According to a report from Bloomberg, Ford will unveil an F-150 with an aluminum body next month at the Detroit Auto Show. Sources tell Bloomberg the cut in weight will push the F-150’s fuel economy close to 30 mpg.
The move is seen as a big risk for Ford. The F-150 has been the best-selling truck in the U.S. for nearly 37 years and the best-selling vehicle overall for the last 32. Some doubt aluminum’s toughness and making the truck from aluminum will require an overhaul of the assembly line.
To address the toughness problem, Ford has enlisted Alcoa Inc., to provide some of the aluminum it manufactures for blast shields on military vehicles.
As far as the assembly overhaul goes, IHS Automotive estimates that each of Ford’s truck plants will need about six weeks of downtime to prepare for the changes in the manufacturing process.
Just last month we saw spy shots of the 2015 F-150, confirming that the truck’s redesign will be heavily based on the Atlas concept pickup Ford unveiled at the last Detroit Auto Show.