Calling someone or something a "lightweight" is usually a slight, but Ford calls it "the future". Today, the automaker unveiled its Lightweight Concept Vehicle. The sedan is what a Fusion might look like if it is built with the same materials featured in the all-new F-150.
According to the materials released by Ford, the Lightweight Concept reduces the weight of the 2013 Fusion by nearly 25 percent. Using high strength steel and aluminum, the concept Fusion weighs the same as a small Ford Fiesta. Reducing the weight of the vehicle should improve performance and gas mileage.
In a statement, Raj Nair, who oversees Global Product Development, says "Consumers today want better fuel efficiency, but they also want more technology, which usually adds weight to the vehicle." Nair adds "A focus on light-weighting will be fundamental to our industry for years to come."
This same research led to the dramatically redesigned aluminum-bodied F-150. The 2015 F-150 is the first to feature a military-grade aluminum body built on a high-strength steel chassis. The new F-150 is 700 pounds lighter than current models and features better acceleration and towing capacity.
Matt Zaluzec, a leader in Ford's research says "The Lightweight Concept gives us the platform to continue to explore the right mix of materials and applications for future vehicles."