The Ford Lightweight Concept Car looks much like a normal American Ford Fusion sedan, but only weighs a smidge more than the much smaller Fiesta.
A collaborative effort between Ford, the US Department of Energy and supplier Magna, the Ford Lightweight Concept Car utilises the North American Fusion as its starting point. The Fusion will soon go into production in Europe, where it will be sold as the fifth generation Mondeo from the second half of 2014; Australian sales are set to kick off by mid-2015.
Compared to the Fusion, the Lightweight Concept Car weighs just 1195kg. That’s down 363kg or 23 per cent from the 2.5-litre four-cylinder Fusion, which tips the scales at 1559kg.
The biggest weight reduction comes from the body which utilises a mix of aluminium components, high strength steel and magnesium castings in concert with steel parts from the production Fusion. The rear window switches from glass to polycarbonate, while the side panes and front windshield utilise chemically toughened laminated glass.
Underneath the skin the Lightweight Concept Car features aluminium subframes and hollowed out steel for the rear springs and both sets of stabiliser bars. Inside the cabin carbonfibre is used for the seat frames and other various components.
Weight saving measures have carried through to the concept’s drivetrain, which is fronted by the same turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine that does service in the Fiesta and the European market Mondeo. This engine has been modified with hollow crankshafts and aluminium connecting rods, as well as a carbon fibre cam carrier, front cover and oil pan.
The Lightweight Concept rides on narrow 19-inch carbon fibre wheels clad in 155/70 tyres, while the brake discs at both the front and rear are made from cast aluminium that’s been sprayed with a stainless steel coating.
Ford has yet to state how much the Fusion would retail for if it were to utilise the Lightweight Concept’s components, nor has the company quoted performance or fuel economy numbers.