Ford sure enjoys shaking up the truck industry.
In recent years, the maker of the best-selling trucks in America was the first to introduce a turbocharged V6 to the full-size pickup market and build a truck with aluminum body panels.
Both moves were huge gambles–Ford risked the loss of market share, not to mention the ridicule of truck buyers and competitors alike.
An amazing thing happened, though. People continued to buy the trucks in droves and competitors have announced plans to follow Ford’s path.
Now it looks like Ford will push the limits again.
Let’s start with the work-ready F-250 Super Duty. This is the truck that defines toughness. It’s the truck that hauls horse trailers, yachts, and massive travel trailers. It’s the truck that, at least according to Ford’s commercials, continues to build America by hauling loads of steel and rebar.
And it’s going aluminum.
The news of Ford’s decision to use aluminum for the body and bed of America’s hardest-working truck was announced in September, and last week the automaker said it would use the same supplier that makes the F-150‘s bodywork.
Using aluminum allowed engineers to create what Ford is calling the strongest Super Duty ever. That’s because the lightweight material allowed for sturdier parts such as larger axles, stronger brakes and hitches, and stronger driveline parts, all while reducing the truck’s overall weight by up to 350 pounds.
The Detroit Free Press said,
The truck sits higher off the ground, is wider and the cabs are up to five inches longer than the outgoing model, depending on the trim level, said Gordon Platto, chief designer for F-Series trucks.
Now let’s turn our attention back to the F-150. Remember last week when we said Ford is investing $4.5 billion into 13 new electrified vehicles by 2020? It turns out one of those models will be Ford’s most important vehicle, the F-150.
CEO Mark Fields said in an NPR interview,
Well, we do have plans to have a rear-wheel drive hybrid truck but [sic] the end of the decade. So yes, we’re working on electrified F-series, and it’s really around a conventional hybrid.
That’s big news. A hybrid F-150 would, if successful, once again force the world’s other truck makers to rethink the definition of the full-size truck. But Ford isn’t stopping there.
There are also rumors that the F-150 will get a diesel engine sourced from the new Land Rover Range Rover. This particular V6 diesel produces 254 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque, and it could be the motor that finally gets the F-150 over the 30-mpg mark.
Which of these new Ford trucks most interests you: the aluminum F-250, the hybrid F-150, or the diesel F-150?