Titanium Could Help Lotus Build Even Lighter Cars

Craig Cole
by Craig Cole

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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Craig Cole
Craig Cole

Born and raised in metro Detroit, Craig was steeped in mechanics from childhood. He feels as much at home with a wrench or welding gun in his hand as he does behind the wheel or in front of a camera. Putting his Bachelor's Degree in Journalism to good use, he's always pumping out videos, reviews, and features for AutoGuide.com. When the workday is over, he can be found out driving his fully restored 1936 Ford V8 sedan. Craig has covered the automotive industry full time for more than 10 years and is a member of the Automotive Press Association (APA) and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA).

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