Well shucks. It looks like Toyota has a useless carbon fiber mill on its hands now that the LFA is out of production – or does it?
While carbon fiber is still far from cost-effective enough for economy car applications, Toyota is playing with the idea of putting carbon fiber roofs in its family sedans. The idea is being showcased in a concept version of the brand’s Mark X sedan, which is specific to the Japanese market but based on the same platform as the Lexus GS.
The concept will be on display starting January 11 at the Tokyo Auto Salon and while plans to actually use carbon fiber roofs aren’t exactly on deck in terms of near-future changes, this is one way Toyota can make use of the facility it used to build the Lexus LFA supercar. While Toyota won’t say if it plans to put carbon fiber roofs into higher-volume vehicles than the LFA, this is at least a small step toward that.
Toyota moves the Mark X’s center of gravity a fraction of an inch and cuts 13 pounds from the vehicle’s overall weight — likely too small a gain to encourage actual production.
[Source: Automotive News]
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