A cast metal connecting rod of the type used in a reciprocating piston engine has a beam section between two end sections. The beam section and the end sections are integral with one another and are at least partially made of a cast metal material. At least the beam section of the connecting rod includes an insert made of a sintered powder metal material. The insert is at least partially encapsulated by the cast metal material of the connecting rod. The insert reinforces the connecting rod and can help match characteristics of surrounding or mating parts of the engine that are made of materials more similar to the material of the insert than the cast metal of the connecting rod. The cast metal material, for example aluminum alloy, of the connecting rod can also provide localized regions of high machinability where needed.
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