In 1992, when the Formula One–focused engineering shop McLaren Automotive built the first street-legal carbon-fiber supercar, the body took 3,000 hours to mold and the car cost $1 million. The new McLaren MP4-12C took only four hours to mold and costs $229,000. The high cost of carbon fiber is largely a function of the molding process, which occurs in expensive-to-run, power-sucking ovens. By streamlining that process, McLaren dramatically reduced its costs—and that has implications beyond making supercars less expensive. Cutting the cost of carbon fiber even further could make the material economical for use in mass-market cars, improving performance and fuel efficiency for people other than just exotic-car collectors.