Thursday, February 25, 2016

Thursday Twister: Downsized Restyle

Why is it that cars only get bigger/fatter/porkier with each new generation? It seems that each reboot brings with it a slew of new safety regulations, features and space that only adds mass, but today's Thursday Twister asks the question -- which cars have gotten lighter with a restyle/reboot?


An easy example is the ND generation Mazda MX-5 that was released for the 2016 model year and subtracted 250 lbs of curb weight from the previous generation.  The MX-5 had gained a few extra lbs of mass over the past few decades (honestly, who among us can claim otherwise...?) but the 4th generation trimmed some fat in unexpected ways.


What other vehicles have seen similar weight loss success in a restyle?  Comments below.  Images from Mazda.

28 comments:

  1. I guess you have to put the Ford F150 into the mix with the billions invested in aluminum bodies, which due to the reduced weight allows for motivation by smaller and lighter engines

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  2. The Ford F150 has achieved lightening a few hundred pounds over the past generation or two thanks to a switch from steel to aluminum.
    http://truckyeah.jalopnik.com/exactly-where-the-2015-ford-f-150-lost-weight-below-th-1695969964

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  3. The MR-S/MR2 Spider generation of the MR2 lost weight relative to the previous models.

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  4. Corvette C5 and C6 generations were lighter than their respective predecessors, but it seems the C7 has porked up a bit.

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  5. Actually, somewhat surprisingly to me, I think a lot of recent models are going to tick the box here with the drive for higher CAFE standards...

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  6. Perhaps one of the Biggest Losers was the Ford Thunderbird, which shed over 1000 lbs between the mid 1970s and the mid 1980s.

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  7. I don't have reliable internet sources at hand, but I'd venture a guess that the Lotus 7 lost a few pounds from somewhere between S1 and S4.

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  8. The '77 GM B- and C-bodies (the big cars and the even bigger cars.)

    And then the C-bodies shrunk again onto FWD platforms in the late '80s. With the end of the Shamu B-body GM 'downsized' the Impala in similar fashion in the '90s, and so it goes with the other GM product that's survived, what had been big-car Buick nameplates are now on Jetta/Passat-size Opels.

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  9. The Mustang lost weight when it transitioned from the barge-stang of 1973 to the Mustang II in '74. Lost weight again when they killed the II and introduced the Fox in 1979.

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    4. Let me try this again. Here's a chart of average vehicle weights by model year for the U.S. fleet. The source of the data is the annual Trends in Fuel Economy by the EPA.

      [img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-BI-FtLuTTmo/Vs-TRwFnCwI/AAAAAAAAApc/yeEpMfJgd7Y/s655-Ic42/avgwt.jpg[/img]

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    5. Pretty much from 1990-today its kind of a sales chart for SUV's/CUV's isn't it?

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    6. Yeah, mix looks like this:

      [img]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-U1nq5elJW6Y/VoMRzEvZIPI/AAAAAAAAAiY/Zi4XUf3g83I/s471-Ic42/ProdShare.JPG[/img]

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  11. The Lexus LS400 dropped about 100 pounds between the first and second generation, from 3760lbs to 3660lbs or so. It also got bigger - bigger AND lighter! Aluminum suspension arms, subframes, etc allowed that.

    The LS has since ballooned back up in weight.

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  12. I believe the Range Rover, Sport, and LR4 all lost a claimed 700+ pounds when the current generation came out due to extensive use of aluminum in the new models. Suppose you could add the F150 to the list too for the same reason.

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  13. Second generation Ford Probe and Mazda MX-6 lost about a hundred pounds over the first version - all the more impressive considering the top motor went from a turbocharged four banger to a DOHC V6.

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    1. I remember reading a piece of Ford literature talking about the content they'd taken out of the Probe to take some money out of it.

      It was also common to find a couple pounds to pull out of a car if it was on the boundary of EPA weight classes - smaller brake rotors, couple gallons smaller gas tank, etc.

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  14. The newest Camaro lost a bunch of weight when GM switched from the Aussie sigma, zeta, whatever platform to the alpha platform.
    Also, the Mazda RX-7 lost a bunch with the 3rd generation FD versus the old FC.

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  15. Ford Ranger used to be a full size truck, became a small truck

    Dodge Dart

    80s Nova

    Cadillacs shrinking since the 70s

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    1. I do not consider the thing they sell today to be a Dodge Dart...

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  16. Looks like the Lotus Evora update lost some weight
    http://www.lotuscars.com/evora-sport-410

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