Ferrari sticking with aluminum as the move towards carbon fiber strengthens
Ferrari is an automaker that’s known to march to the beat of its own drum and that has been proven time and time again.
The latest example of this "you-all-do-what-you-want-and-we’ll-do-what-we-want" attitude came to light in a recent interview with Popular Mechanics, when Ferrari engineer Patrizio Moruzzi made it clear that Ferrari will stick to using aluminum for the bodywork of their cars instead of the increasingly popular carbon fiber material.
According to Moruzzi, aluminum is a "multimaterial technology” that is ideally suited to serve a variety of uses, a versatile quality that carbon fiber just can’t match. Their long history using aluminum notwithstanding, Ferrari’s biggest sticking point as far as using carbon fiber was the length of time it takes to build a car using the material. Whereas aluminum, which is as potentially as light as carbon fiber, is a material that’s easy to wok on a mass-production level, carbon fiber is the exact opposite.
The Enzo, for example, used plenty of carbon fiber in its bodywork - and it took Ferrari about a day to build one model. Compare that to the aluminum-bodied 458 Italia, which the company could build at around 25-30 units a day, and the level of productivity, efficiency, and cost-savings is just not a question.
To their credit, Ferrari isn’t closing its doors on experimenting with new materials, particularly metal matrix components - material that’s made up of ceramic fiber-reinforced aluminum that could potentially shave off as much as 20 percent of a car’s overall weight.
So while other automakers are falling over with their carbon fiber-bodied supercars, Ferrari wants to have no part of the craze. They’ve used aluminum for the better part of 70 years, and they’re not about to stop using it in the near future.
Source: Popular Mechanics