Titanium, it’s both light and strong… and pretty expensive. But the benefits may out-“weight” the tradeoffs for Lotus, as the premium sports-car builder is exploring the dusty silver-hued metal for use in its vehicles.
Supposedly by switching to titanium the company has reduced the mass of an Exige S sub-frame by 36 percent, dropping it from 110 pounds to less than 71. But that’s not all; stiffness has allegedly risen by about 20 percent.
So far the widespread automotive use of this transition metal, which is as strong as steel and less than half the weight, has been limited because of cost. It’s also difficult to work with in some situations because of how chemically neutral it is.
Lotus will incorporate this new titanium sub-frame in a prototype vehicle in the near future. Should it pass testing the technology could find its way into production models, though probably only top-tier cars, again, because of cost.
[Source: Motor Authority]
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