Toray Industries is a multi-national company based in Japan that is considered as one of the foremost carbon fiber makers in the world. With all the resources it has on tap, Toray is venturing into the world of automotive building with the help of renowned auto designer, Gordon Murray.
Their first project, a two-seat electric concept, is called the TeeWave AR1 Concept and it has got enough carbon fiber to last multiple lifetimes. That’s hardly surprising, either, considering that they have all the carbon fiber they need at their disposal. Almost every panel of the car is made from carbon fiber, reducing the body’s weight to just 846 kg (1865 lbs) while also making it roughly ten times stronger than reinforced steel. By comparison, the Tesla Roadster weighs 1,220 kg (2689 lbs), 44% heavier than the AR1 Concept.
According to Toray, the TeeWave AR1 can reach a top speed of 91 mph with a range that hits 115 miles. The extensive use of carbon fiber on the AR1 Concept allows it to be as light as it is, but the cache to all that is the tremendous cost that comes with building just a prototype. Word has it that one prototype of the carbon fiber-decked AR1 Concept comes with a price of $3.88 million, a number that’s ridiculously expensive even by the standards of the most exotic of supercars.
That’s not to say that there’s no future for the AR1 Concept past the prototype phase, but the whole point for Toray has always been to introduce the prevalent use of carbon fiber, not just on high-priced exotics, but on everyday vehicles as well.
Hit the jump to see a video of the TeeWave AR1 Concept during its debut at the 2011 Toray Advanced Materials Exhibition.