Ford isn’t stopping with just its F-150 when it comes to saving weight.
It appears the American automaker is seeing just how cost effective it would be to apply its weight-saving aluminum to other models in its lineup by building the Ford Lightweight Concept. Starting with a 2013 Ford Fusion, the American automaker used advanced materials to explore further weight-reduction solutions that will not only improve performance but fuel efficiency.
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The weight is a midsize family sedan that weighs about the same as a Ford Fiesta, a 25-percent weight reduction. The research vehicle was developed with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Program along with Cosma International, a subsidiary of Magna International.
The standard weight of a Ford Fusion is about 3,600 lbs which means Ford shed 900 lbs from the sedan to make it comparable to a Ford Fiesta. To help in the weight reduction, the American automaker also incorporated the Fiesta’s 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine into the concept, which is also rated at up to 45 mpg. According to Ford, six of these concepts have been built and they aren’t for sale.
“Our goal was to investigate how to design and build a mixed-materials, lightweight vehicle that could potentially be produced in high volume, while providing the same level of safety, durability and toughness as our vehicles on the road today,” said Matt Zaluzec, Ford technical leader, Global Materials and Manufacturing Research. “There’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to light-weighting. The Lightweight Concept gives us the platform to continue to explore the right mix of materials and applications for future vehicles.”
GALLERY: Ford Lightweight Concept
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