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40Why your next car may not come with a CD player

Michael Arbaugh, chief designer of Ford interiors, describes center console space as "oceanfront property" – already fully populated, with more tenants trying to move in every year. Speaking to the Automotive Press Association in Detroit, Arbaugh said one tenant he'd like to evict is the CD player because it's dead weight for audio Luddites.

30Ford, Dow Chemical partner on carbon fiber composites, hope to shed up to 750 pounds

Ford is getting religion when it comes to light-weighting its vehicles. The company has entered into a new partnership with Dow Chemical to develop carbon fiber that can be manufactured at affordable prices for high-volume applications. That, of course, is the holy grail of weight reduction, which is why other manufacturers like BMW and General Motors are also partnering with suppliers to try and achieve the same ends.

56Ford, Dow Chemical partner on carbon fiber composites, hope to shed up to 750 pounds

Ford is getting religion when it comes to light-weighting its vehicles. The company has entered into a new partnership with Dow Chemical to develop carbon fiber that can be manufactured at affordable prices for high-volume applications. That, of course, is the holy grail of weight reduction, which is why other manufacturers like General Motors are also partnering with suppliers to try and achieve the same ends.

40Study: Aluminum could reduce vehicle body weight by 40%; cut fuel consumption by 10%

After analyzing 26 individual components in compact vehicles, the University of Aachen and the European Aluminium Association concluded that using aluminum in some automotive parts (illustrated by the graphic above) could safely reduce vehicle body weight by up to 40 percent, resulting in 2.7 more miles per gallon of gasoline burned or approximately a 10 percent reduction in overall fuel consumption.

AddAudi working on hybrids, saving weight

Audi Sportback Concept - Click above for a high-res image gallery

5Next gen Audi A4/A5 to go on a major diet and get smaller engines

The cars built off of Audi's "B8" platform, including the A4 sedan, A5 coupe and their derivatives, have much to recommend them. Light weight is not among those characteristics. The lowest mass four cylinder front wheel drive A4 sedan weighs in at nearly 3,600 pounds and the V8-powered AWD S5 runs nearly 4,100 pounds. For mid-sized cars of very reasonable dimensions, these are prodigious numbers. Of course, modern safety regulations feed into this as does the continuing proliferation of feature

7Future Subaru's to vie for Biggest Loser title

Click above for a gallery of the Subaru R1e in New York

18Next Range Rover to go upmarket, downmarket and lighter-weight

With Ford selling off parts of its Premium Automotive Group (PAG) one at a time, it remains uncertain if Land Rover and Jaguar will end up under the same ownership in the future. In the meantime, Land Rover is collaborating with Jaguar on a future flagship model that will draw on Jaguar's expertise to produce a new Range Rover with a lighter-weight construction that could expand both upmarket and down.

2KTM using carbon fibre to make their X-BOW roadster faster

Click on the image for a gallery of high-res images of the KTM X-BOW.

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