Is the F-150's Aluminum Body Really that Great?

The debate that started in Detroit refuses to die, with more arguments for both sides.

When Ford unveiled its new, aluminum-bodied F-150 pickup truck at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, it sparked an ongoing debate that just won’tgo away. Is the lightweight material really the evolutionary metal that Fordmade it out to be, or will it just lead to higher costs and harm passenger safetyfor truck buyers? Speaking to various industry experts, Wards Auto delveddeeper into the question, finding that opinions are still quite polarized.

Supporters like Ducker Worldwide's Richard Schultz andRandal Scheps of Alcoa say that higher costs and lower supply won’t impede theacceptance of aluminum in the industry. They also argue that using thelightweight metal will actually improve vehicle safety, allowing for increasedcrush space on larger vehicles. On the other hand, Craig Parsons ofsteel-producer Nanosteel said "I think technologies like Nanosteel aregoing to give automakers alternatives to aluminum, so they can do lightweightingwith better geometries and thinner materials". With no conclusive answer,we’ll just have to let buyers decide for themselves.

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