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Old 02-23-2014, 10:24 PM   #1
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BMW to offer carbon fiber wheels in a year or two

Filed under: Technology, BMW, Design/Style



The Citroën SM sat on the first set of production glass fiber and resin wheels in 1972 when parent company Michelin developed the exotic hoops in order to take the SM rallying. It wasn't until 2008 that we got the first all-carbon-fiber wheel for passenger cars in the form of a prototype model from Weds Sports in Japan that remained a prototype. Australian company Carbon Revolution followed that a year later with its CR-9 all-CF wheel, first introduced on the Shelby Ultimate Aero and now available for independent purchase for about $15,000 per set. BMW could be the first OEM to offer entire wheels in carbon fiber reinforced plastic in two years.

The wheels - either all-CFRP or using a CFRP rim and alloy spokes - were shown off during BMW's Innovation Days in Munich and are products of the development work done on its i-branded cars. The full-CFRP wheel is 35-percent lighter than a forged alloy wheel, the hybrid alloy and CFRP wheel is 25-percent lighter, making for a decent drop in unsprung rotating weight. As demonstrators during a tech day the wheels aren't yet in the pipeline for production and EU approval, but an article in Auto Express claims that they could be on the market as soon as two years from now.

Other possible parts include a full carbon fiber steering wheel and propeller shaft, the latter of which is coming as a single-piece component on the new M3 and M4. BMW is also talking up its use of secondary carbon fiber - waste material from i3 and i8 production - that can be used for items like IP support structures, seat frames and spare wheels in place of traditional metals like aluminum and magnesium. There's an excerpt of the Innovation Day press release below with more details.Continue reading BMW to offer carbon fiber wheels in a year or two

BMW to offer carbon fiber wheels in a year or two originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 23 Feb 2014 11:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.



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