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  #11  
Old 03-12-2011, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Viperfreak2 View Post
Every car made with a carbon fiber tub so far is mega expensive.The Pagini Zonda, Ferrari Enzo, McLaren Mp4-12c etc. are a few examples. I just can't imagine the price of CF reinforced plastic can be low enough to sell this tiny city car for say around $20-25K and make a profit the first few years. Also, the raw carbon fiber is started in Japan, processed in Washington state and the car will be made in Germany. That is one heck of a pipeline!
Mass production technologies developed for automobiles:

Innovation in Textiles News: Breakthrough for mass produced carbon fibre cars

We have two full carbon fibre bicycles. They have come down in price by a factor of two in the past several years, with an improved product.

All that said, I don't think a small city car from BMW will necessarily be cheap to buy. I haven't seen any estimates on price for the BMW i vehicles yet.

I just don't think that they will be planning to lose money on these vehicles.
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  #12  
Old 03-12-2011, 03:52 AM
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I love the look on the test drivers face when his buddy says hey whats that, and then it looks like the O shit how did they find us out here lol!
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Old 03-12-2011, 11:23 AM
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The front looks like that one dudes signature pic. No?
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Old 03-12-2011, 11:27 AM
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I just don't think that they will be planning to lose money on these vehicles.
BMW would not build small city cars in regular volume to lose money. I don't see it as a Bugatti Veyron type of engineering statement. I see it as a company building cars to make money.
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Old 03-12-2011, 06:51 PM
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  #16  
Old 03-14-2011, 08:08 AM
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I am sure the numbers show that eventually the company can make a profit on the i3. I hope they do, but the best laid plans of mice and men...

I see BMW as a small fish in a big ocean. Yes, there have been CF breakthroughs. Maybe BMW found the holy grail and can produce it cheaply, but normally you don't go from Bugattis to $20k city cars! THAT'S A LEAP! From my perspective, the big fish would be the only ones who could really mass produce. BMW's total volume worldwide is about the same as the the top two model 'nameplates' in the USA only (F150 and Silverado/Sierra). GM has already sold 100,000 more cars YTD 2011 than BMW will sell all year. Mass producer vs. premium. VW Audi is a mass producer. Toyota is a mass producer. BMW isn't.

So at a tiny (relative) volume of about 20,000 carbon fiber cars the first year, maybe 30,000 the second and similar volumes in later years, I think it will take a while. You have to speculate that people will pay big bucks for a city car. Would you?

Report: BMW plans to sell 30,000 i3 models a year — Autoblog

Then again, the Boeing 787 example above is pretty good. If they can make a plane at a competitive price out of mostly CF (there's Washington state again) then maybe we will see a complete transformation of the auto industry by 2020-2025, with BMW leading the way!
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Old 03-14-2011, 08:21 AM
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Watch the current speed of CFRP production at BMW. Then think about the speed of a modern stamping line pressing aluminum or steel body panels:

YouTube - BMW CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic) Manufacturing Plant and Process

YouTube - New BMW X1 Production Plant Leipzig - Press shop

When the carbon fiber parts can be produced as quickly as the steel, then I'll believe.

Last edited by Viperfreak2; 03-14-2011 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 03-14-2011, 08:39 AM
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Had to include the Chinese, lol

YouTube - China "automated" stamping plant chinese factory
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Old 03-14-2011, 07:56 PM
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Video: BMW i8 prototype rolls on — Autoblog
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Viperfreak2 View Post
Watch the current speed of CFRP production at BMW. Then think about the speed of a modern stamping line pressing aluminum or steel body panels:

When the carbon fiber parts can be produced as quickly as the steel, then I'll believe.
I don't think BMW's current carbon fibre cycle times are representative of where we are heading. The new intermediate materials that Teijin (link provided above) are talking about will make a big difference by allowing high speed press molding. They say they have gone to one minute for a cabin frame.

I wonder if there are further time savings by not having to paint the panels in a separate step after assembly?

It isn't just BMW. Half a dozen manufacturers are about to debut the same technology. I understand that BMW and VW will use the same process.
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