BRAD WILEY

Will your new Lincoln be made of wood?

The first Ford production vehicle to use cellulose polypropylene parts will be the 2014 Lincoln MKX.
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Brad Wiley is an intern for Autoweek, a sister publication of Automotive News.
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In a search for the latest and greatest -- and greenest -- vehicle advancements, companies like Lincoln are looking to substitute traditionally manufactured items with more eco-friendly ones.

Lincoln Motor Co. collaborated with Weyerhaeuser and Johnson Controls in a three-year project to find a suitable replacement for fiberglass in auto parts. The three companies claim to have found the answer in natural fibers removed from harvested trees. These all-natural fibers are put in place of the traditional glass fibers, creating what they call "cellulose reinforced polypropylene."

Lincoln says the new fiberglass substitute is not only eco-friendly, it's 6 percent lighter than its standard counterpart. That might not seem like much, but in the current scramble for weight savings it could make a difference.

So far, the technology has only been used in a few Ford prototypes; the first production vehicle to use the new cellulose polypropylene parts will be the 2014 Lincoln MKX.

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