Mazda has revealed more details of the weight-saving strategy that it says will help to cut up to 200kg from each of its next generation of cars.
The firm will use three different methods, concentrating on lighter materials, new designs for vehicle chassis and new material bonding techniques.
Many of these techniques were pioneered in the design of the 2, and Mazda plans to develop them further before using them to reduce the mass of a raft of new models.
The biggest change will be in the design of underbody structures, in order to maintain safety levels but not increase weight.
Instead of transferring crash forces through the car's body, impacts will be fed through the floorpan, which requires less strengthening.
This means the top half of the shell can be lightened. The car's sides will be straighter, too, with fewer curves, as this creates a stronger frame with less metal.
Mazda has also developed what is described as a 'micro-cell' plastic, with an aerated foam core. By using this material, the firm reckons it can reduce the weight of all the plastic parts in a car by up to 10 per cent.
Mazda hopes its package of changes will be able to cut 10 per cent from the weight of a car's body, and 15 per cent from the weight of chassis components.
The company also claims that continued development of the rotary engine is part of its weight-saving approach, although these potential savings need to be considered against the engine's poor fuel efficiency.