How light will cars be in the future?

Sure, they're extremely efficient. But will ultra-light cars be safe, too?

James Ross/Riser/Getty Images

We see countless ads on television trying to sell us the latest fat-burning diet or exercise program. We even have medication that claims to melt away the excess fat from our bodies. Do these get-slim tactics really work? Can you really lose weight by eating only submarine sandwiches everyday for the rest of your life? Who cares -- we're talking about cars here. But what about slimming down your daily ride? Now that's something that we can sink our teeth into.

When it comes to cars and trucks, it seems that most people believe that bigger is always better. Pay attention the next time you're in a crowded parking lot and you'll see what we mean. People simply tend to feel safer in larger cars and trucks. There's nothing wrong with wanting to be safe -- after all, that's a universal concern. But the problem with building cars and trucks that have generous proportions is that extra size always means extra weight -- and extra weight means extra fuel consumption. So how do you go about building a vehicle that is large enough to make its occupants feel safe (and truly be safe, too), yet lightweight enough to meet (or in some cases, exceed) the fuel economy numbers that we're striving to achieve?

These were some of the thoughts we had when we asked the question: How light will cars be in the future?

Since we're on the topic of building cars and trucks in new and interesting ways, let's continue down that road to the HowStuffWorks article that we ranked as number 8 on our list.