While GM is pushing its “evolutionary” styled new pickups with tried and true marketing, touting brawn and toughness, Ford will go with a less macho approach. It will push fuel economy for its next-generation F-150 pickups. For that, marketing has to be preceded by engineering. Ford will make its trucks shed between 700 and 750 pounds of weight for a 15 to 20 percent better fuel economy, says a report by Reuters.
The 2015 Ford F-150, which will go on sale in late 2014, “will be a game-changer that will alter the dynamics of the truck segment,” Reuters heard from an insider. “They’re shooting for best-in-class fuel economy.”
The weight reduction will largely come from an extensive use of aluminum for doors, fenders, cab and tailgate. Major chassis components will be redesigned to reduce weight.
The trucks will later be powered by a new family of highly efficient engines, currently being developed under the internal program code Nano. Small-displacement V6 engines will employ Ford’s EcoBoost technology, including turbocharging and direct injection.
The first of the Nano engines, a 2.9-liter V6, will not appear until 2016 or later, the report says. A new family of hybrid gasoline-electric engines, jointly developed with Toyota, will help meet tougher emissions and fuel-economy standards.
The F-series and its SUV derivatives account for more than 90 percent of Ford’s global profit, analysts says.