One of the biggest news items at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit was Ford’s announcement of high aluminum content in its 2015 F-150 series of trucks. Now Edmunds.com is reporting that the Ford Expedition and Explorer may not be far behind.
Ford’s aluminum body panels cut the truck’s weight by 700 pounds compared to the outgoing model, although Ford’s roster was heavier than the competition, all things being equal. A primary reason for this weight savings is due to government-imposed fuel economy standards. However, aluminum is more expensive than traditional steel, prompting concerns on the price penalty of the new vehicles. Ford’s continued use of more aluminum content in its vehicles is likely to reduce the impact on the window sticker.
These aren’t the first Ford products to make a large use of aluminum—back in 2003, Jaguar’s XJ sedan was one of the first production vehicles to exploit the lightweight material as a major component. Ford owned the British brand at the time.
Edmunds.com estimates we can expect high aluminum content to appear in Ford’s SUVs and crossovers over the next 5-6 years.