The Future of Pickup Trucks
According to a Bloomberg News report, Ford Motor Company will be debuting its all-new 2015 Ford F150, which is supposed to feature an aluminum body construction, at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show next month in the hopes of educating consumers about the strengths and attributes of using aluminum in modern day trucks by demonstrating its military applications. According to the report, Ford has asked ALCOA to allow them to display their aluminum military blast shields in order to show just how strong aluminum can be while tipping the scales at half of what conventional steel would.
Ford is said to have cut down the weight of the 2015 Ford F150 by as much as 700 pounds through the use of aluminum body panels. Being that the F150 has been the best-selling truck for more than 30 years, the new model has big shoes to fill which is why Ford is going to talk up the merits of aluminum to customers who might very well be misinformed about aluminum and associate aluminum body panels with crushed beer cans rather than strong lightweight metal that is sure to be the future of the next generation of trucks with the upcoming fuel efficiency mandates.
700 pounds is quite a lot of weight to cut out of a modern day truck and although Ford has not disclosed how they have managed to trim so much fat out of the F150, we’re willing to bet the framework of the 2015 Ford F150 might just be made of aluminum as well. If you don’t think aluminum frames are strong enough to hold up to the stresses of hauling heavy loads or flexing over off road obstacles, consider the fact that some semi tractors have been built with aluminum frame rails in the not so distant past. Even if the frame isn’t made out of aluminum, the reality is we will probably see the use of an open C-channel frame which would no doubt be way lighter than the current hydro-formed fully boxed ladder frames.
At the top of the rumor mill is speculation that the 2015 Ford F150 will get a 2.7L EcoBoost V-6 but unlike all the other me too media outlets on the web, we’re going to go out on a limb and say this is probably not the case. It just plain doesn’t make sense for Ford to offer a smaller 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 that produces less power than the current 3.5-liter Ecoboost V-6. There really is no need for an engine that small in the F150 especially considering the truck is going to be a lot lighter which means the current engine platforms will no doubt produce better fuel economy as they stand. It’s hard to beat a 365 HP 3.5L V-6 that pumps out 420 pound feet of torque with a 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 that is said to produce 320 HP and 370 pound feet of torque. There really isn’t room in the lineup for a little engine that could that doesn’t hold a candle to the current 3.5-literEcoBoost V-6.
Less power means a lot more throttle which equates to burning more fuel at which point the weight savings would likely yield the current fuel economy that the F150’s are achieving.
All we can say is we’re looking forward to checking out the unveiling of the 2015 Ford F150 to see just what Ford has up their sleeve for the future of the Ford F150 platform and whether or not aluminum constructed pickups have a shiny future ahead of them.