The right and left-hand doors, right and left-side rear quarter panels, and the inner, outer and lower shells of the tailgate have been made using the company’s TCA Ultra Lite glass fiber reinforced sheet molding compound (SMC) material which it says is 43% lighter than a traditional composite material, and approximately the same weight as aluminum.
Teijin’s Ultra Lite technology uses treated glass bubbles to replace some of the CaCO3, allowing the resin to adhere to the matrix and increase the interfacial strength between the bubble and the resin, the company said. This treatment technology can result in a more robust resin mix making molded parts more resistant to handling damage, preventing micro-cracks that cause paint pops, pits and blistering, and improving paint adhesion and bonding characteristics.
“The body panels of the Lotus Emira had to satisfy a number of requirements including aerodynamic design and styling, but also have to be lightweight, strong and provide a high-quality Class A finish,” said Paul Tedstone, executive director of supply for Lotus Cars. “By using lightweight composites for the body panels, including the doors, we were able to combine all the engineering and styling requirements in the stunning design of this award-winning sports car.”