Vehicle weight savings talk is all the rage for automakers and their suppliers, especially thanks to President Obama’s call for vehicles to achieve a 35.5 mpg fuel economy by 2016.

In fact, weight savings was a major topic of discussion at this year’s Ward’s Auto Interiors Conference, where two well-attended panel sessions were dedicated to the topic. Byron Pope of Ward’s AutoWorld noted a few highlights from the conference here.

Some companies are proposing to “celebrate the substrate material” within a vehicle interior to remove the buildup of layers that add to weight, and others continue to promote reducing seat mass (remember those cool looking seats that you see in cars at auto shows that never quite seem to make it into production vehicles?).

Vehicle weight is becoming even more of a hot topic as I noticed that now even luxury brands are engaging more in conversations about light-weighting. In an Auto Spies June 8 article, Audi says that significant weight reduction will not only be important to its future electric and hybrid cars, but also their traditionally powered vehicles in order to improve handling and performance.

It will be interesting to learn more about the technologies and innovations that automakers like Audi and even the domestics implement to slim down the weight of vehicles, particularly their luxury segments.

— Jenn Korail

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