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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



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RE: Why so large now?
By JediJeb on 12/27/2013 1:35:13 PM , Rating: 3
The old 71 model I owned could hold the 460CID (~7.4L) engine with no problems. I had a 302CID(5.0L) in it and it hardly looked like it had anything in the engine compartment, you could almost stand beside the engine between it and the inner fenders.

Now for certain when you slammed the doors it rang like a bell with a hollow sound, simply because it wasn't stuffed full of sound deadener and electronics and such. The dash was mostly steel with only a small vinyl padded section on the very top, as were the inner doors. No plastic to fade or break within a few years.

It just had a three speed manual that was column shifted and drum brakes all around but it was so fun to drive, and it never failed to take me where I wanted to go, well until I buried it in mud up to the axle( it was 2wd ). It was cheap, and touch and I never worried if I banged it against a tree, not like I would one of these new ones. The sheet metal was so tough on it that during a hail storm in the 90s that totaled several cars here, the only thing that happened to that old truck was bright shiny spots on the paint where the hail stones hit, not a single dent( my Dad's 90 ranger looked like a golf ball after that storm). I so miss the days when a truck was just a utilitarian vehicle :(


RE: Why so large now?
By headbox on 12/29/2013 11:01:25 PM , Rating: 2
And if a 2014 Honda Civic hits the 1970s truck, everyone in the truck will die, and everyone in the modern car will walk away. There's a huge reason why modern vehicles are heavier and more expensive: SAFETY


RE: Why so large now?
By JediJeb on 12/31/2013 10:38:04 AM , Rating: 2
That may be true, but if the driver of the Civic would have been paying attention to where they were going the wreck would not have happened in the first place. The biggest reason we need so much safety equipment now is because we have a generation of drivers on the road that worry more about who they are talking to on the phone or what song is playing on the radio than keeping control of their vehicle.


RE: Why so large now?
By aebiv on 1/2/2014 1:22:15 PM , Rating: 2
I would beg to differ considering how I totalled an Accord that pulled out in front of me without looking with my "70's truck."

All I needed was a new bumper.


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