2015 was a big year for all of us – we at Carbon Trim have been busy with everything from the unveiling of our 1×1 collection to accommodating the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, finishing off with the release of our new FlexCarbon™ line. Here’s a look at the carbon fiber industry as a whole this past year.
January New Ford GT Announced, Has Full Carbon Cockpit
Ford broke headlines this January with the unveiling of the new Ford GT. With a full carbon fiber cockpit and body panels, as well as a carbon fiber reinforced chassis, this twin-turbo update of the classic GT is expected to create over 600 horsepower. Production is said to be limited to less than 1000 units, and although pricing is yet to be announced, it’s rumored that the new GT may cost upwards of $400,000.
February Aston Martin Vulcan Limited to 24 Units
By now we’ve all seen photos of the new Aston Martin Vulcan, announced this past Febrauary by the British automotive icon. The newest hypercar makes extensive use of carbon fiber both in the interior and the construction of the chassis itself, as you can see in the photo above. Priced at over 1.5 million dollars and limited to a production run of only 24 cars, it’s likely that most of these carbon fiber beasts will end up tucked away deep in private garages, but we hope to see a few of them before that happens!
March Carbon Fiber Gladiator Suit?
We’re always interested to see creative, non-automotive applications of carbon fiber – like this carbon fiber gladiator suit made by company Unified Weapons Master. The Australia-based startup has indicated that they intend to sell these modern armored suits, but have declined to provide any insight into the pricing or release. We’re not really sure what to think of it, but it looks good to us!
April McLaren 570s Will Have Full Carbon Chassis
Another exciting example of a new release that gained popularity in 2015 is the new McLaren Sports line, the 570s. Although most know that McLaren’s supercars are all based on carbon fiber construction, many may be surprised to learn that the 570s is the only model to have a full carbon fiber chassis, weighing in at just over 1300 kgs. Also impressive is the new supercar’s price tag, stickering at a cool $184,900.
May 1×1 Collection Released
In May, we debuted our 1×1 collection of carbon fiber products. Made with plain weave carbon instead of the traditional twill weave, these products offer another level of customization for our original products. Made famous by its use in cars like Ferrari, our 1×1 weave products proved to be a hit this year.
June Three Arrested for Smuggling Carbon Fiber to China
We’re no strangers to carbon fiber being a valuable material. From customers telling us their Carbon Trim Cases were stolen off their phones at the gym to the dozens of knock-off companies selling ripoffs of our products and designs, there’s no doubt that people love carbon fiber and will push the boundaries to get some in their hands. But this one’s new to us – in June, three people were arrested in Japan for smuggling nearly 8000 lbs of carbon fiber illegally to China, a sizeable amount given the light weight of the material. The export of carbon fiber from Japan to China requires government authorization for fear that it could be used for military purposes.
July Ford Partners with Australian Startup for Carbon Fiber GT350R Wheels
Full carbon fiber wheels have been a sort of holy grail of the automotive world for a while now. Although they’ve been spotted by million-dollar-plus hypercars like the Koenigsegg Agera, it wasn’t until just recently that such products were available to the masses. Now, Ford has announced that carbon fiber wheels will be standard on the new Shelby GT350R, made possible through a collaboration between the American automotive giant and Australian company Carbon Revolution. The wheels have been specifically engineered to withstand extreme heat and stress, and weigh in at roughly half of a conventional wheel.
August Boeing Invests $5 for Carbon Fiber Research in South Carolina
In August this year, Boeing announced that their manufacturing plant in Charleston, South Carolina, will be collaborating with the University of South Carolina on carbon fiber research. The 5 million dollar research investment will focus on determining the best placement and applications of carbon fiber in the company’s passenger planes, and will take place right here in the same city that Carbon Trim Solutions is headquartered in.
September Mansory Huracan Torofeo at Frankfurt Auto Show
We’ve long been fans of world-class performance customization firm Mansory’s work. That’s why we loved it so much when they unveiled their new Torofeo Huracan at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September! Featuring a full panel replacement with lightweight carbon fiber construction, the stock 602 horsepower V10 Lamborghini engine has been upgraded to an incredible 1,250 horsepower. Needless to say, Mansory has outdone themselves with this work of art.
October FlexCarbon™ Cardholder Wallets Introduced
In October, we unveiled our top new product of 2015, the FlexCarbon™ Cardholder Wallet. As the first of our new FlexCarbon™ line, these cardholders are made with 100% carbon fiber sheets, treated with a clear coat while maintaining their flexibility. Available in five unique stitching colors, they are then stitched together in a similar manner to leather goods. We sold record numbers on Black Friday and throughout the Holiday Season, and look forward to announcing the newest additions to the FlexCarbon™ family in 2016. Stay tuned!
November Boeing and Toray Expand Carbon Fiber Contract
Japanese carbon fiber giant Toray Industries announced in November that they will be expanding their carbon fiber contract with Boeing, which includes an American carbon fiber facility in South Carolina. The 11 billion dollar investment comes as a result of Toray’s contract with Boeing to provide carbon fiber composites for the construction of its new generation of passenger planes, including the 787 Dreamliner.
December Facebook Builds Carbon Fiber UAV to Bring Internet to Impoverished Rural Areas
Finally, to finish out the year, Facebook announced that their first carbon fiber prototype of their project Aquila is ready for testing. Aquila is a solar powered, long-endurance unmanned aircraft aimed at bringing internet access to remote areas. When launched, it will provide high-speed internet to a 30-mile radius for as long as 3 months at a time at an altitude of 60,000-90,000 feet. In order to save weight, the entire wing structure is made of carbon fiber. Spanning the same distance as a 747’s wingspan, the entire vehicle weighs less than 1/3 of a car’s weight. We’re excited to see how this project evolves over the next year and what kind of effects it may have on bringing internet access to rural and impoverished areas.
There’s no doubt it’s been an exciting year for the carbon fiber industry. We can’t wait to see how this market continues to expand in 2016! In the mean time, we would like to wish all of our customers and readers a very happy new years from the Carbon Trim Solutions team.