It was big news when Ford announced its 2015 F-150 series of trucks would have liberal use of aluminum to cut weight. But what other creative ideas did Ford have that didn’t make production?
Automotive News attended an industry gathering yesterday and had the opportunity to hear chief engineer Pete Reyes talk about some of the proposals made in the creation of the upcoming F-150 series.
For example, Ford gave three fleet companies aluminum-bedded pickups—without them knowing—to see how they would withstand the rigors of the daily grind. This experience let Ford to increase the gauge of aluminum by almost 50 percent.
Another consideration was a magnesium front-frame crossmember, as it is stronger and lighter than aluminum. However, engineers didn’t find it cost-effective and went with a high-strength steel version.
On the other hand, Ford went with a traditional steel spare tire rim instead of an aluminum one. They even considered doing away with the spare entirely but “our F-150 customers wouldn’t stand for that,” Reyes said.
Ford’s redesigned F-150 is expected to reach U.S. dealers later in 2014.