Ford's Lightweight Gamechanger

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
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ford s lightweight gamechanger

In just a few hours, we’ll be picking up a brand new Ford Fusion with Ford’s new 1.5L Ecoboost engine. As you are well aware, the Fusion is a gamechanger. Especially the one pictured above, which loses one cylinder and 500 cc of displacement.

The 1.0L Ecoboost three-pot is only part of an overall effort by Ford to produce an experimental lightweight car. The concept combines carbon fiber, aluminum, high strength steel, lightweight wheels and tires, specially treated gas and, of course, the aforementioned 1.0L engine, to bring weight down closer to 2,500 lbs, or about the same as a base model Fiesta.

One day, we’ll inevitably see mass produced cars made with aluminum, carbon fiber and other materials that we currently consider exotic. But how far will we go in decreasing cylinder counts? Some brands are already eliminating V6 engines from their mid-size offerings. Ford is set to offer a 1.0L version of the Fusion/Mondeo in Europe, but will we ever see a triple-powered mid-sizer here? Stranger things have happened, and the newest CAFE regulations are, you know, a game changer for the whole industry.

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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  • Wmba Wmba on Jun 04, 2014

    It wasn't till 20 years ago that power to weight ratios in general became higher than this, so it's hard to imagine what all the bleating is about. It's got the Cirolla and Civic beaten today. But the whiners will whine. More interesting is that this engine is balanced on the two external, one eccentric at each end of the crank, principle. Known for well over a century. This is typically Ford practice and avoids balance shafts with their friction losses. It also has novel bathed in oil, belt driven overhead cams, and weighs 212 lbs fully dressed. This allows weight reduction in the structure as well. Very clever. Make sure to tell us how it drives, Derek.

  • Pch101 Pch101 on Jun 05, 2014

    "Stranger things have happened, and the newest CAFE regulations are, you know, a game changer for the whole industry." In this case, I would say that the European move toward emissions-based vehicle registration fees (read: annual fuel economy taxes), new EU policies that resemble CAFE v 1.0, and the Chinese displacement tax scheme are all greater drivers for this. (Brazil's displacement taxes probably also figure into this.) It would help the automakers if they could get Americans to buy some of the same stuff that gets mass produced for everyone else. The ability to make more world cars and world motors would increase their efficiency and help with profitability.

  • Hawox Hawox on Jun 05, 2014

    it's true, reducing weight would be a panacea for road cars. here in europe weight disadvantages are obviouvs. we have expensive road taxes and insurance, expensive gas. that's why we started buying diesel and then hybrid cars, we simply can't afford a v8. the golf II gti weights 900 kgs, was great fun and reasonably cheap to maintain. when i was 18 i bought the golf III gti, it weighted 1150kg was a dead horse compared with the old model and used 2x the fuel. when the golf 4 gti came out was heavier and slower and more expensive again, everybody bought the diesel instead. this is true for all compact-medium sized cars. the key is to sell a lightweight car for a reasonable price.

  • 05lgt 05lgt on Jun 05, 2014

    Unless the "specially treated gas" is necessary for the 3 pot; is it safe to assume you meant lightweight glass?