If you thought a NANOSLIDE was a driving situation fixed by a dab of nanocorrection on the steering, think again.

It's actually the name of a new, award-winning technology developed by Mercedes-Benz for use in engine design.

NANOSLIDE technology is a way of giving the cylinder walls in an engine a microscopically smooth finish that allows for reduced internal friction. In turn, this can result in better fuel-efficiency, less engine wear and lighter construction.

The tech has won the MATERIALICA Design & Technology Award 2011, beating almost 150 other entries in a competition for technological innovations. Key to NANOSLIDE's success is the process by which it is applied.

NANOSLIDE employs twin-wire arc-sprayed coating (TWAS). Iron-carbon wires are melted by an electric arc and a flow of gas sprays the melted droplets onto the inner walls of the cylinders. The incredibly fine finish that results is both incredibly thin and almost perfectly smooth, with a mirror-like finish.

Friction is reduced by up to 50 percent over current technology, already vastly superior to engine building in the past. Used in a lightweight aluminum crankcase, the engine can also be very light.

You might think that the technology is brand new, given it's recent award. As it turns out, AMG has been using it for five years already, and now the technology is being applied to a wider range of vehicles including a new line of six-cylinder diesel engines.