Posts Tagged ‘OEM’

Cool Tech: ZF Make Carbon Fibre Suspension Struts for BMW


24 Apr

While carbon fibre has been around for decades now and has been lauded as the super composite, thanks to its strength and light weight – we’re yet to really see its use spread wider than for things like body panels, random interior panels or the accasional racing wheel. This probably has more to do with the cost of manufacturing than anything else.

BMW have long been known – along with Mercedes – for pushing automotive technology into new, exciting territories; and they’ve now teamed up with ZF (the mob famous for their 6-speed gearboxes behind the iconic VN Group A SS) who will be designing and manufacturing carbon fibre front Macpherson struts for small cars. Better, the German company say that there’s no reason why the technology won’t spread into large cars, as well.

This is great news, should the rest of the industry take notice and follow suit.; primarily because as emissions standards continue to become more restrictive, it’s going to be harder for manufacturers to keep up. We reckon one of the easiest ways that OEMs will be able to improve emissions is through the use of light weight matierals, such as aluminium and composites. Certainly, there’s been a lot of talk about it within the industry for years. There just hasn’t been a lot of action.

A side benefit to the use of lighter suspension components is a reduction in unsprung weight, which would provide great improvements in on-road handling – especially for the circuit racers.