Toyota Joins the Carbon Fiber movement video

Over the years, several manufacturers have justified spending vast sums of money on supercars and motorsports by using the high-stress environment provided by motorsport to accelerate development of new technologies.

New technologies like anti-lock brakes, fuel injection, turbochargers, kinetic recovery braking, ceramic braking materials, and the use of carbon composite materials were all developed in and for motorsports. Later as the kinks and economies of scale were solved it allowed their transfer to everyday cars and lorries.

We have seen the announcements from companies like BMW that are joint venturing with Boeing, and that carbon fiber is trickling down – especially in car markets. The fuel economy laws are forcing the move to lighter, more fuel-efficient cars that are still capable of passing tough safety tests.

Carbon fiber is significantly stronger than steel or aluminium by weight (and, if designed properly, by volume), so cars made with carbon fiber frames could be just as strong as steel-framed cars, while weighing up to 65% less.

Toyota’s Lexus LFA supercar program has ceased – but the lessons Toyota learned from building the light weight, ultra-fast exotics are going to carry forward into the future of Toyota’s mainstream cars, according to the latest reports.

Currently the LFA is the only Toyota using the material in a high percentage of its parts. The company’s carbon fiber looms, however, won’t pay for themselves laying idle – especially now that Toyota has pulled out of Formula 1.

You can get a sense of how these looms work in the video, and start getting ready for lighter, more fuel-efficient Camrys that are stronger and safer than the ones you see today.