Tag Archive for Pickup Truck

New Ford F-150 to Feature Aluminum Body

Ford Motor Company has announced that they may be making a major change to the design of future Ford F-150s. Upcoming models could feature an aluminum body, as opposed to the steel body of old.

The change to aluminum is being done in response to tougher federal fuel economy targets.  In 2011, the Obama administration was able to pass new fuel-economy regulations that require every U.S. vehicle fleet to average 54.5 mpg by 2025.

The switch to aluminum will cut the F-150’s weight by roughly 700 pounds, which is a 15 percent decrease in overall weight.  Not only will the initial weight reduction increase mpg, but it will also open the door so that Ford is able to outfit the F-150 with smaller, more fuel efficient engines.

“Aluminum is certainly a big opportunity for weight reduction,” said Raj Nair, the global chief of product development. “We have been public that weight reduction is going to be a big part of our strategy.”

The aluminum body will only be used on the F-150.  Ford’s F-250 and heavy trucks do not fall under the new fuel-economy guidelines.

Ford uses Climate Controlled Tunnels for Extreme Weather Testing

It’s snowing in Detroit.  Although snow in Michigan isn’t the news story of the century, the fact that it’s snowing in August might turn a few heads. In Ford’s Allen Park, facility engineers have built two tunnels that can simulate temperatures from 15 below zero to above 100 degrees.

Camera crews were invited to watch Ford pummel an F-350 Super Duty pickup truck with snow and sub-zero temperatures inside the tunnel. The point of this harsh test was to make sure that the vehicle’s engine, air filter, and intake system can perform in any weather situation. Joe McCann, a Ford Engineer, said, “Every vehicle, no matter where it’s sold, could end up in cold weather conditions. We have to make sure it performs well regardless of temperature or altitude.” Ford tests weather in one tunnel and altitude in another.

The purpose of having these tunnels is to cut down on testing time. Instead of having to transport a model across the world to get the right conditions Ford can simply throw a car into the tunnels and test away. The engineers love it as well, as they can repeat a test without having variables change from test to test. This allows Ford to make better vehicles that are more durable and of a higher quality than its competition.

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