Could 2014 Ford 150 Be Start of New 'Aluminum Revolution'?
The Future is Aluminum
General Motors' Chevy Silverado pickup may have captured American Truck of the Year at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, but Ford's aluminum-body 2015 F-150 is the truck folks are talking about. The Ford F-150 is best-selling full-size pickup in the U.S., making such a revolutionary redesign a probable industry game-changer. Check out the Washington Post review for complete info on the 2015 F-150's many impressive new features.
With a body and load bed made almost entirely of aluminum, Ford is dropping 700 pounds from the light-weight pickup's total weight. Ford is banking on the weight drop producing a noticeable jump in fuel economy. At 18 mpg, current F-150s lag their competitors in the mpg race. Both the 2014 Chevy Silverado C15 and 2014 Ram 1500 offer 20 mpg. But Ford believes aluminum construction will allow the 2015 F-150 to jump ahead of its competitors, achieving 21 to 23 mpg or better, according to Green Car Reports.
Pound-for-pound stronger than steel, aluminum's higher front-end costs have made it less attractive to Detroit. Aluminum is both more expensive and more difficult to stamp and weld than steel. However, with gas mileage requirements expected to double by 2025, improving fuel efficiency has become Detroit's top goal.
With the debut of the new aluminum body, Ford also announced a new 2015 powertrain lineup and new family of EcoBoost engines. Despite its higher price, Ford's V-6 EcoBoost has proven to be far more popular than Ford expected and now accounts for more than 50% of Ford's light-duty truck sales. Generally speaking, Ford is increasing powertrain and engine options on its 2015 pickup truck lineup, trading off power for better fuel economy. With the sizeable weight reduction from aluminum construction, Ford expects no loss in performance from the less powerful engines, although full power, tow and fuel efficiency ratings are still to come. Get the full story on PickupTrucks.com.