It's goodbye steel and hello aluminum, according to sources from inside the Detroit automaker.
Apparently Ford is going ultra-light with their next generation F-150, due in 2015. According to the Wall Street Journal, sources from the Detroit automaker report there are plans to shed almost 700lbs from their iconic F-150 model range, leading to a change that could impact the way people around the world view trucks. The big change from a steel to an aluminum body would not only save an incredible amount of weight but also help Ford meet the strict fuel standards handed down from the US government.
In addition to the new trend of turbocharged V6s replacing the contemporary V8, Ford might well be on their way to achieving previously unheard of numbers in terms of efficiency for trucks. WSJ also says that this gamble in materials would present a bit of a problem in terms of marketing as pickup truck buyers are a stubborn and conservative sort. If these reports are to be believed, then convincing them aluminum is as tough as steel could prove to be quite the challenge.
Rising fuel costs could be as good an argument as any to persuade consumers to change their tune towards the lighter material. Ford would then, of course, be challenged to keep costs down as the aluminum used in automobiles tends to run a much higher price than standard steel.