How to fix your car body, without the $200,000 fix
In the early days of autonomous cars, a few companies built car bodies out of aluminum, and a few others designed their own.
Now, the industry is getting more innovative, and automakers are trying to design their own cars that have more than one seat.
And while aluminum is generally considered the best material for body panels, there are some exceptions.
For instance, the lightweight carbon fiber used in a Toyota Prius has a different shape than the one used in the Tesla Model S, which means the car has to be made with two seats.
That means it has to take up less space than the standard two-seater.
The aluminum body panels also don’t have to be built by a single company.
In fact, a new batch of aluminum body kits from General Motors’ Advanced Powertrain Research & Development Center (APR&D) have been approved by the federal government.
The car body kits are a way for automakers to offer a new, cheaper alternative to the traditional steel-alloy body panels.
In addition to making them lighter and stronger, aluminum panels have also been used for other applications, including building airbags, making doors and window sills more rigid, and even building cars with a battery that can be recharged by simply walking around the car.
The body kits cost about $20,000 each, and each kit has to meet a certain weight, weight-to-area ratio, and other specs.
In the APR&S cars, for instance, each car has three seats.
So the first kit weighs just under 5,000 pounds, and it can weigh up to about 4,000.
The second kit weighs 4,500 pounds and can weigh as much as 9,000, while the third kit weighs 6,500 and can make up to 9,500 miles.
These kits are the result of a collaboration between APR &D, which is part of GM, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
In order to make the kit more affordable and to increase its performance, the APRs have created a new kind of aluminum alloy that is stronger, lighter, and more flexible than the steel-carbon alloy.
The resulting car body kit is a carbon-fiber composite, with carbon fiber fibers woven into the aluminum and carbon-carbon composite, making it lighter, stiffer, and flexible.
Each kit includes two aluminum plates bolted to a steel chassis frame, and there are four carbon-reinforced polymer wheels on the rear, two of which can be used as rear brakes.
A carbon fiber composite can be a little harder to work with than steel, so APR has created a special adhesive for the carbon fiber.
A single set of carbon fiber wheels will cost about twice as much to make as a steel set, but the carbon-carbide composite is still more cost effective, because it’s a lightweight alloy.
“We believe that this is a cost-effective, energy-efficient, low-weight, low carbon composite material,” said APR Director of Engineering Brian Leighton.
He added that the aluminum body kit can be easily fabricated using the latest techniques in materials science.
APR’s carbon fiber kit is lighter than a traditional steel body panel because the composite is lighter and stiffer.
The APR body kits have a weight of just under 4,600 pounds, which has a strength of 2,000 N/m, and they weigh less than 1,500 ounces, about the same as a standard car.
Leighton said that the kit is easy to assemble.
“The kit is easily welded onto the chassis frame and welded to the chassis body with a few screws,” he said.
The kit can then be bolted to the car using an assembly tool and then bolted to any other part of the car for a final assembly.
The carbon-coated aluminum body parts can be made from carbon fiber, and APR will offer a range of options, including the ability to make them into wheels and doors.
APRs can also offer the option of making the carbon composite part into an alloy.
It will take about 10 to 15 years to build the carbon body parts into a finished vehicle, Leighton noted.
Leeson said that APR expects to sell the carbon bodies as well as the carbon alloy parts, but they are still not yet available for sale.
AP Racing, which makes the carbon car body parts, said it plans to begin selling its carbon body kits in 2019.
“With the introduction of the carbon kit, we have a way to combine the performance, strength, and lightweightness of the traditional carbon body with the performance of a lightweight aluminum alloy,” said Tim Leeson, president of AP Racing.
“This new material will offer an affordable alternative to existing steel body panels for those who want the performance and strength of carbon, but also the flexibility of a carbon fiber.”
This story was provided by Automotive News, an editorially independent service.
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