You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Your car: On a diet

Microsoft IES Logo By Mark Toljagic for MSN Autos of Microsoft IES | Slide 1 of 21

An automotive guide for weight management

It happens every January: gyms and weight-loss clinics balloon with new recruits looking to shed some unwanted kilos. Automotive engineers have been thinking about weight loss, too, but not because of a particularly indulgent holiday season. With the U.S. corporate average fuel efficiency (CAFE) target expected to rise to a lofty 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025 (that's 4.3 L/100 km for us Canadians), the race is on to develop more fuel-efficient cars and trucks.Given that for every 10 per cent reduction in vehicle weight results in a seven per cent improvement in fuel economy, it's no wonder automakers and their component suppliers are scrambling to adopt new lightweight technologies. Advanced high-strength steels, aluminum, magnesium and other alloys, along with new uses for polyurethanes, thermosetting composites and other plastics, promise to turn our formerly steel cars into a smorgasbord of materials - all without compromising safety and durability.Here's a quick look at some of the ways automakers will be incorporating weight-saving technology into our near-future rides. Unfortunately, trimming the mass behind the steering wheel may be the most elusive challenge of all.
© Photo: Giuseppe Graziano/Imagebroker/Getty Images
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon