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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: 100mpg civic
By flyingpants1 on 12/28/2013 10:31:35 PM , Rating: 2
All you need is a more streamlined shape to minimize air drag. Otherwise you are just burning gas to push air around .

The cars actually look fine, newer cars like the Tesla Model S, GM EV1, Dodge Intrepid ESX, Volkswagen XL1 all look fine. And they have a drag coefficient somewhere between 0.17-0.23 CdA. Ideally all cars should have very low drag like this.

If anyone sold a 100mpg car people would buy the hell out of it, no matter what it looked like. The fact is that fuel efficiency and aerodynamics are not really a main focus of the big car manufacturers, although they should be.

RE: 100mpg civic
By Reclaimer77 on 12/29/2013 4:24:02 AM , Rating: 2
Even with that shape, I call BS on getting a true 100 MPG with that car.

The fact is that fuel efficiency and aerodynamics are not really a main focus of the car buying public

Fixed that for you. If it was, hybrids would have more than 3% of the market. Or we would all be driving 50mpg Geo's around today.

RE: 100mpg civic
By Spuke on 12/29/2013 3:56:23 PM , Rating: 2
Some crackpot always brings that car out on these discussions on the internet.

RE: 100mpg civic
By grant3 on 12/30/2013 2:02:47 PM , Rating: 2
Tesla S: .24 <-- the only mass- production model on your list.
ESX: .22
EV1: .195
XL1: .189

Even if we take these manufacturer-provided estimates as accurate they are outside the ".17-.22" range you claim.

BTW, the car you originally linked, even the *OWNER* only claims 95mpg, and only under ideal conditions: non-ethanol gas, highway driving at 65mph. NOT the 100mpg your original post said.

We all get your point (that aerodynamics matter) but you only harm your argument when you use slippery exaggerations to push it.

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