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Ford Advanced Materials Car (pictures)

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.

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Wayne Cunningham
Ford Advanced Materials Car
1 of 11 Josh Miller/CNET

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 Advanced Materials Car
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Ford is currently using its Fusion model to test advanced materials. This model has a wrap that shows which components have been replaced.

Ford Advanced Materials Car
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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.

Ford Advanced Materials Car
4 of 11 Josh Miller/CNET

The rear window, or backlight, is made of a polycarbonate similar to that used in headlight lenses.

Ford Advanced Materials Car
5 of 11 Josh Miller/CNET

Ford took significant weight out of the seats by replacing the metal frames with carbon fiber. This carbon fiber seat frame is exceptionally light.

Ford Advanced Materials Car
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Carbon fiber wheels are a huge weight savings for the car, even over alloy wheels.

Ford Advanced Materials Car
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Ford not only used aluminum for exterior body panels, but replaced suspension components with cast aluminum and other materials.

Ford Advanced Materials Car
8 of 11 Josh Miller/CNET

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.

Ford Advanced Materials Car
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Aluminum connecting rods in the Advanced Material Car's 1-liter engine save 40 percent of the weight of steel rods.

Ford Advanced Materials Car
10 of 11 Josh Miller/CNET

Aluminum transmission components are every bit as strong, but much lighter than their steel counterparts.

Ford Advanced Materials Car
11 of 11 Josh Miller/CNET

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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