A Different Composite
"It's never been used in automotive applications before," says Dave Hill. He notes, however, that it is used in both racing boats and racing airplanes. He is talking about balsa wood, which is an integral part of the structure of the C5. That's right, balsa wood. It is used in the floor. There are two layers of composite material with balsa wood in between. Hill says that they examined synthetic materials. But he pointed out that the fiber structure of the balsa wood, with thousands of oriented fibers per square inch, is not possible to achieve with synthetic materials. He admitted that it costs more than a synthetic. "But drivers can feel the difference in the stiffness and damping that it provides."