As enthusiasts, it's easy to get caught up in horsepower and torque figures, but weight remains the ultimate buzz kill for performance. The last twenty years has brought huge advances in technological and safety features, but the downside is that we've been tacking on the pounds in the process. Nissan has recognized this and is setting a course to rectify matters by attempting to lower the average weight of its vehicles by 15-percent in the next seven years when compared to its 2005 lineup.

Nissan's goal is to make use of more lightweight materials, rethink its vehicle design and get suppliers in on the action by setting efficiency targets for the parts they produce.

Considering the 350Z tips the scales at just over 3,200 pounds, which means Nissan is looking to shave about 500 pounds from the coupe's curb weight. That's going to make for an impressive power-to-weight ratio and even more compelling driving dynamics. Hopefully, the cost of lightweight materials will decrease as their popularity grows and it won't be too long before carbon fiber begins to find its way into more mainstream automobiles.

[Source: DowJones]