The second-largest US automaker is proposing an industrial revolution, with its most important US model switching to an aluminum-intensive body in a bid to further extend the model’s average fuel economy.
Much hype has surrounded the best-selling model in America (32 years in a row, best-selling pickup truck for 43 years) since the company said it decided to completely overhaul the model and the production process to allow for intensive use of aluminum instead of steel. With weight savings that reach as much as 700 pounds, now the company has revealed the 2015 F-150 should deliver better fuel economy of 5 to 29% (depending on version and equipment) than its outgoing predecessor.
The carmaker’s top-selling and most profitable vehicle would get n estimated fuel economy of 26 mpg (highway) and 19 mpg (city) when equipped with the new 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine, according to Raj Nair, Ford’s product-development chief. The truck’s production was officially started earlier this month and the model is scheduled to hit dealer lots before the year’s end.
Meanwhile, the best fuel economy for a GM competitor – Chevy’s Silverado – is 24 mpg on the highway with a 4.3-liter V6 engine, according to official figures from the US Department of Energy. The Ram pickup’s (ruling out the diesel engine) best figure is 25 mpg with the 3.6-liter V6 engine. On the other hand, GM’s 5.3-liter V8 engine remains better than Ford’s own 5.0-liter V8 – at an average of 23 mpg combined to the latter’s 22 mpg.