All thanks to aluminum and some kick ass engineering.
On the surface, Ford's all-new 2015 F-150 pickup truck may not look all that different from its immediate predecessor. Step inside and you'll notice an overall improvement in materials, fit and finish, as well as design, but nothing you'd consider revolutionary. But it's what you can't see that makes the new F-150 years ahead of its foes. Making the big switch from steel to aluminum architecture was not only a huge financial investment but also an insanely difficult engineering project. The result: an architecture that'll stay in place for "the next 15 years."
Pete Reyes, chief engineer for the new F-150, also told Automotive News that the lightweight aluminum alloys that make up the truck's body are "military grade." Despite the huge R&D costs and other significant investments made into the project, an amount which Reyes refused to divulge, the weight saving goal will be well worth it. "When you weight save for a vehicle like a truck, which is a tool, you can reinvest that weight into doing more work. That's why we did it here," Reyes stated. But perhaps here's some even better reasoning: "When an athlete loses weight, you can walk upstairs quicker. For years we've lived in a power world where you need bigger horsepower, bigger transmission, bigger rear axle.
"When you take weight out, it doesn't matter what powertrain we have. We have improved the power-to-weight ratio 5 to 16 percent. That 5 percent represents the base engine." Basically, Ford may very well have rewritten the rules on how to engineer the modern full-size pickup truck. Now we'll just have to wait and see how the competitors respond.