Ford Lightweight Concept – Advanced Materials Builds The Big And The Light
What you see before your eyes is not a hoarding-board or POS display Ford Fusion. This vinyl clad displaying schematic diagram is a Ford Lightweight Concept, and in fact, it’s the sum of all the technology with advanced materials combined with exotic and recycled materials and the knowledge available with FoMoCo these days. Now the interesting bit here is, Ford is not talking about next 20 years when these materials could be utilized on mass produced products. In fact, some of the materials are now getting into the production of the All-New 2015 Ford F-150.
Ford Lightweight Concept vehicle represents Ford’s ongoing research for future light-weighting and advanced material’s applications, building on the all-new Ford F-150, which sheds up to 700 pounds through use of high-strength steel and aluminum alloys.
Light-weighting is a key component in Ford’s Blueprint for Sustainability; mixed-materials research vehicle explores how advanced materials might be applied for future high-volume vehicle production for better performance and gas mileage, and carbon dioxide reduction.
This Ford Lightweight Concept Fusion here weighs around 2635 pounds, which is the weight of Ford’s own Sub Compact Fiesta.Though in reality, the present day off the showroom floor Fusion weighs approximately 3400 pounds. That’s like a massive weight reduction of 800 pounds or 25% without removing the pleasantries from the car!
The vehicle 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 aluminum, enabling it to tow more, haul more, accelerate quicker and stop shorter – all with improved gas mileage.
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.”
Light-weighting is a key component in Ford’s Blueprint for Sustainability, which integrates sustainability into the business plan for the long-term preservation and enhancement of environmental, social and financial capital. The
introduction and incorporation of lightweight materials into vehicle construction helps meet the goal of reducing weight to achieve a better fuel economy for consumers while also reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.
Ford research into improved efficiency through weight reduction with advanced materials, including new metals, alloys and composites began more than 25 years ago. This research produced the breakthrough Aluminum Intensive Vehicle program in 1992 and all-aluminum high-performance Ford GT in 2005.
Along with other fuel-efficiency technologies, light-weighting is fundamental to Ford’s efforts to stabilize carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere at 450 parts per million – the level many scientists, businesses and
governmental agencies believe may avoid the most serious effects of climate change.
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.
Ford engineers took a holistic approach to weight reduction by incorporating advanced materials into the entire design of the vehicle, including powertrain, chassis, body, battery and interior features such as seats. Ford’s Lightweight Concept represents its most comprehensive blend of advanced materials yet in one vehicle, including aluminum, ultra-high-strength steel, magnesium and carbon fiber.