Auto Manufacturers Slim Down Cars To Increase Fuel Economy

As a reaction to rising gas prices, new cars are becoming lighter and more fuel-efficient. Auto manufacturers are scrounging for ways to cut the weight of vehicles, shifting to lighter materials and ditching some parts altogether.

In an interview with MSNBC a Ford honcho says the manufacturer plans to remove somewhere between 250 and 700 pounds per vehicle by 2017 and 2018. The decreased weight will lead to better gas mileage, with about every 100 pound decrease in weight translating to one more mile per gallon. The story says the redesigned Porsche Cayenne shed more than 400 pounds, and Honda is planning similar weight loss steps, noting “there are only so many levers you can pull, and two of the biggest are weight or size.”

If you’re in the market for a new car, how big a factor does fuel economy play in your hunt?

Automakers are putting their cars on a diet [MSNBC]