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Besides all this, dozens of other little changes were made to the Focus that would bring the total up to more than a hundred pounds in weight reduction. In the case of the two-door version, the switch from a hatchback body to a coupe with a separate lightweight trunk lid shaved off a few pounds.

All car companies today put new models through this kind of weight-loss regimen. Wherever weight is added, the goal is to put it on for a good reason, i.e., improved safety. In the case of the Focus, some of the weight savings offset about 64 pounds in added safety equipment

The bottom line is to save gas, but as demand grows for safety and driver convenience options grows, finding places to trim the fat are going to get harder to find.

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Last updated May 01 2008: 9:09 AM ET

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