Engineering lightweight valves for the use in IC-engines has taken different development routes. This paper describes the pros and cons of different materials in comparison with steel and its lightweight potential. A new type of lightweight valve was developed with similar robustness as conventional all-metal valves. A strong point of this new approach is that the functional areas of the lightweight valve can be optimised using the best material for the local requirements, like tribology, thermal resistance, mechanical strength. The chosen geometry is the result of a systematic design optimization, which reflected finite element (FE) calculations and manufacturing feasibility studies.