TodayApril 15, 2022

There’s a Clemson carbon tiger in your Toyota

There’s a Tiger in your tank

Just about the same time Toyota ditches Scion because the millennials aren’t buying them, Toyota comes out with a concept code-named The Deep Orange 6. It’s probably just a coincidence that the next-generation Toyota concept vehicle was developed and engineered by students from Clemson University, home of the Black and Orange Clemson Tigers football team.

The concept was unveiled at the SAE International 2016 World Congress and Exhibition in Detroit, MI. By using TeXtreme carbon fabrics in its door panels, rear hatch, dashboard, and bumpers and cladding, significant weight savings, improved mechanical performance, and superior surface smoothness were achieved.

Car designers face many challenges when working on new designs and are always searching for new ways to make future designs faster and stronger, while still achieving better emissions performance. Therefore, composites have never been more relevant to today’s automotive industry. Automakers see the advantages of carbon fiber and how it can reduce the weight of conventional vehicles.

“With our exposed CFRP interior components on Deep Orange 6, it was a high priority to use a woven carbon fiber fabric with a unique weave pattern. Textreme’s materials exceeded our expectations, as it has given us a beautiful finish on the interior, is a high-quality product that is easy to lay up without distorting the weave, and then spread two tapes leave a very smooth finish on the final part.” Said Dr. Johnell Brooks, an associate professor in Clemson University’s graduate Department of Automotive Engineering

TeXtreme® is a unique material that differs from conventional carbon fiber materials due to its proprietary production methods which create an ultralight and ultrathin spread tow carbon fiber reinforcement. Its track record of contributing to successful product releases from companies including Bauer Hockey, Prince Tennis, Cobra Puma Golf, and Bell Helmets, along with its use in Formula 1, NASCAR and the ORACLE TEAM USA America’s Cup boat, has proven the real-world benefits of the TeXtreme® Technology.

Deep Orange 6 is about creating a value proposition for a young generation that has little money to spare, that have less interest in vehicle ownership than past generations, need a personal mobility solution for commuting and shopping at low cost of ownership, and also have the desire for extra space, range, and performance for leisure activities. The anticipated market introduction is 2020 and the brand of the vehicle will be Toyota.

“The Clemson team has been very good at utilizing the unique benefits of TeXtreme and designing the composite parts balancing the mechanical properties and weight savings to get the optimal results on the car. We are proud to support this project and the development of composites in mass-market applications”, says Henrik Blycker, CEO of Oxeon AB, makers of TeXtreme

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Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.