What you see here is the brand new Ford Fusion, and it has many around the motor vehicle industry very excited. But why? It looks the exact same in size as any other mid sized sedan but, this design is hiding one very innovative development. Ford has managed to shed almost 800 pounds off with this model of the Ford Fiesta, making it one of the biggest design changes of the year.
Last years model of the Ford Fusion was almost 3400 pounds. This year’s is almost 23% lighter, weighing in at 2600 pounds. The transformation and weight loss could be compared to taking a gorilla out of the trunk.
Ford has accomplished much of this success through its replacement of many of the steel pieces that were used in the old models with newer ones that are made of aluminum. Ford had previous success with this method of reducing weight from their vehicles, having reduced the weight of the 2015 Ford F-150 by almost 700 pounds to resounding success, according to Raj Nair, a Ford Motor Company Vice President of Product Development.
Weight has been shed in other ways as well. Everything from the wheels to the rear view mirror has been examined to look for opportunities to shed weight from the vehicle. The wheels, seats and interior components are now made of carbon fibre. The make up of the steel coil springs, crankshaft and stabilizer bars has also been changed, and are now hollow.
The back windows have now been replaced with a lighter, plastic material while the side window and front windshield have been replaced with a hybrid laminate glass, saving 35% of the weight in comparison to the standard glass. It has also been chemically toughened, making it harder and more durable.
Ford Engineers have shown great ingenuity by employing the same methods used by the makers of sports cars and super cars like Porsche and Ferrari with the new Ford Fusion.
In contrast to these super cars, however, the weight saving has enabled Ford to replace the old and outdated engine with a newer and smaller 1.0 litre, three cylinder, EcoBoost engine. All this, while maintaining much of the same performance. This means that the Ford Fusion is now much more fun to drive and has great gas mileage with up to 45 MPG on the highway. The most impressive accomplishment of this new design? It accomplishes all this without being a Hybrid.
Presently, the concept is still a research model, and isn’t 100% ready to see production in its current form. It has been developed with funding from the U.S Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technology Program and in partnership with Cosma International-a subsidiary of Magna International to study long term efficiency solutions. Although it is still in the research phase of development, Ford will be crash testing the vehicle soon, to make sure the new light weight design is up to the task. But that does not mean you shouldn’t be seeing something like this on the roads in the future. So keep an eye out for the new Ford Fusion, and stay tuned for what comes next out of Ford’s ingenious and industry leading engineering division.Back