Automakers are always trying to find something new to throw into their vehicles. Supercar manufacturers are always on the hunt for lightweight materials, upping the horsepower while reducing the girth. Well, some graduate students from NC State have decided to something a little different with their Splinter supercar. They plan on making the car out of wood. Or wood composites, rather.
As far as I can tell, there aren’t very many advantages or much of a rationale as to why someone would want to build a car using wood composites. I’d imagine that the wood is significantly heavier than any carbon fiber or aluminum construction, and I’d imagine that the pieces would have to be much thicker to retain the same level of structural integrity. The aerodynamics would probably be affected by the grain of the wood too.
Maybe they just want to see what is possible, even if it really serves no function. They’re planning on implanting a twin-supercharger Northstar V8, complementing it with Osage Orange leaf springs and wood-spoked wheels. Hmm… mixing wood with extremely high temperatures. Count me out.