Magnesium has attracted attention worldwide because it is the lightest structural metal. However, a high strength-to-weight ratio remains its only attribute, since an intrinsic lack of strength, ductility and low melting temperature severely restricts practical applications of Mg. Through interface strains, the crystal structure of Mg can be transformed and stabilized from a simple hexagonal (hexagonal close packed hcp) to body center cubic (bcc) crystal structure at ambient pressures. We demonstrate that when introduced into a nanocomposite bcc Mg is far more ductile, 50% stronger, and retains its strength after extended exposure to 200 C, which is 0.5 times its homologous temperature. These findings reveal an alternative solution to obtaining lightweight metals critically needed for future energy efficiency and fuel savings.