By: N.A. on January 8, 2001
Original Article: AMERICAN METAL MARKET, VOL. 109, ISSUE 5

Metals in Motion

Titanium, magnesium in powerful V-8
DETROIT — Titanium valve retainers and magnesium intake manifolds and throttle bodies are employed in the aluminum-block/aluminum-head 7.0-liter V-8 engine used in the high-powered Saleen S7 sports car built in Irvine, Calif., by Saleen Inc. The low-slung, 200-mile-per-hour sports car will be built in very low volumes for sale in the United States and England, initially. For the continental European and Middle East markets, the 550-horsepower cars will be assembled in the United Kingdom. The first models will show up in the U.S. market in the second quarter of 2001 priced at $375,000 apiece.

Plastic car bodies seen making gains
DETROIT — Regular production of car bodies made of carbon fiber-reinforced plastics may begin in Europe by 2005. Low-volume production already is undertaken by some sports car builders, but higher output levels for family car applications should be reached in four or five years, according to a number of BMW AG engineering executives and managers. Research and development subsidiary BMW Technik, Munich, Germany, recently started operating a pilot plant for the production of composite car bodies making extensive use of carbon fiber technology.

Lotus Elise Sport 190 off to the races
DETROIT — A few dozen Lotus Elise Sport 190 cars with aluminum spaceframe chassis have been purchased by U.S. citizens at $56,000 to $57,000 apiece for use on the race track–the only way the car owners are allowed to use the extremely lightweight (1,480 pounds) two-seaters, which aren’t certified for regular street use in this country. The Sport 190 is a four-cylinder-engine-equipped, 190-horsepower track version of the Lotus sports car built in Norwich, England, by Lotus Cars Ltd.

Chrysler hopes new Jeep SUV scores
DETROIT — The Chrysler Group of DaimlerChrysler AG is hoping that its new steel-body Jeep sport utility vehicle, the Liberty, due out in the summer, will boost Jeep sales and get its overall market performance back on track. The Toledo, Ohio.-built Liberty SUVs will join the Grand Cherokee and Wrangler models in Chrysler’s Jeep lineup.