While it’s true that aluminum made a splash in the automotive industry with Tesla’s Model-S, the material’s integration into other manufacturer’s design and production lines is more subtle — however, it’s still significant. With federal goals for MPG pressuring car companies to innovate for materials and engineering, it shouldn’t be a surprise that aluminum is becoming the go-to choice for design.

From commuter sedans to trucks to performance sports cars, FenderBender reports that upcoming aluminum integration includes:

  • 2013 Honda Accord (hood, sub-frame, rear bumper)
  • 2014 Chevrolet Silverado (hood, suspension, engine components)
  • 2014 GMC Sierra (hood, suspension)
  • 2013 Cadillac ATS (hood)
  • 2014 Maserati Quattroporte (body panels)
  • 2013 Dodge Ram 1500 (hood)
  • 2013 Scion FR-S (hood)

This increase in aluminum use on the show floor echoes findings from the latest survey of automakers by Ducker Worldwide that asserts automakers are accelerating their shift away from steel to aluminum to help meet consumer and federal fuel economy demands. The survey indicated that aluminum is not only the leading material in the engine and wheel markets, but fast-gaining market share in hoods, trunks and doors.

Automakers have said they plan to increase their use of aluminum from 327 pounds in 2009 to 550 pounds in 2025.

With weight being one of the driving factors in MPG, it’s likely that aluminum materials will have become part of the norm due to properties such as strength and weight. The Model-S’ Car Of The Year award was a first, but chances are it won’t be the last vehicle with aluminum to win such a prize.