Future fuel economy and emissions regulations are going to make sweeping changes to the way our cars are designed. While many of the best innovations will be made to the powertrain - whether its electric, diesel, gasoline-powered or a combination thereof - there are plenty more ways to increase overall vehicle efficiency than just modifying what goes under the hood. To that end, Subaru looks to be investing heavily in technologies to reduce the overall weight of its vehicles.
New materials like high-tensile strength steel and new types of plastic will be used where standard stamped sheet steel had been specified in the past. The goal? By 2012, Subaru hopes to have shed an average of 10-percent of weight from its line, with another 5-percent coming by the 2015 model year. When combined with Subaru's newest engine technology, the Japanese automaker plans to decrease the fuel consumption of its cars by 40-percent before 2014.