Print 80 comment(s) - last by EricMartello.. on Jun 7 at 11:37 PM

  (Source: Ford Motor Company)
Lightweight materials bring the weight of the Fusion in line with the subcompact Fiesta

Ford has made extensive use of aluminum in the 2015 Ford F-150 in order to reduce total vehicle weight by as much as 700 lbs compared to the previous generation model. While the ladder frame chassis of America’s best-selling vehicle is still made out of high-strength steel, 95 percent of the F-150’s body structure is made from “high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloys.”
Ford is looking to apply some of the same lessons that it learned with the ’15 F-150 to its mainstream cars, although some of the technologies that it is investigating might take a few years to reach production. 
The Ford Lightweight Concept (which is based on the Fusion midsize sedan; base curb weight 3,431 lbs) uses advanced materials to reduce the weight of the vehicle by 25 percent. As a result, the Ford Lightweight Concept weighs roughly the same as the subcompact Ford Fiesta sedan (base curb weight 2,628 lbs with an automatic transmission).
Some of the weight saving technologies used in the Ford Lightweight Concept includes:
  • Hybrid chemically laminated windshield
  • Polycarbonate windows
  • Composite coil springs
  • Carbon fiber seat frames
  • Carbon fiber instrument panel
  • Aluminum brake rotors
  • Carbon fiber composite oil pan
  • Carbon fiber wheels 
Matt Zaluzec, Senior Technical Leader for Ford’s Research and Innovation Center, notes that “Light-weighting doesn’t come for free” and that Ford looks to offset the higher price of using more exotic materials by “consolidating parts and using next generation manufacturing processes.”

“Consumers today want better fuel efficiency, but they also want more technology and features in the car, which usually adds weight to the vehicle,” said Raj Nair, Ford’s Group VP for Global Product Development. “A focus on light-weighting will be fundamental to our industry for years to come, and we are investigating many advanced materials applications as possible solutions for weight reduction in our vehicles.”
Given the drastic weight reduction that makes the Ford Lightweight Concept comparable to the Ford Fiesta, we should likewise see similar fuel economy if such materials were used in a future iteration of the Fusion. That would mean city/highway/combined fuel efficiency ratings of 32/45/37 mpg when using the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine.

Source: Ford

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Fuel economy not comparable
By The Von Matrices on 6/3/14, Rating: 0
RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By Brandon Hill on 6/3/2014 7:33:01 PM , Rating: 3
I don't know about the frontal areas, but the Fusion has a 0.275 drag coefficient compared to 0.32 for the Fiesta sedan.

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By FITCamaro on 6/3/14, Rating: 0
RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By Brandon Hill on 6/3/2014 8:38:50 PM , Rating: 2
That depends...

1) They both seat 5. However, putting 5 people in a Fiesta is suicide. On the other hand, I can't remember the last time I've taken a road trip with five adults in a sedan anyway -- probably when I was a broke college kid.

2) The Fiesta sedan has a cargo capacity of 12.8 cu ft vs a 16 cu ft trunk for the Fusion. The Fiesta hatch trumps them all with 25.4 cu ft behind the rear seats.

I get what you're saying, though. But all things considered, the Fusion might be comfier (especially in the rear seat), but would there really be that much of a difference in performance if the Fiesta and the Fusion both weighed the same, had similar gearing, had four people in the car, and a full trunk?

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By Mitch101 on 6/3/2014 11:11:41 PM , Rating: 5
To give you some comparison numbers I have a 2010 Fusion 4cyl as my commuter car. The 4cyl has a touch more HP/Torque than my previous cars 6cyl and I saw no sense in getting a 6cyl just to pay a few K more to have worse gas mileage on my commute. Its got enough pep for me but 5 people in the car is a road trip like you said your not going to be drag racing anyone in nearly any car with 5 people in it especially my friends. 5 only if the 3 in the back are kids. Still it will get off the line enough that your not holding people back.

General Traffic I avg 26 mpg (avg 3-6 miles are stop and go on a daily 23 mile trip.

Highway I vary from 36-42 for 42 I had to be real floaty on the gas pedal but its possible I kind of challenged myself to max out MPG. You cant drive like that with anyone behind you though it was a 240 mile trip around 2am where I got the 42.

32/45 on a 800lb 1.0 liter I would gauge as a 20% efficiency increase over the 4cyl I currently have. That's nice work and the 1.0 liter with the 800lb reduction wont be as bad as it sounds especially if they gear it right especially flat surface areas. I can only think of one light where I have to go from a stop uphill and even then my 4cyl does fine. That's the only challenge I see with the 1.0.

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By EricMartello on 6/3/14, Rating: -1
RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By Mitch101 on 6/4/2014 8:55:09 AM , Rating: 3
Mine isn't turbo and I have no vibration issues on/off power. I know what your referring to but the difference is really a higher rev from the engine but there is plenty of room to provide adequate get up and go even with 4 people in the car.

Similar HP didn't translate to same fuel economy from my previous car. I get 10% more from the 4cyl in local driving than I did from my 6 and my 6 never got over 32 on the highway.

A 1.0 liter 3-cyl engine is going to be a noisy there I agree it will have a higher rev if you looking for more power. Good soundproof insulation will make you care less.

The goal I think ford is looking for is getting hybrid level performance without it costing you 6k more. That's about the difference I recall when I was looking at the differences. I couldn't justify spending 6k more when I don't think I will spend 6k in gas the entire time I would own the car and Ill never have to replace a battery pack that would ruin any cost savings.

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By Reclaimer77 on 6/4/14, Rating: -1
RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By Spuke on 6/4/2014 9:26:41 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know. I'd have to see how it does fuel economy wise in the real world compared to the competition.

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By EricMartello on 6/5/14, Rating: 0
RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By Mitch101 on 6/5/2014 1:11:58 AM , Rating: 2
No Im comparing my 2010 4cyl fusion to their 800lb less 1.0 ecoboost and thinking it will compete with their hybrid but not cost 5k more it might cost less. For the avg commuter car it could do very well. There is a market for this there are many drivers out there that their passenger seat will rarely get used much less people with no kids who will never use the back seat unless they are practicing making kids.

True on the 40mpg but they also aren't the size of the fusion either.

There is a point where the return is minimal no matter what you shave off. Its worth waiting, seeing and trying before passing judgement heck maybe this car is geared that it never goes over 80mph. Time will tell.

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By Jeffk464 on 6/5/2014 9:24:52 AM , Rating: 3
Are you comparing two identical cars in terms of weight and aerodynamics? Because I can get over 30 MPG on the highway in a 400HP V8. In any case, power is power and there is a specific amount of fuel that must be burnt to produce X amount of power.

Wrong! Engines are far from 100% efficient. A bigger engine weighs more and naturally consumes more fuel than a smaller engine of similar efficiency. Even with cylinder deactivation more cylinders still uses more gas.

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By FiveTenths on 6/4/2014 10:06:21 AM , Rating: 3
This is false.

A 200HP turbo 4-cylinder will give better mileage than a 200HP NA 6-cylinder and it's pretty simple to understand why.

If you have a 3.0L 6 that makes 200HP it is fueling 3.0L all of the time. A 2.0L 4 cylinder capable of 15psi of boost, will act like 3.0L 200HP when you are on boost, and a 120HP 2.0L when you aren't; which is basically anytime you aren't accelerating in my experience. Less cylinders also means less pumping losses, valve-train losses, and lighter weight.

The same idea, displacement on demand, is why GM uses cylinder deactivation in some v8's and is one of the reasons why a corvette can get 30MPG on the freeway.

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By EricMartello on 6/6/14, Rating: -1
RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By FiveTenths on 6/6/2014 10:26:12 AM , Rating: 4
Two engines with equal efficiency making the same Torque/HP will use the same amount of fuel, I think this is the point you were originally trying to make. I agree from the standpoint that 1 HP requires x amount of fuel and y amount of air.

The benefit of a smaller engine, with a equal power ceiling but lower floor, is the ability to make less power when it isn't required.


It is true that a larger displacement engine will use more fuel simply because the air:fuel ratio has to be maintained and more displacement means more air, and thus more fuel is required...but that's at idle.

A good amount of time is spent at idle in the city cycle, it has a big enough impact that stop/start has been developed.



A 200HP turbo 4-cylinder will give better mileage than a 200HP NA 6-cylinder and it's pretty simple to understand why.

Not when they are both putting out their peak rated power


During acceleration the turbo vehicle is likely to consume more fuel.

At cruising speeds, the turbo vehicles smaller engine will spin at a higher RPM than a larger displacement NA, so even off-boost the fuel consumption rates are going to be similar at best.

Your original position was that a 4 cylinder and 6 cylinder engine (with the same rated HP) will have the same mileage.

If this is true, and you are accelerating the same car at the same rate why would the 4 cylinder burn more fuel?

The same is true for cruising, in the same vehicle at the same speed the same power is required, so the implication that the 6 would have equal or better mileage is directly against your original statement.

So far then, we have less fuel at idle for the 4, the same fuel for accelerating and the same for cruising. For arguments sake call the weights the same. Sounds like the 4 is more efficient.

Any "losses" incurred by the additional cylinders is more than offset by the greater number of power strokes per rev

Not sure why losses are in quotes, are you implying they aren't real? It takes power to intake,compress, and exhaust the air in the cylinders (pumping losses) and it takes power to open the valves. If you have more cylinders and more valves it will take more power.

Having more power strokes doesn't help at a rated power. One more power stroke also means 3 more "wasted" strokes.

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By mellomonk on 6/4/2014 10:44:38 AM , Rating: 3
A 1.0 liter 3-cyl engine is going to be a noisy, vibro-matic failure...but people seem to be eager to lower their standards or discard them altogether.

Sorry, but the engineers, experts, and auto press do not agree. But what do they know? They've just been driving the thing for years. The Ford 1.0L Ecoboost is one of Wards 10 best engines for 2014. Just the latest in a slew of awards it has amassed in the last few years. It is a little gem that is produces 123bhp and 125lb/ft at 1400 rpm, with a temporary overboost to 148 lb/ft available for brief periods. If you read the tests you will note that it is called out for it's counterbalanced smoothness at driving revs. The littlest Eco isn't going to be the enthusiast's choice for performance, but to those who are not caught up in generalizations it will feel and perform like the average 4 cylinder in the average Civic or Focus they have known for decades. And will deliver considerably better mileage.
Your theory of equal horsepower engines having similar consumptions is incorrect. Reduced cylinders has some tiny advantage in parasitic drag from friction within the powerplant, but the primary advantages of the modern direct injection turbocharged engines are weight, flexibility and size. Your modern 200hp 2.0L turbo four weighs less then the equivalent 200hp 6. Period. Additionally, the boosted powerplant is better able to tailor the output to conditions, for example Ford's 3.5L being able to produce in excess of 400lb/ft of torque in towing situations yet being able to dial it back considerably in non-towing situations for considerable fuel savings. The smaller packaging in time will allow designers to reduce frontal area and drag as well. Nothing is free, and the disadvantages here is cost and complexity. But computer controlled turbocharging, direct injection, and start/stop are quickly becoming the norm. Next up. HCCI (homogenious charged combustion), electrically driven super and turbo charging, and KERS (kinetic energy recovery).

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By McDragon on 6/4/2014 5:33:10 PM , Rating: 1
Energy efficiency of an ICE is directly related to the compression ratio. That is why diesels are more efficient, and why a turbocharged engine is more efficient than a naturally aspirating one.

In Europe we do get from point A to point B just fine in lots of cars using very small (but efficient) engines... It doesn't hurt.

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By Mitch101 on 6/5/2014 1:17:24 AM , Rating: 2
Not sure why you got rated down European countries who pay much more for petroleum have much more experience and need for fuel efficient cars. This is probably nothing new to the cars you see internationally its just American perception of cars that don't rank high in the BHP area are considered inferior but someday we may be forced to pay $6.00 a gallon someday.

Bigger and More HP usually means cop magnet and designated driver both not so fun.

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By Reclaimer77 on 6/5/2014 2:20:33 PM , Rating: 2
The myth of European fuel efficiency pretty much dissolves once you realize their gallon isn't the same as ours and (the big factor) the European test cycle is a JOKE and car companies can outright cheat the testing to absurd levels.

While the EPA testing cycle is only measure of what you "can" achieve. The European testing rules allow manufacturers to claim fuel economy that's outright IMPOSSIBLE to achieve in the real world.

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By Vytautas on 6/5/2014 3:16:11 PM , Rating: 4
You are really funny sometimes Reclaimer.

It may be true that the testing in Europe is not the same as in the USA (remember that our driving conditions and roads are also different), but just for the sake of argument I have just bought a second hand opel vectra station wagon (manufactured in the year 2000) for moving around Europe while visiting some family here (we are on an extended trip with my wife and baby daughter).
Yes, it's a diesel, but I do get a real life highway fuel consumption of 5 liters/100 km (no city consumption, because I use the car mainly for getting around the country, not city commuting). For the metrically impaired it's somewhat around 1,32 US gallons per 100 km, or 2.128 US gallons per 100 miles. That's close to 47 mpg. Keep in mind that this is a 14 year old car. And it's actually a big vehicle with a lot of internal volume. I hate automatics, so yes, it's a stick, although fuel consumption wise this is no longer such an issue as it was before.
I'ts not a porche, or ferrari, but has good acceleration (thanks to the high torque on low rpm of diesel motors), decent handling so on.

You were saying something about European cars fuel economy data being inadequate? As I said that may be true, but we have the upper hand in fuel economy anyway, even with similar sized cars. Using a lame excuse (different testing methodologies) in order to deny reality and facts isn't a characteristic of an intelligence wise adequate mind. And I don't consider you inadequate that way.

By Dr of crap on 6/5/2014 12:48:26 PM , Rating: 1
Then this ISN'T the car for you.
You would be a luxury car driver from your statements.

Please don't cloud the issue with us that need to save gas and drive a 4 banger. AND with todays cars, there isn't loud sounds or whinny engines from those 4 cylinders anymore.

Like I said it sounds like you should be considering these cars. And since my cars are over 100,000 miles and 10 years, I jump at any of these, thank you.

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By FITCamaro on 6/4/2014 7:49:28 AM , Rating: 1
I've got a 2013 Altima 2.5L and currently am averaging 29-34 around town. Before the summer and needing to run the AC, it was 33-37. On the highway I average 37-38.

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By Mitch101 on 6/4/2014 8:43:30 AM , Rating: 2
That was my other choice of car both nice. Seem very comparable on every level although I think they use nicer base materials in the Altima.

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By Brandon Hill on 6/4/2014 8:53:06 AM , Rating: 2
How in the world is it possible to average 37 mpg in the city with a 3200-pound vehicle, a 2.5-liter, and 180hp engine... even with a CVT?

You must drive like an old woman or something :)

Heck, at 37 average in the city, you're way off the normalized range:

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By Ahnilated on 6/4/2014 9:13:30 AM , Rating: 2
I have a 2011 Golf TDI Diesel and currently showing 40.5 MPG during my driving to and from work (not all stop and go). On the highway I get 49.5 MPG (not flat roads either) at 70 mph so if I was really hyper mileing I could do a lot better at 55 mph.

I don't have any issues with taking off from a dead stop but I also don't try and beat everyone out there to the next light like it seems a lot of people seem to think they have to.

For me in my commute to work, 10 miles one way, it is a very sufficient car and only costs me $2 to drive to and from work each day. Now compare that to my Golf GTI, that I had where it got 19-21 mpg driving to and from work with maybe 26 on the highway, I don't really see a difference in performance off the line. Front wheel drive vehicles all suffer from the same issues, too much horsepower = tire smoke and torque steer and it isn't a race.

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By Brandon Hill on 6/4/2014 9:20:08 AM , Rating: 2
I'm currently sitting at 35.9 mpg lifetime average with my '13 JSW TDI DSG. If I'm doing mostly city driving, I get anywhere from 30 to 33 mpg. I've seen as high as about 45 mpg (on the trip computer) on the highway at 70 mph.

But since I almost never drive a full tank on just the highway, my best tank so far after 11,000 miles has been 39.1 mpg -- right at the EPA rating.

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By Mitch101 on 6/4/2014 10:27:07 AM , Rating: 2
The only downside is that Diesel costs 20% more than standard gas. Even if you get 20% more MPG than other vehicles you give it right back at the pump.

Im under the impression Diesel is supposedly cheaper to produce too but they still charge more for it. Im hoping by next car alternative fuels will start to challenge Diesels cost.

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By Brandon Hill on 6/4/2014 10:46:00 AM , Rating: 2
Ehh, not around here at least (Raleigh, NC).

Diesel is $3.69
Regular unleaded is $3.45
Premium is $3.76

That's not even a 10% difference for diesel vs regular unleaded.

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By Reclaimer77 on 6/4/2014 11:23:30 AM , Rating: 1
Wow really!? I've NEVER seen diesel priced that close to regular around here.

Although, I admit, it's not exactly something I check every day everywhere I go. But still, lucky you.

By Brandon Hill on 6/4/2014 11:32:43 AM , Rating: 2
RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By Spuke on 6/4/2014 12:08:08 PM , Rating: 2
Diesel out here in CA used to be cheaper than 87 but not anymore.

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By Vytautas on 6/5/2014 3:22:27 PM , Rating: 2
In some countries diesel is actually cheaper than regular unleaded gas. Just by 5-10%, but when you add the better fuel economy of diesel vs gas, it's quite competitive even with LPG (when you include LPG equipment installation costs).

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By rdhood on 6/4/2014 10:47:11 AM , Rating: 2
How in the world is it possible to average 37 mpg in the city with a 3200-pound vehicle, a 2.5-liter, and 180hp engine... even with a CVT?

He did not say he was ave 37 in the city... he said Highway.

I also have a 2013 Altima, and I am averaging 32mpg over the last 8000 miles of combined city/highway driving.

Here is what I have noticed: The "sweet spot" of mileage is somewhere around 40mph! Seriously!I noticed that I got great gas mileage driving through really winding twisty mountains at 35mph (greater than the stated 38mpg). I get great gas mileage (greater than 33mpg) on the highway IF I stick to 65mph. Above 70 or 75 and the mileage suffers. In Stop and Go city traffic, I get around 30mpg. I have yet to average less than 30mpg on any tankful.

By Brandon Hill on 6/4/2014 10:56:45 AM , Rating: 2
He did not say he was ave 37 in the city... he said Highway.

Here's what he said:

currently am averaging 29-34 around town. Before the summer and needing to run the AC, it was 33-37.

The next sentence is where he first mentions highway mileage.

Maybe he meant highway, but the way it's worded, it clearly looks as though he's talking about city mileage.

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By GotThumbs on 6/6/2014 11:59:51 AM , Rating: 2
putting 5 people in a Fiesta is suicide

I think you need to be more careful in your choice of words if you expect to be taken seriously. That's a pretty inflammatory statement and of course is NOT a statistical fact.

You might want to clarify it's your opinion and not a statistical fact, else you should get your lawyer ready for a call from Ford.

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By Flunk on 6/3/2014 9:32:19 PM , Rating: 2
Would it surprise you to know that Ford already sells the European version of the Fusion with a 1.6L Ecoboost engine?

Without any of the weight reduction this version has. Not everyone is obsessed with 0-60 performance. You and I might be but some people just want to get from A to B. Smaller engine options are coming to everywhere as gas prices increase. I doubt they'll stop making powerful versions, how else are they going to wring more money out of us?

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By Brandon Hill on 6/3/2014 9:36:25 PM , Rating: 2
I think you mean the 1.0 EcoBoost, right, for the Mondeo?

The 1.6 is being discontinued (I think) and is being replaced with the 1.5 EcoBoost

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By Flunk on 6/4/2014 8:52:49 AM , Rating: 2
I checked Ford's UK website before posting, everything in my post is accurate as of the 2014 model.

By Brandon Hill on 6/4/2014 8:57:36 AM , Rating: 2
I just assumed that you meant the 1.0-liter because that was the topic of discussion. And the 1.6-liter has been available in the Fusion since it was first launched a few years.

And you're correct, the 1.6 appears to be a launch engine with the Mondeo as well (which is coming to market two years after the Fusion due to quality control issues).

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By Reclaimer77 on 6/4/14, Rating: -1
RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By Flunk on 6/4/2014 8:55:26 AM , Rating: 1
That's right, the BMW M3 is a tiny one-lung econobox.

They sell lots of different vehicles there, it's just interesting to see what they're selling there because the way things are going now manufacturers are going to be forced into bringing similar vehicles to market here to meet CAFE restrictions

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By Spuke on 6/4/2014 9:56:43 AM , Rating: 2
That's right, the BMW M3 is a tiny one-lung econobox.
Cmon man you know exactly what he's talking about. Why are you playing stupid?

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By Reclaimer77 on 6/4/14, Rating: -1
RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By Spuke on 6/4/2014 12:13:19 PM , Rating: 2
You can't even get a V8 Mustang in Europe, you have to pay like $100k for something with that kind of horsepower level and performance.
The 2015 Mustang (2.3L and V8) is going to Europe and the initial reservations have already sold out (9300 people signed up for 500 slots...took all of 30 seconds to fill). That's gotta be the cheapest, high performance car you can get there (just a guess though). Apparently there is demand there for this type of car. Will be interested in seeing how sales numbers are over the long term.

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By Reclaimer77 on 6/4/2014 1:13:54 PM , Rating: 1
Ah well..damn you, fine!

*edit* Until 2015 you couldn't get a Mustang in Europe etc etc

Happy :P

But wait, they're only bringing 500 over or what? Does that even qualify as "production" vehicle amounts in the EU? Or maybe that's WHY they're only bringing 500... lol

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By Spuke on 6/4/2014 6:52:18 PM , Rating: 2
Oh sorry. I wasn't trying to call you out bro! LOL! I think that 500 is just a get one first type of promotion. It's supposed to be a regular production car.

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By GotThumbs on 6/6/2014 11:53:53 AM , Rating: 2
Ford brags that the 1.0L 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine will deliver the same 123 hp as its 1.6L four-cylinder counterpart, but will offer 148 lb-ft. of torque (peak) at around 1,400 RPM.

It's a turbo charged engine.

This is NOT for racing or drag racing. It's purpose is higher fuel economy and satisfying the new EPA regulations for a companies average MPG over all their models. If they sell $1,000 that might be all they need to comply with the new EPA standards.

I don't think Ford seriously expects this to be a high volume product.

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By amanojaku on 6/4/2014 1:34:54 AM , Rating: 2
Not sure who rated Brandon down, as his coefficient numbers appear to be correct.

@ The Von Matrices

The formula for computing the HP needed to overcome aerodynamic drag is:

Power = (1/2) x (rho) x (A) x (Cd) x (v^3)


1) rho (or p) is the air density
2) A is the vehicle's frontal area
3) Cd is the drag coefficient
4) v is the vehicle's speed

Since we're comparing the Fusion to the Fiesta, we can simplify the equation by dropping a few variables: 1/2 (actually a constant, but whatever), rho and v. The air density and speeds should be the same for a correct comparison, leaving the only two unique variables, A and Cd.

simple P = A x (Cd)

The Fusion has a Cd of .275 and an A of 29.413 ft^2. The Fiesta has a Cd of .32 and an A of 27.308 ft^2.

Fiesta P = 27.308 x .320 = 8.739
Fusion P = 29.413 x .275 = 8.089

Both vehicles have similar HP needs to overcome aerodynamic drag, but the Fusion clearly needs less HP than the Fiesta at any speed.

The only concern now is weight (assuming identical tire rolling resistance). The Fiesta is 2425lbs, the Fusion is 3477lbs. That's a difference of 1,052lbs. In order to move the additional weight at the same speed, the Fusion needs more HP. 1 HP = 550 ft-lb/sec, or 375 lbs moved 1 mile in 1 hour. So the Fusion needs 2.8HP more than the Fiesta at any given speed.

Now look back at the simplified aerodynamic HP comparisons: the Fusion needs less HP to overcome drag, but more to overcome weight. What this means is the Fiesta has better fuel economy at low speeds (15-30mph), but has worse fuel economy for anything faster. Not that low speed fuel economy matters, because fuel consumption at low speeds is pretty similar whether it's 5mph or 25mph, and low speeds are horribly inefficient in general. The Fusion is more fuel efficient at highway speeds despite its added weight and frontal area. Fuel consumption ramps up after 40MPH -
at those speeds drag is worse than weight. The reduced drag coefficient is pretty powerful.

Of course, none of this considers gearing or other factors.

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 6/4/2014 10:05:10 AM , Rating: 2
So, practically, reducing weight is more a means of improving acceleration and handling, with some city economy thrown in for good measure.

Seems to me that if you graph the power use in a fairly wide range of driving environments, then have electric motors that max out at the max power use while sizing a range extender for the mean energy use figure (perhaps with a high-power mode that's rarely used), that would be pretty ideal for efficiency in a hybrid.

RE: Fuel economy not comparable
By snhoj on 6/4/2014 10:11:29 PM , Rating: 2
So, practically, reducing weight is more a means of improving acceleration and handling, with some city economy thrown in for good measure.

Weight affects more than just rolling resistance with regard to energy use. The amount of power required to achieve a specific acceleration is greater in a heavier vehicle reflected in the higher kinetic energy at any given speed attained. More power is required to drive a heavier vehicle up a given grade as reflected in the greater potential energy attained. More energy is dumped via the brakes when descending a grade or slowing down.

By DeepBlue1975 on 6/4/2014 1:04:04 PM , Rating: 2
The drag coefficient alone does not tell the whole about aerodynamic resistance.

You also need to factor in the frontal area of each car so you come up with the SCx.

Also, the influence of aero drag on fuel consumption depends much on speed, in city driving with a lot of start & stopping that factor is almost negligible and weight makes for a heavier argument

I can't see...
By Iketh on 6/3/2014 7:18:04 PM , Rating: 2
I can't see the carbon fiber wheels and seat frames reaching production, especially the wheels. The wheels could increase vehicle cost by the thousands unless they've found a way to mass produce them.

I'm interested in the brake rotors though. Never knew aluminum was possible there.

RE: I can't see...
By The Von Matrices on 6/3/2014 7:26:01 PM , Rating: 3
The polycarbonate windows are also interesting, but if they're anything like other polycarbonate products, they will be full of scratches in short order.

RE: I can't see...
By Flunk on 6/3/2014 9:21:45 PM , Rating: 2
Some European models of car use poly-carbonate windows to reduce weight for the side and rear windows. They suck, they're loud, scratch easily and feel flimsy.

RE: I can't see...
By zephyrprime on 6/4/2014 12:25:10 PM , Rating: 2
I had heard the Irish were developing and requiring glass coated polycarbonate tavern glasses in order to reduce injuries from bar fights. Maybe the same technology is being used here.

RE: I can't see...
By inperfectdarkness on 6/4/2014 2:24:17 AM , Rating: 2
Aluminum is actually substantially better at heat dissipation than steel, which would be of dramatic benefit for braking applications, which usually all rely upon turning kinetic energy into thermal energy.

The issue (as I see it) is that since aluminum is a softer metal, the rotors could potentially wear faster. Conversely, softer pads that don't prematurely wear an aluminum rotor would likely have to be replaced more frequently. Additionally, as far as I can hypothesize, a "hybrid" rotor with steel face and aluminum skeleton would not be feasible, due to galvanic corrosion.

RE: I can't see...
By Iketh on 6/4/2014 7:06:13 PM , Rating: 2
and the different rates the 2 metals expand when heated

RE: I can't see...
By zephyrprime on 6/5/2014 11:35:32 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder if they had to make the rotor substantially bigger to make up for the faster losses due to using a softer metal. Maybe you could bolt the rotor onto the outer rim of the wheel instead of onto the center?

By ptmmac on 6/4/2014 1:27:48 AM , Rating: 2
Okay, I admit my subject is more than a little bit over the top. Americans do have many wonderful character traits. Especially those people who believe in the freedom that comes from being less selfish and self-centered.

My own optimistic take on this is derived from some of the reading I have done on the new F1 designs. The addition of fuel limitations has fundamentally challenged the assumptions of what a smaller engine can do. We are talking about a change from 160 kilos of fuel to 100 kilos without a huge loss in capability in the cars themselves. That is over a 35% improvement in fuel economy for the same distance raced. The reason for the change in the F1 car was the builders and designers were spending 10's of millions of Euros designing vehicles that were not going to help the manufacturers who were paying for the research improve their technology. F1 as a test bed for improving commercial cars is much more reasonable for companies like Mercedes to get behind. Claiming that 4 cylinders can't do the job is just silly when you see these cars are running on 4 cylinders.

Several technologies are hitting the road over the next 5 years. High efficiency and energy dense Opoc engines, and next generation hybrid engines with several new battery technologies are just 2 that seem to be close to market.

A little bit further down the road is direct heat to electricity conversion from metamaterials.

Making more efficient engines is just half of the problem. The weight reduction without losing safety is the other. Getting the weight reduction first is simply good design. Fix the easy problems first then add new engine designs to kick it to the next level

Next time just...
By overlandpark on 6/5/2014 12:20:57 AM , Rating: 2
take the 3 fat chicks out of the trunk and it's a done deal.

By p05esto on 6/3/14, Rating: -1
RE: why?
By cruisin3style on 6/4/2014 12:00:01 AM , Rating: 4
this is already the case little 4 door mazda doesn't stand a chance against a big truck or SUV

that is why i love seeing people in trucks and SUVs flying down the highway at 80+mph...being responsible drivers. this goes back to another article on here that was about cars, and it said the average stopping distance from 40mph was more than my car is supposed to stop from 60mph. Presumably because those big trucks and SUVs have so much mass to slow down. I have to be careful in my sporty car because not everyone is responsible and leaves several car lengths in front of them just in case something horrible happens. If i have to slam on my brakes the car behind me might be worse performing in the brake department and i'll be dead because they ride people's a$$es even on the freeway at high speeds

anyway, back to the topic, personally i like the idea of weight reduction, seems like the natural evolution of production cars, but i'm young with no kids so obviously those priorities will change someday..

RE: why?
By inperfectdarkness on 6/4/2014 2:37:57 AM , Rating: 5
This. A 3000 lbs vehicle is going to be able to stop substantially shorter than a 4000 lbs vehicle--provided both are equipped with the same tires & braking system.

I don't buy the "SUV is safe" myth. I've lived in Europe for 2 years, and the largest passenger vehicles on the roads over here are station wagons & compact pickup trucks. People are not "dying in droves" over here either. Small, nimble, lightweight cars are inherently fuel efficient, brake better and maneuver better.

God forbid that the Opel Tigra, Renault Wind or Fiat Punto ever come to the USA. /sarcasm

RE: why?
By cruisin3style on 6/4/2014 2:56:50 AM , Rating: 2
i'm not sure but it seems like you meant to respond to someone else. because I never said people were dying in droves or argued that "SUVs are safe," and your sarcasm can't be aimed at me since i drive a small nimble lightweight car myself and mentioned it in my first(?) sentence, in fact i've owned 3 small nimble sporty japanese cars.

Much heavier cars or trucks will do damage to small cars in a crash though, it is just physics. Being safe and being capable of doing damage to smaller cars aren't the same thing i dont think

RE: why?
By cruisin3style on 6/4/2014 8:03:31 AM , Rating: 2
i retract what i said, mostly because last night i apparently gave up the ability to see the first word/sentence in people's posts

RE: why?
By bug77 on 6/4/2014 3:08:05 AM , Rating: 1
The stopping distance is a bit of a red herring. Not all (many?) accidents happen because of not hitting the brakes. Loss of attention or control are more common. And in a collision, SUVs are safer. It's really sixth grade physics: the heavier car will suffer proportionally less deceleration. And deceleration kills. If you don't believe me, just imagine a Mack truck vs anything smaller (and the Mack truck will be at a serious braking disadvantage still).

RE: why?
By Nightbird321 on 6/4/2014 4:07:00 AM , Rating: 2
And hence the race to increase the weight of cars... In a collision, two equal weight cars offers the least chance of injury for the people in both cars. Any increase in safety by increasing the weight of one car comes at the expense of additional injury in the other now lighter car. It doesn't help that the perception of safety can induce people in heavier cars to drive more distractedly.

RE: why?
By bug77 on 6/4/2014 4:18:04 AM , Rating: 2
It's not a race if you don't become obsessed with it. Heavier is safer, but there's also "safe enough". And that's what most people (think they) are buying.

RE: why?
By jRaskell on 6/4/2014 12:52:19 PM , Rating: 2
Heavier is ONLY safer if it's vs. a lighter car. If the vehicles are of similar weight, then there's no reduction in impact forces.

A typical SUV colliding with a compact car will definitely have an advantage, but that advantage is entirely due to the difference in weight of the two vehicles. If everyone follows your line of thinking then everyone starts driving SUVs, and a typical SUV colliding with another typical SUV will have no advantage at all. It'll be no different than a typical compact car colliding with another typical compact car.

RE: why?
By bug77 on 6/4/2014 3:45:32 PM , Rating: 2
I have explained the same thing a couple of posts below.

But the point is, heavier is safer, so there's a real reason to choose a SUV. No need to dismiss people for that. I personally know a guy that didn't think much about security until someone flattened his trunk (after a relatively low velocity impact). He didn't go for a SUV, but he searched for a car with with better safety and went with a BMW sedan. Still significantly heavier than what he had before.

RE: why?
By The Von Matrices on 6/4/2014 12:46:17 AM , Rating: 5
The problem with your argument is that you're advocating an "arms race" of who can drive the heaviest and bulkiest vehicle. The only reason your heavy vehicle is "safer" is because there are light vehicles on the road; two heavy vehicles crashing into each other is no safer than two light vehicles crashing into each other.

RE: why?
By Strk on 6/4/2014 7:30:43 AM , Rating: 4
Not exactly.... Companies are doing a lot to make the cars themselves stronger. The added weight of an SUV isn't even for structural integrity. 500-1000lbs of seats and amenities isn't making you any safer. A SUV is mostly empty space.

Now there are differences in the size of cars as far as energy dispersion goes. It doesn't matter if the interior is relatively unscathed when your body still has to absorb a ton of energy.

RE: why?
By BRB29 on 6/4/2014 8:09:34 AM , Rating: 4
"Who in the world would drive in these little death trap cars? My life is far more valuable to me than a little fuel economy "

If all cars were 500 lbs lighter, the same accident rates in all the same scenarios, then you would see a dramatic decrease in fatalities and injuries.

Fuel savings is one good thing. Fuel savings were a direct result of less mass. Less mass means less energy is involved when accidents happen.

Those old heavy cars of past decades have very high fatality rates for both the passengers of the vehicle and the other vehicles involved. Smart safe designs will trump brute force.

I also can't help but feel this is one of the most ignorant comments. If you think that you can buy a big heavy car to be safer in accidents, then you obviously don't care about other drivers on the road. Looking out for #1 does not mean screwing over everyone else.

RE: why?
By bug77 on 6/4/2014 8:59:58 AM , Rating: 2
If all cars were 500 lbs lighter, the same accident rates in all the same scenarios, then you would see a dramatic decrease in fatalities and injuries.

That is just wrong. If two cars weighing 1lb would crash head-on at 100mph, do you think you'd stand a chance?
Absolute weight is not the most important aspect in a car crash. Relative weight is. If two equally heavy cars collide head-on, at the same velocity, both drivers would bear the same deceleration. But if one vehicle is twice as heavy, its driver will bear half the deceleration the other driver will.
Try this with two balls of different weights: roll them towards each other at (roughly) equal velocities and see what happens.

RE: why?
By KFZ on 6/4/14, Rating: 0
RE: why?
By grant3 on 6/5/2014 4:16:37 PM , Rating: 2
If you think your Hummer2 is going to give you superior protection against "commercial vehicles, immovable objects, and extreme weather" then good luck with that.

Personally I believe that, by definition, any 5-star rated vehicle will protect you equally when you slam into a tractor trailer. But you can go ahead and spend the money to gamble that adding 2,000 lbs to your SUV will somehow make a difference when you're facing off vs. a 23,000 lb big rig.

RE: why?
By Reclaimer77 on 6/4/2014 8:34:44 AM , Rating: 1
While it is true mass plays *some* role in safety, or more specifically mass differential, I think calling this a "death trap" car is just pure hyperbole at this point and wild speculation.

Ford is shedding weight on existing models with ample crumple zones and all the safety features included.

"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Most Popular ArticlesFree Windows 10 offer ends July 29th, 2016: 10 Reasons to Upgrade Immediately
July 22, 2016, 9:19 PM
Top 5 Smart Watches
July 21, 2016, 11:48 PM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki