Smaller cars are already more efficient than larger ones, so many automakers have concentrated their lightweighting efforts on those larger vehicles—like full-size trucks and SUVs. But not Ford. Sure, they’ve got the 2015 F-150 coming out, but with the new “Lightweight Concept,” Ford is proving that they’re committed to bringing lightweighting technology to the entire lineup.
“Lightweighting our vehicles is incredibly important to us in terms of improving fuel economy and reducing CO2 emissions,” says Kumar Galhotra, vice president of engineering for Ford, told USA Today. The “Lightweight Concept” shows just how serious Ford is about shedding major weight off their vehicles; the concept is a Ford Fusion that’s lost so much weight—over 700 lbs—that it now weighs only as much as the much smaller Ford Fiesta.
The Lightweight Concept is a radical idea—Ford has literally replaced every part it can with a lighter alternative. Windshields are made out of Gorilla Glass or plastic, the frame is heavily infused with aluminum, carbon fiber materials replace parts both inside and out of the vehicle. All these lighter parts allow the Lightweight Concept to run on a smaller, more efficient engine—a 1.0L EcoBoost—and still get Fusion-like performance numbers.
We won’t see this Lightweight Concept as a production model here at Sanderson Ford anytime soon, but Ford plans to make six of the special concept models for testing. If you’re a Ford customer, you should be excited about the Lightweight Concept—it’s full of customer-oriented ideas that will soon benefit you, the owner, both on the road and at the pump.