Automakers are constantly pushing the limits for performance and fuel economy by recreating and refining powertrains. Ford is one of the few automakers taking measures to improve fuel economy by dropping weight as well. The manufacturer recently partnered up with Magna to create new carbon fiber subframes.
No matter the make or model, odds are a vehicle’s subframe is primarily made of traditional metals; the new Ford-Magna partnership looks to change that. The pair have created what could very well become the next generation of automotive engineering.
New carbon fiber subframes could dramatically reduce the weight of a vehicle. A subframe made from carbon fiber cuts weight by around 34%, compared to a traditional subframe. The newest innovation is made of two molded pieces and four metal components. By comparison, a traditional subframe is made from 45 steel parts.
Surely a lightweight carbon fiber subframe is weak, right? Wrong. In fact, a carbon fiber subframe has passed all of Magna’s testing and is just as durable as a standard subframe. Ford and Magna have a history together when it comes to performance. Magna developed the Mustang Shelby Cobra GT500’s carbon fiber grille opening reinforcement, among other projects. A lighter subframe would lead to weight reduction, increased performance, and a rise in fuel efficiency.
We can’t wait to see the production results of the Ford-Magna partnership here at Nick Nicholas Ford!