Ford has unveiled its Lightweight Concept vehicle, which uses advanced materials to explore future weight-reduction solutions that could improve performance and fuel efficiency while reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
The new concept represents the latest phase of Ford’s research into developing sustainable technology solutions that are affordable for consumers and can be produced in large volumes across the product lineup. This research has also led to dramatic weight reductions of up to 700 pounds in the all-new F–150. The 2015 F–150 sheds weight through the use of high-strength steel and aluminium.
Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development said;
Consumers today want better fuel efficiency, but they also want more technology and features in the car, which usually adds weight to the vehicle. 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 see light-weighting as a key component in their blueprint for sustainability, the introduction and use of lightweight materials into vehicle construction helps meet the goal of reducing weight to achieve better fuel economy for consumers while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Ford engineers incorporated advanced materials into the entire design of the vehicle, including powertrain, chassis, body, battery and interior features such as seats. This Lightweight Concept vehicle represents its most comprehensive blend of advanced materials yet in one vehicle, including strategic application of aluminium, ultra-high-strength steels, magnesium and carbon fibre.
The research vehicle was developed with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Program, together with Cosma International – a subsidiary of Magna International – to illustrate long-term potential light-weighting solutions. Magna’s design and development of the multi-material body-in-white, closures and chassis components are a significant contribution in light-weighting the concept vehicle.