Ford Goes Big on Aluminum

Ford
Just when the best-selling truck in America could not be any better, Ford goes big and steps up to an all-aluminum body for their Super Duty F-Series trucks, starting with the 2017 models. The Ford Motor Co. in Detroit, MI announced the news on Sept. 24, 2015. The next generation of F-Series trucks will be the first all-aluminum-bodied Super Duty pickup trucks ever, and it will be about 350 pounds lighter than current models. Consequently, the new models will offer greater hauling potential and a higher towing capacity, according to Automotive News.

The big announcement by Ford is another declaration of their plans to remain the best-selling truck in America. A position the automaker does not boast about, according to a statement made by Raj Nair, Ford’s product development chief when he said, “…we never take our leadership for granted. Our team is using relentless innovation in materials, technology and Built Ford tough engineering to deliver …our best Super duty yet.” The new Super Duty line-up will be introduced at the State Fair of Texas and become available near the end of 2016.

Just like the latest redesigned F-150, each one of the Super Duty models, the F-450, F-350, and F-250 will all have aluminum bodies. However, the steel frames on the Super Duty models will have 95 percent high-strength steel, according to Fox News. Since the body will be lighter, the weight can be put into other equipment such as heavier duty drive shafts and axles. The engine line-up for the new Super Duty trucks is also impressive, and there are three options to choose from–a 6.7-liter turbo diesel, 6.2-liter V8 gasoline, or 6.8-liter V10 gasoline engine. In addition, customers will also have access to a number of new technology features and several options.

New Features on the 2017 Super Duty F-Series Include:

  • Seven cameras with a total 360 degree view, including a camera for the bed
  • Adaptive cruise control and brake support with a collision warning system
  • Pulling has never been safer with the blind spot system that encompasses even the trailer length
  • Maneuvering at lower speeds has never easier with adaptive steering
  • The tailgate can be locked and released by remote
  • An 8-inch touch screen featuring the Sync 3 infotainment system is also available

The decision to go to an all-aluminum body is the latest big risk for the family of Ford trucks, since last year’s redesign of the F-150. Furthermore, GM has attempted to characterize aluminum as expensive to repair and feeble. Nonetheless, F-150 customers have favorably responded to the all-aluminum bodied trucks, especially since they are now 700 pounds lighter than the older models. Despite that fact, details about towing capacity and power output for the new models have not been released. A statement made by Joe Hinrichs, who is the Ford president of the Americas, indicates that it achieves “new benchmarks in capability, performance, and efficiency,” as reported by Automotive News.

More evidence that Ford is on the right track in their decision to convert last year’s F-150 to all-aluminum bodies include a five percent increase in sales for August. Although sales of the trucks have hit a few low spots this year, the F-Series has remained the best-selling vehicle in America for 33 years and counting, as reported by MLive.com. In fact, the Detroit-based automaker sold over a quarter-million Super Duty Trucks last year, which helped to solidify their position as number one and raising the bar on the competition.

By Jireh Gibson
Edited By Leigh Haugh

Sources:
MLive.com: Ford introduces aluminum-bodied 2017 F-Series Super Duty pickups
Fox News: Ford Super Duty F-Series trucks getting aluminum bodies for 2017
Automotive News: Ford F-Series Super Duty Adopts aluminum body, slims down for 2017
Top Article and Featured Image Courtesy of RL GNZLZ’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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