The Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut WKI has collaborated with Porsche to develop a natural-fiber composite consisting of a thermoset polymer matrix system reinforced with organic fibers. The advantage of this solution over conventional carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics is that it poses fewer challenges in terms of machining, repairs, and recycling, plus it is less energy-intensive to produce.
Porsche has been testing the material on the racetrack since 2015, and it is now being used for the very first time in a production racing car. In the new Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport , the driver and passenger doors and rear wing are made of an organic fiber mix, with the natural fibers sourced primarily from agricultural by-products such as flax or hemp. Compared to steel doors, this results in a weight saving of around 60%. The project was funded by the German Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture (BMEL) through the central coordinating agency for renewable resources Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e. V. FNR .