Lincoln knows that status and prestige are always part of creating a luxury vehicle, and one of the ways to gain status and prestige is to build your products out the newest and most innovative materials and technologies. Thus, Lincoln, in conjunction with sustainable solutions creator Weyerhauser and Johnson Controls, an auto parts supplier, has created a new “tree-based, renewable alternative to fiberglass for use in auto parts.”
The new material, called Cellulose Reinforced Polypropylene (abbreviated CRP), will be first deployed in the 2014 model of the Lincoln MKX, the brand’s crossover SUV. For this model year, the CRP will simply be used to replace the fiberglass found in “a structural piece located within the center console armrest.”
If CRP is a success, look for it to take over much more of the interior of Lincoln cars. CRP is lighter and thus more environmentally friendly than fiberglass, so the new material might have great long-term effects not only on the Lincoln lineup, but on the world’s ecosystems as well. “If we transfer its use to larger parts, it could really benefit the vehicle weight, which benefits fuel economy,” Ellen Lee, plastics research technical expert for Ford, said. “Cellulose has good reinforcement, so we looked at fiberglass-reinforced materials for this project.”
When the Lincoln MKX hits dealerships in 2014, make sure to come in and check out CRP—and the great new model of the crossover itself—in person at Lincoln of Troy.