Coming From Ford: Aluminum Pickup Trucks

Lighter metal will help F-150 meet fuel economy standards
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2012 2:48 PM CDT
Coming From Ford: Aluminum Pickup Trucks
In this file photo taken Aug. 1, 2006, a line-up of Ford F-150 pickup trucks are shown on a dealership lot in Sterling Heights, Mich.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, file)

The next incarnation of Ford's F-150 will be as tough as … aluminum? By 2014 the company will be building most of the body of its signature truck out of that lightweight metal in a bid to boost its fuel economy, in what the Wall Street Journal calls "one of the biggest gambles in its 108-year history." The aluminum body will weigh about 700 pounds less. That alone will improve efficiency, and it could pave the way for smaller, more efficient engines.

The move comes amid gradually tightening federal fuel regulations that will ultimately force vehicles to average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. The new F-150 will keep Ford in compliance through 2020. But aluminum is expensive, and might turn off some truck purists. "There is going to be a certain percentage of the people that will bitch and complain," one dealer says. "But they will ultimately get that vehicle." (More Ford F 150 stories.)

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