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Toyota Earns Altair Enlighten Award for Lightweight CFRP Inner Panels

Published on 2017-08-01. Author : SpecialChem

Prius Prime Liftgate
Prius Prime Liftgate
Toyota received Altair Enlighten Award at CAR Management Briefing Seminars (MBS). Company earns the award for its use of innovative weight reducing vehicle closure systems. The award program honored Toyota’s use of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) inner panels on:
  • Prius Prime liftgate 
  • Lexus LC 500 side doors and luggage hatch

Weight Reducing Vehicle Closure Systems


  • Altair Enlighten Awards is created specifically to acknowledge innovation in vehicle weight reduction. 
  • It is conducted in cooperation with SAE International and the Center for Automotive Research (CAR).
  • 2017 marks the fifth year for the program.

Replacing Metal


Toyota’s winning entry involved the company’s expansion of CFRP outside the domain of exotic vehicles.
  • With this new lightweighting technology, the Prius Prime experienced a 40 percent weight savings. This was estimated in comparison to an equivalently sized aluminum liftgate. 
  • In comparison to conventional steel structures, Lexus LC registered:
    • 47 percent weight savings on its side door 
    • 40 percent reduction on its luggage hatch

Toyota CFRP Inner Panels

Lightweighting on Priority


For Toyota, lightweighting of these systems were prioritized:
  • To boost battery range and improve liftgate usability for the Prius Prime plug-in hybrid technology.
  • As the weight reduction in the Lexus LC was geared toward enhancing the coupe’s dynamic performance.

Toyota’s Altair Enlighten Award was presented on the opening day of MBS, during the World Class Manufacturing session.

JP Flaharty, executive program manager at Toyota Motor North America Research & Development, said:
“We are excited to offer closure systems that are optimized to the unique mission of each vehicle. With CFRP applied to the Prius Prime liftgate and the Lexus LC side doors and luggage hatch, our customers recognize the light touch and high tech appearance of these sophisticated, lightweight door systems. Our entire development team is honored to receive this coveted award.”

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Source: Toyota
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