ULSAB, the Ultra Light Steel Auto Body consortium of 35 steelmakers, aims to build 11 full body frames by the end of the year.
The bodies uses tailor-welded blanks. The goal is a mid-size car with body weight of around 205kg, some 20-25 percent less than carmakers plan to achieve.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the consultancy IBIS Associates will perform a cost-benefit analysis. The two-year, $22 million program will report in spring 1998.
The ULSAB design is claimed to increase rigidity by 132 percent and to cut costs by 14 percent.