Hinrichs: Extensive Use Of Aluminum Only For Truck Lineup
The King of Truck Mountain may have new aluminum armor these days, but Ford has no plans on fully equipping the rest of its lineup with the metal.
According to Automotive News, Ford President of the Americas Joe Hinrichs says other, more cost-effective methods for improved fuel economy take precedence over building an all-aluminum Mustang, Fusion or Fiesta:
One of the big benefits you get from lightweighting on trucks is you give customers more capability that they want. You can tow more, you can haul more, you can do more of those things by taking the weight out. You don’t get those same benefits to a consumer on a car side. So truck buyers will pay for more capability. Car buyers will pay for better fuel economy, but there’s other ways to get fuel economy in a car.
As far as lightweighting the overall line is concerned, Hinrichs says aluminum may be kept to individual parts such as the hood and doors. Other materials could come into play down the road, however, such as the carbon fiber wheels on the Shelby GT350R that helped the super-pony car shed 52 pounds of unsprung weight.
I don't get the "terrible real world fuel economy" statement. I drive dozens and dozens of 1 and 2 year old Fusions/Taurus/Explorers through a large auto auction. Just pushing the fuel economy readout shows most Fusions at 22 to 28 mpg, Taurus at 21 to 22, and Explorer at 18 to 21 mpg. These are primarily ex-rentals and those numbers are probably a fair representation of what the cars are getting over 10 to 20,000 miles. These numbers are between the EPA city and combined rating. I just drove my 2011 Taurus from Pigeon Forge Tennessee to Nashville and got 28.7. That being said, making the cars lighter than they are is a good idea.
Somebody slapped the front end of that truck with an ugly stick so hard it went cross eyed.
Yeah, skip the aluminum. Carbon fiber FTW!
Super Pony. I have not seen that before. I like the term, is it new?