DailyTech reports scientists are working on car engines made largely from composite plastics, with metal protective casings in the areas exposed to the greatest heat. Plastic engines would weigh less and may be about one third cheaper than traditional engines. However, despite these benefits there are still many obstacles. You can find more info at DailyTech.
Car engines are still typically made by pouring melted metal into molds -- a tweaked version of a 6,000 year old process. Engineers like Matti Holtzberg, a New Jersey engineer who's been designing plastic engines since the 1980s, envision a very different production process -- one that uses molded plastics.
Mr. Holtzberg has paired with Huntsman Corporation of Houston, a global chemical company which employs 12,000 employees and rakes in $10B USD per year, to market plastic engines. Currently, the average car has approximately 300 lbs of plastic -- typically including plastic interior paneling and exterior plastic bumpers. However, the leading material, by weight, remains metal. Steel in the frame and iron or aluminum castings for the engine blocks and cylinder heads, transmission cases and axle housings are prevalent in modern cars.