Bamboo could be the 'in thing' for your car
Your next car could have you 'bamboozled'.
No, not confused or overwhelmed, but fitted with surfaces made from bamboo.
It is one of the world's strongest natural materials, and research now holds out the prospect that it can be combined with plastic to make a 'super-hard' fitting.
For several years Ford has been working with suppliers to see if it's viable to use bamboo in cars by combining it with plastic.
The research team found it performed "comprehensively better" than other synthetic and natural fibres.
They even heated it to more than 212 degrees Fahrenheit without it losing its strength.
It's strong, flexible, totally renewable, and plentiful in China and many other parts of Asia, because it grows to full maturity in two to five years.
Testing for materials of the future is a different world. And while bamboo is the latest focus, you'd be surprised what's already in your car:
* Used cotton from denim and T-shirts is used as interior padding and sound insulation in most Fords.
* Kenaf, a tropical plant in the cotton family, is used in the door bolsters of the Escape.
* Recycled plastic bottles are transformed into floor carpeting, wheel liners and shields in the Transit and C-MAX.