• Lightweight Ford Fusion Concept offers huge weight savings
  • Ford says lightweight Fusion shaves 800 to 900 pounds off standard model
  • Lightweight Fusion makes use of items like carbon fiber and aluminum

Ford has developed an all-new lightweight concept version of its midsize Fusion sedan. The lightweight Fusion concept boasts an impressive weight savings of 800 to 900 pounds over the standard model, largely due to the use of new technologies and materials.

According to Ford, the lightweight Fusion sedan trims the weight of a standard Fusion, which tips the scales at around 3,500 pounds, down to the level of its subcompact Fiesta -- which weighs in around 2,600 pounds. That represents an impressive 900-lb weight loss, which is over 25 percent of its weight. That's not bad, considering that the concept car still looks just like a standard Fusion from the outside.

So how did Ford manage to cut the Fusion's weight so dramatically? One significant way was through heavy use of aluminum, the lightweight material that has already managed to shave several hundred pounds off Ford's next-generation F-150 pickup. Ford says the Fusion benefits from aluminum brake rotors, aluminum suspension components and even aluminum body panels.

Ford also trimmed the Fusion's weight with carbon fiber, using the material in the car's oil pan, seat frames and dashboard. The lightweight Fusion concept also includes Ford's especially small 1.0-liter EcoBoost 3-cylinder engine, which is already offered in the Fiesta and Focus.

So why all the weight savings? The big reason is fuel economy. While powertrain changes can certainly affect a car's gas mileage, weight also plays a major role in fuel economy. After all, cars with fewer pounds to carry around will go further on a single tank of gas. Still, we don't expect to see the lightweight Fusion concept reach production, as materials will likely be too expensive to mass-produce -- though we wouldn't be surprised to see Ford incorporate many of the lightweight Fusion's elements into its future vehicles.

What it means to you: The lightweight Ford Fusion Concept boasts impressive weight savings, which substantially boost the car's gas mileage.

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Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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