Carbon-fiber composites used to only come in one color: black. The only way to color them was to paint them over. Now, Prodrive--the motorsport company that provided technical support for Subaru's foray into the World Rally Championship years ago--has come up with a solution to create carbon-fiber composites that "combine a choice of elegant designer colors with a deep, glass-like finish and the durability required for demanding applications."
"We've validated the technique with samples in really gorgeous, deep shades of maroon and British Racing Green under a glass-like lacquer," said Prodrive composites manager Ian Handscombe. "It's a substantial step beyond conventional carbon trim finishes, offering something very special for exclusive vehicle options and other luxury products."
The process is the result of a six-month, in-house development program that focused on the product's quality and durability, with the final samples coming out as chip-resistant, UV-stable, and highly consistent in color and finish.
According to Prodrive, its colored carbon-fiber composite materials will first be seen with a "European manufacturer of luxury cars."