The 2015 Ford F-150 was unveiled at the Detroit Automotive Show, and the popular pick-up is making some serious changes in its new form. Ford's best selling vehicle of all time, the F-series, showed the world a lighter, faster aluminum body on top of a steel frame. The 2015 Ford F-150 is the first truck to go with an aluminum body. It will shed almost 700 pounds of weight in the redesign.
Even though the F-series is the best selling truck in America, Ford felt the need to find a way to create better fuel economy in their vehicles. In an experiment, they developed some prototypes which they used in various test projects around the nation. Without telling anyone about the switch from steel to aluminum, customers got an early look at the future of pick-ups. Ford was so pleased with the results, they decided that now was the right time to make the change.
Looking for the most fuel efficient car in America? Check out the Toyota Prius.
Because the 2015 Ford F-150 features such a lightweight cab and bed, the engine doesn't have to be able to pull as much weight. The F-150 will now sport a base 3.5 liter V-6 engine (smaller than the previously used 3.7). Upgrades can be made to the engine, but Ford feels that the lighter weight truck will actually make the new engines more powerful with better hauling capacity than ever before.
Market analysts are torn on the effect that going with aluminum will have among consumers. Some say that Ford has done their homework and will continue to be the best selling truck in America for the 33rd consecutive year.
Thilo Koslowski, an analyst at Gartner Inc. says that consumers are more worried about their bank accounts than what the truck is made of.
"Consumers don't really care about what metal is being used to make a vehicle. What they care about is if it will leave them with more money in their pocket, especially if they are using it for a business."
On the contrary, Brian Johnson, an automotive analyst at Barclays, warned consumers that the aluminum F-150 sounded all too familiar to another Ford project. The Boeing Dreamliner is an airplane developed under Ford CEO Alan Mulally when he worked at Boeing. The Dreamliner has had some notable problems getting off the ground.
"Both are are innovative products using lightweight materials that push the envelope," Johnson said in a note back in December.
Ford is content with their new model. They are willing to let customers decide on the 2015 Ford F-150. What do you think?