Body Type:Pickup Truck
For Sale By:Dealer
Number of Cylinders: 8
Sub Model: Lariat SUPER DUTY FX4 OFFROAD LONG BED 4X4 4WD
Exterior Color: White
Interior Color: Tan
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
It's a fairly well known fact that removing weight from a car is essentially a panacea for many of the modern automobiles problems. Does it handle like crap? Remove weight. Underpowered? Don't add power; trim the fat. Need to improve fuel economy? It's diet time.
Actually executing a major weight reduction program, though, much like with human beings, is no easy task. Unlike you or I, where motivation is the issue, the prohibitive measure in trimming a car's waistline is money. Lightweight materials are expensive, with carbon fiber and carbon-fiber reinforced plastic still primarily in the domain of higher end vehicles. Even aluminum construction, pioneered on a mass-produced level by Audi and Jaguar, is only now starting to make its way into the mainstream, thanks to the upcoming Ford F-150.
With this concept, though, Ford is attempting to show that a mass-produced, lightweight vehicle isn't too far off. This is the Lightweight Concept, and while it may look like a Fusion, it weighs as much as a Fiesta. For reference, the lightest Fusion available to the public is the 3,323-pound, 2.5-liter model with a manual transmission. A manually equipped, 1.6-liter Fiesta, meanwhile, is just 2,537 pounds.
Consumer Reports has announced its annual list of worst vehicles, a cringe-inducing contrast to its list of top vehicles. Ignominiously leading the way in 2014 is Chrysler, which has a staggering seven models listed.
Jeep nearly sweeps the small SUV segment by itself, with its Compass, Patriot and 2.4-liter version of the new Cherokee, while the only midsize sedans listed by CR were the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger. The new Dodge Dart and the Dodge Journey round out CR's condemnation of Chrysler.
Ford is taking heat as well, with the Taurus, Edge and their counterparts from Lincoln all listed as the worst vehicles in their respective segments. Toyota doesn't fare much better, with its Lexus IS, Scion iQ and tC also making the list.
Companies ranging in size from small startups to major automakers have been experimenting with solar-powered charging stations for EVs and plug-in hybrids. And, of course, people have been powering vehicles with onboard solar panels for quite some time, too. Still, Ford's new C-Max Solar Energi Concept shows the promise of a truly practical implementation of solar on a production vehicle, and it may not be as far off in the future as we had thought.
As we reported a few days ago, the Solar concept makes use of a "concentrator lens" that focuses sunlight onto the Ford's roof-mounted solar panels. The special lens follows the rays of the sun to maximize the amount of charge being fed to the batteries of the car, taking about a day to fully charge the 21-mile, all-electric range of the C-Max Energi. Ford data suggests that combination might be enough to power 75 percent of all trips made by a statistically average driver. In turn, using the sun to power a vehicle could reduce yearly C02 emissions by up to four metric tons when compared with the driver of an average gasoline-powered sedan.
We've got live images of the C-Max Solar Energi Concept, jauntily tilted on its display to best present it's signature solar panels, straight from the CES floor.