Ford will be using carbon-fibre subframes co-developed with automotive supplier Magna International, with the aim reducing a vehicle’s weight and number of parts, according to a report by Car Advice. The new carbon-fibre component offers a reduction in mass of 34%, while reducing the number of parts by 87% compared to an equivalent stamped steel subframe, according to Ford and Magna.
“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,” said Mike Whitens, director of vehicle enterprise systems at Ford.
The new development comes from a research and development project between Ford and Magna, aimed at investigating weight reduction benefits and technical challenges of using carbon-fibre reinforced materials in vehicle chassis applications. Elsewhere in the Blue Oval’s production model line-up, the GT can be optioned with carbon-fibre wheels.
Currently produced by Magna for component and vehicle-level testing at Ford, the carbon-fibre subframes will be tested for corrosion, stone chipping and bolt load retention. The composite components have not been confirmed for use on production models just yet, but the global trend towards weight reduction and the resulting fuel economy improvements should see these introduced into series production in the future.