F1 Supplier Releases $38K Carbon Fiber Chassis For the Build of Your Dreams

The Dash-CAE TR01 is one of the first off-the-shelf carbon fiber chassis designed to be a blank canvas for just $38,000.

byChris Rosales|
Builds photo


The builders among us dream of doing insane projects but are often held back by cost, skill, or just the ability to do raw engineering. Most of us just modify our street cars for maximum effect, or build cool electric go-karts, but there are a lucky few who can go to the next level. That next level is now a $38,000 off-the-shelf carbon fiber chassis designed to fit almost any drivetrain and bodywork.

$38,000 might sound like a lot of money for a chassis with no bodywork, no engine, no suspension, no electronics, and no plumbing. Granted, it is a lot of money. But it is a bargain for a carbon fiber chassis made by an F1 supplier. The truth is that there is no off-the-shelf carbon chassis that can be had at all, with the only possibilities within that range being a used Alfa Romeo 4C. A 4C is not designed to be swapped or modified like the TR01 is.

When speaking to Top Gear, founder Tim Robathan did admit it doesn’t offer parity with a comparable steel or aluminum chassis, but says it doesn’t “cost stupid amounts more,” especially considering that the hard engineering work is done for you. It takes precision equipment, specialized jigs, and skilled fabricators to make a high-quality steel chassis, which can cost nearly as much as the TR01 costs to buy. 

And it comes from a highly-skilled background. Robathan worked with the Lotus F1 team during Ayrton Senna’s tenure there, has worked in global sports car racing, and even invented the first 3D printers for large tooling in composites. Dash-CAE left F1 in 2013, but its influence hasn’t been lost on F1 since, especially in 3D printing. This technology is how the TR01 is possible at $38,000 instead of deep in the six-figures, where Dash-CAE can manufacture the TR01 accurately and relatively inexpensively where carbon is infamously difficult to manipulate.

It’s designed to fit internal combustion and EV drivetrains with dual wishbone suspension all around. There are a lot of drivetrain combinations I can think of but if it were my money, give me something naturally aspirated with a manual gearbox. Maybe something like the high-revving Synergy V8 that JUN swapped into a BRZ a decade ago. A boy can dream. 

Got a tip? Email tips@thedrive.com