2014 F150 Will Not Be All-Aluminum
With new fuel economy standards looming in 2025 requiring fleet averages to be almost double what they are now Ford will need to make drastic improvements to its truck line-up. One of those improvements will likely be a major shedding of weight. Many news outlets and magazines have been speculating about an all-aluminum F-150 to this end, but that won’t happen for the new model coming to us in 2014. More extensive use of aluminum body panels is however likely, as currently the hood is already aluminum. Doors, body panels and tailgates are likely to follow. As for the standards we do have confidence that Ford should be able to meet them by the time 2025 rolls around. But for now we will still be driving around in steel-framed and bedded F-150’s.
Another place, by the way, where aluminum is already being used is Ford’s engine line-up (including also the transmission and suspension bits), which netted them a nice weight savings. So this really does just leave the frame and bed for the next major step in weight savings by aluminum, seeing as how many of the body panels will be likely switched over to aluminum already. We suspect cost is the major driver behind sticking with steel frames and beds as the price of aluminum is easily 4 times that of steel. This is a major consideration for a truck that starts out at just ~$23,000. The margins have to make sense!
So we aren’t ruling out that one day we’ll see an all aluminum F-150, but for now Ford won’t be switching to aluminum frames. Maybe we’ll see something even more radical than aluminum? As far as skepticism about the possibility of aluminum frames, I for one am confident Ford will ensure the F-150 will be tougher, year over year regardless of the metals used to put it together.
UPDATE: It seems the 2015 F-150 Will use aluminum extensively, read more here…