Car companies draw inspiration from the strangest of places. The styling of the 2010 Nissan Cube was apparently inspired by the look of a bulldog in sunglasses, and the fins of many 1950s cars were a homage to the space race.

However, we've not yet seen car technology inspired by a chocolate bar - until now. In the ongoing pursuit of reducing weight, Ford has created what it calls 'MuCell' technology to reduce the weight of plastics, inspired by the Aero chocolate bar sold in several markets around the world.

What makes an Aero an Aero are the thousands of air bubbles inside the bar that give the chocolate texture and help it melt easily on the tongue. Without reducing one of life's luxuries to mere technicalities, the bubbles mean a greater surface area of chocolate too, improving the taste.

MuCell won't make your car's dashboard taste any better (joining plastics made from fruit on that particular list...) but it too features air bubbles inside the plastic, and on a microscopic level a cross section of the material looks remarkably like that of the chocolate bar.

Aero chocolate bar

Aero chocolate bar

The gas bubbles introduced during manufacture mean that less plastic is used, reducing the weight of a given component by about 20 percent, without compromising its durability thanks to a strong honeycomb structure. Not only is it strong, but the components are quicker to produce and use fewer materials, which reduces production energy consumption and emissions, in turn resulting in a more environmentally friendly product.

That's before it even goes on the car - as we all know, reducing weight is an effective method of allowing cars to not only perform and handle better but also use less fuel (or indeed electricity) for a given distance.

The 2011 Ford Focus will be amongst the first cars to use the new component technology, but it will eventually be used in several other vehicles. Ford aims to reduce the weight of its cars by at least 220 lbs in smaller cars and up to 660 lbs in larger cars by 2020.