Ford turns to aluminum for new F-150

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Ford said it used high-strength, military-grade aluminum alloys – already used in aerospace, commercial transportation and energy – throughout the new F-150 body for the first time.

The bet on aluminum means improved dent and ding resistance and a reduction of up to 700 pounds for the top selling pickup in North America.

Blue Oval executives said Monday at the North American International Auto Show that the result is an F-150 that can “tow more, haul more, accelerate quicker, stop shorter and contributing to efficiency.”

“F-150 is well-known for being Built Ford Tough. Now, it is both tough and smart,” said Mark Fields, Ford chief operating officer.

“The all-new F-150 redefines the future of trucks, and it is yet another example of our One Ford plan producing vehicles that serve customers with a commitment to the very best quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design and value.”
 
Ford said its 2015 F-150 is the strongest and most durable F-150 ever. Customers using the F-150 for construction, mining and utilities have tested and helped prove out its high-strength aluminum-alloy cargo box.
 
Technology additions include a 360-degree camera view using exterior cameras to create a bird’s-eye view of the truck; BoxLink, which is a combination of metal brackets and custom cleats used to secure accessories in the cargo box; and trailer hitch assist, a new rear view camera feature that adds a line based on steering wheel angle in the display to help customers line up truck and trailers.

The model will come with a range of four engines that start with a new 2.7-liter EcoBoost, a 3.5-liter V6 engine with twin independent variable camshaft timing, a 3.5-liter EcoBoost and a 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V8.

Scheduled to hit dealerships late this year, the new Ford F-150 will offer what the automaker terms the “broadest selection” of trim levels in the full-size pickup segment. Five primary trims are available: XL, XLT, Lariat, Platinum and King Ranch. Chrome appearance packages are available with XL, XLT, Lariat and King Ranch. Monochromatic sport appearance packages are available with XL, XLT and Lariat.
 
The FX4 off-road package can be added to most four-wheel-drive models, improving trail capability with an electronic locking rear axle, skid plates and off-road-tuned shocks.
 
The F-150 will continue to be manufactured at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Mich., and Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Mo.

Price was not released.