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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 grant3 on 12/27/2013 8:03:57 PM , Rating: 2
Do you think the public would buy many trucks without these now-basic safety features?

Would you?

Instead of blaming the gubmint, instead blame the fact that people prefer not to have accidents, and prefer to survive them when they happen.

RE: Why so large now?
By Spuke on 12/29/2013 3:27:52 PM , Rating: 2
Do you think the public would buy many trucks without these now-basic safety features?
His point is that ALL of these features add weight. So don't complain about newer vehicles being heavier than old one's and at the same time NOT want a less safe or feature rich vehicle. Geezus some of you guys are idiots.

RE: Why so large now?
By grant3 on 12/30/2013 3:01:14 PM , Rating: 2
Actually his point was:

You can thank the Feds for some of the weight gains.

Neither he nor you have answered the question: would you knowingly buy a vehicle WITHOUT these safety traits if it were available? Do you think the market would?

Maybe you can "thank the Fed" for starting these trends, but now that the public isn't ignorant of the benefits of seatbelts, airbags, ABS, structural strength, etc. they are the ones who ensure they part of new vehicles.

RE: Why so large now?
By JediJeb on 12/30/2013 6:36:43 PM , Rating: 1
Neither he nor you have answered the question: would you knowingly buy a vehicle WITHOUT these safety traits if it were available? Do you think the market would?

Actually I just bought a 1985 Jeep Cherokee, which I think the only safety feature is seat belts. No airbags, and built before they added re-enforcement bars to the doors. So I definitely did knowingly buy one without the safety features of modern vehicles.

I know to check the air in my tires so I don't need tire pressure sensors. I rarely if ever drive on the 4 lane highways so I am not as worried about air bags, I mean if I get hit by one of the coal trucks around here air bags aren't going to help much at all. Stability control, I have never had a vehicle with that and I haven't rolled one yet, but then I pay attention and have learned to drive vehicles that are inherently unstable to begin with. If you learn controlled stab braking you can stop in the same distance as antilock brakes will. Of course most people just smash both feet on the brakes and close their eyes and hope for the best, so they need antilock brakes. If people learn to drive their vehicles, and only drive vehicles they are really able to control, most of those things wouldn't be needed.

What I think is really stupid is to add all those safety features then turn around and add in vehicle entertainment items which just cause more distraction.

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs

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