid over a mold – then covered with a resin, to hold it’s shape.

Ferrari 360 Carbon Fiber Rear Panel

Check out this incredible all carbon Ferrari F430!

Strong and Light

The advantages of carbon fiber really boil down to two words = strong, and light.  The strength vs. weight characteristics of carbon fiber make it the perfect material to use in applications where the goal is to maximize speed and performance. Unnecessary weight is the enemy of performance – and using carbon fiber in place of aluminum or other alloys is an excellent way to trim the fat.

Carbon fiber composites are five times as strong as steel, twice as rigid, and weighs two-thirds less than steel. No wonder it’s an engineer’s top choice for hoods, spoilers, roof panels, and more!

Stylish

There’s no doubt about it – carbon fiber has cachet. Because the finest cars in the world feature composites prominently, it’s gained popularity and respect. Even cars that don’t come from the factory with carbon fiber often are upgraded as their owners begin to see the benefits of reducing weight, and increasing rigidity and strength. The distinct weave look has become a clear symbol of high performance.

Easy to Mold

Another advantage is that it is relatively easy to mold into custom shapes, which makes it popular in many industries that value precision, light weight, and strength. When designing a new part or accessory, carbon fiber can be very attractive due to all of these benefits, versus a material like steel, which is more difficult to shape into custom parts, and is heavier.

 

Ferrari 360 SPYDER Carbon Fiber in Engine Bay