Ford unveiled a new direction in its research for fuel economy, the Advanced Materials Car. This car uses carbon fiber, aluminum, and other materials in place of traditional steel.
Ford's Advanced Materials Car demonstrates the company's research in using new, lightweight materials. Shedding weight from vehicle leads to better fuel economy and handling.
Ford is currently using its Fusion model to test advanced materials. This model has a wrap that shows which components have been replaced.
The windshield uses a treated glass, similar to that developed for smartphones, which is thin, light, and scratch-resistant, while remaining tough enough for automotive use.
The rear window, or backlight, is made of a polycarbonate similar to that used in headlight lenses.
Ford took significant weight out of the seats by replacing the metal frames with carbon fiber. This carbon fiber seat frame is exceptionally light.
Carbon fiber wheels are a huge weight savings for the car, even over alloy wheels.
Ford not only used aluminum for exterior body panels, but replaced suspension components with cast aluminum and other materials.
These resin coil-over springs are much lighter than the production steel springs. Ford is testing them in this concept for durability and ride quality.
Aluminum connecting rods in the Advanced Material Car's 1-liter engine save 40 percent of the weight of steel rods.
Aluminum transmission components are every bit as strong, but much lighter than their steel counterparts.
Ford also showed off this new battery being developed by Samsung. On the left is a traditional lead-acid battery, and on the right a combination lead-acid and lithium-ion battery. The latter is much smaller and lighter.
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