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.

Published:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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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