Ford’s “Lightweight Concept” Sports Fusion-Like Performance, Fiesta-Like Efficiency

At a time when gas prices can spike by 30 or 40 cents in one day, it’s probably wishful thinking to hope that fuel prices will suddenly begin to freefall. But Ford, thanks to forward-thinking, customer-focused engineering, is working hard to prove that our wallets aren’t the only things that can get much, much lighter. Soon, the all-new, lightweighted F-150 will begin production in Dearborn, and now, Ford has revealed the Fusion-based Lightweight Concept vehicle as well.

The Lightweight Concept is a Ford Fusion that has shed between 700 and 800 pounds to make it as light—and as efficient—as the Ford Fiesta. That’s right, Ford has created a full-size sedan that only weighs as much as a compact car. The Blue Oval reached this impressive achievement by replacing basically every single part in the Fusion with a lighter, better alternative. The car’s frame is made of aluminum, high-strength steel, and magnesium. The rear windshield is made of plastic—the kind used in cell phone technology—instead of glass. Many parts on the Lightweight Concept, both inside and out, are made of carbon fiber instead of heavier metals.

All these lighter parts make this Fusion concept a much more efficient vehicle—it’s estimated to get about 45 mpg, about the same as the Fiesta. Even better, this lighter vehicle can coax the same level of performance you’ve come to expect out of the Fusion from a smaller, 1.0L three-cylinder EcoBoost engine.

“Lightweighting our vehicles is incredibly important to us in terms of improving fuel economy and reducing CO2 emissions,” Kumar Galhotra, vice president of engineering for Ford, said. So, it’s no surprise to us here at Cambridge Classic Ford that the brand has more lightweighting plans up its sleeve still. Ford is currently working with Samsung to make a lighter, more efficient alternative to lead-acid batteries as well as researching new ways to bring regenerative braking systems to more vehicles. While, at least for now, the Lightweight Concept won’t see production—all those alternative parts are pretty expensive—it’s good to see Ford remains focused on the future.

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