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Christopher Bruce2014-01-13 14:20:02

Ford F-150 Sheds 700lb with Aluminum Body and High-Strength Steel Frame

It will introduce a new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 with stop/start

 
 
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The biggest change to the design is the monolithic, aluminum front

Whether you care about pickup trucks or not, a new FordFordFordUnited States of America, 1903 > present92 models
2549 photos
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F-150F-SeriesFord F-SeriesUnited States of America, 1948 > present13 series
126 versions
148 photos
is important, at least to US buyers. Ford sold 763,402 F-150s in the United States in 2013, which makes it the country’s bestselling vehicle compared to the Chevrolet SilveradoChevrolet Silverado Gen.3Chevrolet Chevrolet Silverado Gen.3United States of America, 2013 > present47 versions
114 photos
in second place with 480,414 cars sold.

Ford is following the route taken by European automakers with the new F-150 by removing roughly 700lb by using an aluminum body and high-strength steel chassis. It is also offering a new, 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6F-150 2.7 EcoBoost XL FWDFord F-150 2.7 EcoBoost X...United States of America, 2015 > present1 photo
with stop/start and a variable displacement fuel pump.

The current 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 will also be carried over, but Ford has not revealed any of the other engine options.

The entire exterior body of the truck is made from aluminum and accounts for a significant amount of the F-150’s 700lb weight savings. Ford is promising that it allows the F-150 to tow more, haul more and be more efficient.

The frame for the F-150 is made from 77% high-strength steel, up from 23% in the previous generation. This change alone saves 60lb.

The major change to the styling comes in the grill, which gets a huge, flat expanse of aluminum that intrudes into the C-shaped headlights.

“The frame is the backbone of the truck, and we delivered a frame that is stronger and more capable than before,” said John Caris, F-150 lead frame engineer. “Our frame team developed exclusive, industry-first engineering techniques to create a truck foundation that is lighter without sacrificing toughness. This F-150 frame is the toughest we have ever built.”

The interior of the truck will be offered with a 360-degree camera for parking and driving in tight spots, a towing camera next to the hitch to help with attaching a trailer, 110v outlet, rear under seat storage. There is an 8in LCD productivity screen in the instrument panel with fuel economy, towing tips and the ability to create a customized home screen.

The bed will offer an integrated loading ramps, anchor points and a power tailgate.

Ford is keeping the rest of the details about the F-150 a secret at the moment, but it will be on sale late in 2014. It will launch in XL, XLT, Lariat, Platinum and King Ranch trim levels. There will also be the FX4 package that can be added to four-wheel drive models to add an electronic locking rear axle, skid plates and off-road-tuned shocks.

The F-150 will be built at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, MI, and its Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, MO.

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