Far-UK launches carbon fiber composite automotive chassis

Nottingham-based Far-UK is introducing the Far Platform Chassis (FPC), a carbon fiber composite chassis designed for low-volume automotive manufacturing applications.

Far-UK (Nottingham, U.K.) reports that it is launching the Far Platform Chassis (FPC) at the Advanced Engineering Show at the NEC, Birmingham, U.K., Nov. 11-12. The FPC is a complete lightweight chassis that is fully crash compliant. It is produced in line with the company’s Light and Safe (LiSa) design philosophy.

The chassis is designed for low-volume automotive manufacturers and is said to reduce chassis design and investment costs. The chassis combines ultralight weight with super strength. It is said to be simple to assemble and can be included in any production line. Each chassis can be created with minimal tooling and in short timescales to a customer’s requirements. It can host different body styles such as an urban car, sports car or a van. It can also accommodate a range of engine types such as electric, hybrid or conventional.

Far Platform Chassis has been designed to provide a low-cost starting point for the development of low-weight, fuel-efficient vehicles by existing and new vehicle manufacturers. 

There are three standard chassis sizes:

  • Sub A segment: Wheelbase <1.85m
  • A/B segment: Wheelbase 2.0 - 2.2m
  • C/D segment: Wheelbase 2.4 – 2.6m

From these options it is possible to create a base for a range of vehicles. The A/B segment chassis weighs 65 kg/143 lb compared to a steel equivalent of 155 kg/341 lb.

Other features include:

  • Front, side and rear crash complies with EU regulations
  • Provision for U.S. head impact crush material on A pillar
  • Maximum vehicle curb weight (including batteries) 550 kg/1,212 lb (A/B Segment)
  • Maximum gross vehicle weight 750 kg/1,653 lb (A/B Segment)

Far-UK says it has identified a cost effective, composites based method of producing vehicle structures for niche car producers who believe that they cannot afford composite structures. By bringing these alternate, light-weight solutions to the general, affordable market, Far-UK says it is solving the modern problem of expensive, inefficient cars, by replacing them with greener more personal alternatives.

Lyndon Sanders, director of Far-UK, says, “Developing a chassis is an expensive business and out of the reach of most companies. The Far Platform Chassis, from our Vehicle Systems Division, will expand the supply of bespoke cars and vans, away from just traditional manufacturers. This super-light structure has the potential to deliver record levels of fuel efficiency while meeting stringent crash safety regulations. This is a fantastic time to be in the automotive industry. We are on the cusp of a wave.”

By using a low-cost modular carbon-fiber space-frame, Far-UK says a LiSa-based car can be light weight and personal to the end-user. Individual niche car companies can brand the car for their consumers without the expense of a carbon fiber tub for the main body of the car. This allows different groups of people to get the type and specifications of the car they want from the same basic frame. This is a cheaper, greener and easier way for smaller manufacturers to provide bespoke vehicles.

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