As industry and governments continue the fight against climate change, motorsport is playing a crucial role as a test bed for sustainable technologies. The motorsport industry enables products to be brought to market and tested in extremely short time frames and then, once proven, these technologies can be applied to high volume vertical markets including automotive, aerospace, and marine.
This is not the first time Porsche has led the way on sustainability. In 2019 Porsche Motorsport launched the Porsche Cayman 718 GT4 CS with natural fiber doors and rear wing. It was the first case of using natural fibers in serial production for motorsports. In fact, German Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture, Julia Klöckner, later used this door as a showcase on the press conference presenting Germany’s new bio-economy strategy. Since then, the parts have raced successfully in numerous racing series around the globe. Now Porsche Motorsport and Bcomp are progressing the collaboration by launching a full natural fiber body kit, the result is the Cayman 718 GT4 CS MR.
Christian Fischer, CEO Bcomp, says:
“It has been a fascinating journey since we started our collaboration with Porsche 3 years ago, resulting in the first natural fiber bodywork in serial production – the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Club-sport with our sustainable lightweighting solution in the rear wing and doors. Today we present the next step together, expanding the technology to the full composite body kit. We are humbled and proud to collaborate with Porsche and its reputable partners, reaching an important milestone to-wards a widespread use of sustainable performance materials in tomorrow’s mobility”
From raw material to high performance parts
PowerRibs technology is inspired by the veins on the back of leaves, it creates a 3D grid on one side of a thin-walled shell element, which maximises stiffness at minimal weight.
The benefits of Bcomp’s sustainable technologies are clear:
- Performance: equivalent stiffness to weight
- Sustainability. up to 75% lower CO2 footprint for a composite part using natural fibers. At end of life, parts can be used for thermal energy recovery without residual waste, rather than ending up in landfills
- Safety: ductile crash behavior without sharp shattering, reducing the risk for punctures
- Cost reduction: up to 30% lower material cost for the natural fiber fabric
Porsche Motorsports and Bcomp have worked closely together on the development of the natural fiber body kit, from reverse engineering of usual parts into equivalent natural fiber ones, through iterations and manufacturing. It uses the same manufacturing technology and even the same molds as the carbon fiber parts – with an important difference. Consumables such as bleeders and breathers can be eliminated, further reducing the environmental footprint and costs.
Live at the Nürburgring 24h race
Johann Wacht, Bcomp’s Motorsports Manager, says:
“The 24h race at the Nürburgring is the toughest GT race in the world and the perfect opportunity to put our sustainable lightweighting solutions through the decisive endurance test, we could not imagine a better place for it and we are very proud to take this step with Porsche and Four Motors.”
The Cayman 718 GT4 CS MR will be raced by German Porsche customer racing team Four Motors, and the first race will be the legendary 24H Race at the Nürburgring. The team is known for their strong commitment to sustainability, and a central goal is to support the development of technologies that reduce the CO2 footprint and that can be applied in road cars as well, thus significantly impacting the CO2 footprint of mobility.
Thomas von Löwis,team manager, says:
“We have been using bio-fiber components in our racing cars for years and have always been determined to promote the use of these high-performance materials. Now Porsche and Bcomp have developed a perfect sustainable product just in time for the 24h race. We look forward to demonstrating the reliability and endurance of the Manthey Racing natural fiber bodywork kit with the GT4″.