Print 71 comment(s) - last by Darkk.. on Jan 3 at 12:07 AM

Ford Atlas Concept
Switch from steel to aluminum bodies is a major change for Ford

The F-150 truck is a very important vehicle for Ford, as it is the company top seller and a huge source of profit. The next generation of the F-150 is making a move to aluminum for portions of its structure in an effort to shed about 700 pounds and become more fuel-efficient.
The key for Ford is apparently to show F-150 fans the aluminum used in the truck has more in common with military vehicles that puny Coke cans. Ford has reportedly asked aluminum provider Alcoa to provide some military grade aluminum for its display at the Detroit auto show where the truck will debut.
“This is already the most significant debut at the auto show,” Joe Langley, a production analyst for researcher IHS Automotive, said in a interview with Bloomberg News. “Everybody’s going to be dissecting that thing for a long time, especially since Ford will be taking such a big gamble.”

The F-150 is a huge moneymaker for Ford and if fans of the truck don’t feel comfortable with the truck's new aluminum material, it could mean a big profit slump for Ford. The F-150 has been the best selling pickup line for 36 years and the bestselling vehicle in the country for 32 years.
Ford is looking at about six weeks of downtime for its truck building plants to switch machinery, tooling, and robots to facilitate the move from steel to aluminum bodies.

The huge weight savings are expected to help push the F-150 to nearly 30 mpg highway in its most efficient trim levels (there has been talk of possibly adding a 2.7-liter, six-cylinder EcoBoost engine to the powertrain mix). The most efficient model in the current F-150 lineup only musters 23 mpg highway. And it's almost guaranteed that the next generation F-150 will feature start-stop technology to improve city fuel economy.
The new F-150 is expected to resemble the Atlas concept that was unveiled earlier this year

Source: Bloomberg

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Cost?
By Brandon Hill on 12/27/2013 12:45:04 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure there will be higher costs to Ford, but I'm willing to bet that they eat into their profit to make the F-150 price competitive with the Silverado/Sierra and Ram. It also explains this:

RE: Cost?
By hpglow on 12/27/2013 1:18:50 PM , Rating: 2
Ford pickups are already higher priced at least in my area. I also bet that at least initially they will only offer aluminum parts on some of the f-150s. 30 mpg up from 23 is a pretty big step up for some this would be worth a small (think a couple hundred bucks) price increase. If you have a fleet of service trucks you could save a fortune on fuel.

RE: Cost?
By CaedenV on 12/27/2013 2:36:34 PM , Rating: 2
More than a few hundred bucks. The raw material is going to be more expensive to begin with, plus it is a less forgiving material to work with which will require some considerable plant upgrades, and constant replacement of tools. Probably close to a $1.5-2K in extra costs?

But if it is so much more fuel efficient, especially compared to some aging fleets out there, then even an added cost would probably be a justifiable upgrade.

The big question is going to be repair ability and cost of things like replacement panels and such. If those costs go through the roof then that is going to be a dealbreaker for many because work beats trucks up pretty good. And it is often cheaper to repair a truck than to handle it with knit gloves.

RE: Cost?
By AssBall on 12/27/2013 2:53:26 PM , Rating: 2
The big question is if they will bring back the Bronco in all aluminum with a modern diesel. YAH!

RE: Cost?
By stm1185 on 12/27/2013 10:48:54 PM , Rating: 2
No I think OJ killed the Bronco name.

RE: Cost?
By Reclaimer77 on 12/27/2013 10:59:07 PM , Rating: 4
That wasn't all he killed!



RE: Cost?
By Spuke on 12/29/2013 3:41:57 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Cost?
By JediJeb on 12/31/2013 10:48:04 AM , Rating: 2
That would be a sweet vehicle, in either the pre-77 model or the later ones. But then they would just make it some kind of luxury vehicle instead of a really good off road vehicle and set the price above $50k which would be a real shame.

RE: Cost?
By AssBall on 12/31/2013 8:40:30 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah they'd land-rover-ize it, which would suck.

Convenient, capable, practical, affordable , easy to maintain... Those are What I remember Broncos most for.

Leather, electronic gadgets, fuel efficiency, aerodynamics...

No... Broncos are for taking to the mountains(insert favorite hard to reach place) where none of that junk matters.

RE: Cost?
By TheEquatorialSky on 12/27/2013 8:59:31 PM , Rating: 2
The F150 looks like it's still body-on-frame, so Ford is smart to bring aluminum into its truck line-up first. Honda took a loss on the NSX and Insight, both of which used unibody construction.

A big plus is that aluminum is corrosion resistant, but lots of ferrous bits still make up a car chassis. We're a at least a decade off from being rust-bucket-free.

RE: Cost?
By JonnyDough on 12/28/2013 3:47:49 AM , Rating: 2
If the vehicles last longer, and get better fuel efficiency then they will be worth the up front cost.

RE: Cost?
By Spuke on 12/30/2013 2:27:14 AM , Rating: 2
I'd buy it used.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

Most Popular Articles5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
Automaker Porsche may expand range of Panamera Coupe design.
September 18, 2016, 11:00 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM
No More Turtlenecks - Try Snakables
September 19, 2016, 7:44 AM
ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment in Children: Problem or Paranoia?
September 19, 2016, 5:30 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki