Saturday, 11 December 2010

McLaren MP4-12C

No - I haven't turned into a petrol head. What's interesting about the design of this supercar is the moulded carbon fibre body shell weighing only 78kg. The Book Natural Capitalism which chimes in well with the idea of a resource based economy mentions this technology in its Hypercar chapter. It makes the point that while carbon fibre is expensive per unit weight, it is the cost of it per car that is relevant. The carbon fibre can be coloured in mould and can be very light per car as this McLaren shows (though its hardly a practical car). By keeping the weight down the need for motive and stopping power is reduced, hence lighter motors and brakes. The carbon fibre monocoque is very crash-worthy, not only because of the design but also because of the low weight.

In Natural Capitalism the idea is that the need for private cars can be minimised by sharing them (leasing / hiring) and by planning our town and cities to reduce the need to travel. This fits very closely with the RBE ideas.

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