Ford Lightweight Concept Looks Like Slim Goodbody
Ford has unveiled its Lightweight Concept vehicle, which is ostensibly a Fusion that weighs about as much as a Fiesta and uses the same sporty 1.0-liter EcoBoost® three-cylinder to get insane fuel efficiency. Lightweighting techniques such as the use of high-strength steel and aluminum alloys, which factored heavily in the 2015 F-150’s 700-lb weight loss, are a vital component of Ford’s Blueprint for Sustainability.
Our favorite part? The fact that the Ford Lightweight Concept vehicle’s livery manages to look extremely slick while serving the same purpose as the human body suit that Slim Goodbody wore. Yeah, we went all the way back to Slim Goodbody.
“Consumers today want better fuel efficiency, but they also want more technology and features in the car, which usually adds weight to the vehicle,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “A focus on light-weighting will be fundamental to our industry for years to come, and we are investigating many advanced materials applications as possible solutions for weight reduction in our vehicles.”
Ford managed to cut about 25 percent from the standard curb weight of a 2013 Ford Fusion (about 3,615 lbs), putting it in around 2,700 lbs—or just a shade heavier than the curb weight of a 2013 Fiesta. This was achieved through not just the use of aluminum and high-strength steels, but by using lighter tires and carbon fiber wheels; carbon fiber seats and instrument panel; and composite springs.
Ford notes that many of the technologies at work in the Ford Lightweight Concept vehicle are still being tested for durability and testing, but once they become common practice, we can reasonably expect lighter cars that are better on gas and more fun to drive. Let’s just hope they don’t all wear the Slim Goodbody livery.