Bugatti’s Chiron, introduced last winter at the Geneva Motor Show and boasts a classy, blue-tinted carbon-fiber paneling. Now available, about 200 of the limited production of 500 cars already have been ordered—at an entry-level price of $2.6 million.
Though the carbon-fiber body makes the car “lighter,” it still weighs in at 4,400 pounds, but will still reach a maximum speed of more than 250 miles an hours.
As a story in the MIT Technology Review notes, “Carbon fiber is a flexible fabric-like material that, when combined with a polymer, can be molded into the shape of a car part that is stronger and lighter than today’s steel and aluminum parts. The higher cost is based on the fiber material itself, as well as longer production times. Metal parts can be stamped in seconds, but it can take several minutes for a carbon fiber part to be molded and cured.”
While production costs for carbon-fiber is declining, and some “performance” car models made with carbon-fiber parts are available for less than $100,000, it’ll likely be awhile longer before they are common sights along the Interstate.