Carbon fiber is a composite material most often found in race
cars and expensive supercars although like all advanced technology
it is finding its way into more and more vehicles. Despite it's
expense and high-tech uses carbon fibre is relatively easy to
The expense of carbon fibre is offset by it's amazing strength
and extreme lightweight properties. It is also extremely stiff
and body stiffness plays an important part in contributing to
good handling, especially at high speeds.
Some production supercars use a carbon fibre monocoque,
a construction technique that uses the external skin to provide
support rather than the conventional internal frame. Other times
the carbon fibre is used in the bodypanels or in areas where extreme
stiffness and lightweight is beneficial.
Carbon fibre is sometimes used in conjunction with fiberglass
because of their similar manufacturing processes, an example of
this would be the Corvette ZO6 where the front end is carbon fibre
and the rear is fibreglass.
Carbon fiber is however, far stronger and lighter than fiberglass.
Carbon fibre can be found in a wide range of performance vehicles
including sports cars, superbikes, pedal bikes (where they are
used to make frames), powerboats and it is often used in the tuning
and customising industry where attractive woven panels are left
unpainted to 'show off' the material.