A report in Nikkei Asian Review indicates that automaker Toyota will greatly expand the use of aluminum in some of its cars over the next several years.
According to the report, Toyota will switch to aluminum for the hoods, bumpers, doors, and fenders of its Lexus vehicles when they are refreshed. Currently, Toyota uses aluminum hoods and other parts on its Japanese market Prius, the Scio FR-S, and some Lexus models.
The report in Nikkei stated that "Toyota plans ot invest several billion yen to set up assembly lines exclusively for aluminum parts at a plant outside Nagoya and elsewhere."
Switching to aluminum could reduce the weight of the vehicles by as much as 100kg, and improve fuel efficiency by 1km per liter. Nikkei estimated that the Lexus LS and GS would run between 500 to 700 meters more per liter.
As of this writing, Toyota had failed to respond to inquiries from Automotive Body Repair News about the expanded use of aluminum.