Two leading car designers at the Product Design + Innovation conference provided insights into the thinking at BMW and McLaren, carmakers that are leading the way in developing lightweight vehicles that rely on composite materials.
The BMW i3 electric city car will be the first in a series from the German group which will have a CFRP body structure. BMW has worked closely with SGL Automotive Carbon Fibres in the development of these materials.
At the conference, Benoit Jacob, head of design at BMWi, discussed the company's open approach to new materials. He said BMWi has looked at the possible use of plastics reinforced with natural fibres for interior trim parts, and also textiles made from recycled PET.