With a sizable sales advantage over all of its rivals, the Ford F150 has long held the title of best full-size truck. Every new redesign or modification Ford makes to its cherished bestseller seems to be met with enthusiastic support and, more importantly, open wallets. Why alter a successful thing, you might ask?
Evidently Ford disagrees because Ford will be making a fairly radical change to the F150 for 2015. Ford has made the decision to replace steel with aluminum, at least for the truck’s body. The 700 pounds of weight that will be saved thanks to the military-grade aluminum that will be used will undoubtedly contribute significantly to the F150’s improved fuel economy.
The first thing that many of the hard core truck buyers will ask is, “so is it as strong as the metal?” Ford tries very hard to persuade the public of this despite the fact that they are aware of it. The majority of Ford’s initial marketing efforts will focus on demonstrating to consumers how durable the aluminum body is and how much abuse it can withstand. The strength of aluminum is actually highlighted in the majority of Ford’s advertising more so than the fact that it reduces weight.
The new 2.7 Ecoboost engine Ford will release for the F150 should also be a big help in the MPG department. The new start/stop technology in this 2.7 will be promoted. At stoplights, the truck’s engine will shut off if it isn’t towing or in 4×4 and restart as soon as the brake pedal is released. The new engine won’t be the only one available, but we think it will be the one that gets the most attention and that people are most interested in learning more about. 325 horsepower and 375 foot pounds of torque are claimed to be produced. Most of the public should be satisfied with that.
No doubt the new lightweight body and new motor will enable the new F150 owners to see mpg numbers that they probably have never seen in any pick up truck they have ever owned, but what remains to be seen is can Ford convince truck buyers that this new F150 is still, “Built Ford Tough”?