Last Friday Ford announced its redesigned aluminum-bodied 2015 F-150 will offer the highest EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings among full-size gas-powered pickups.
When equipped with the new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, a turbocharged engine that includes Auto Stop-Start, the 4×2 F-150 delivers estimated ratings of 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined.
The 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine has not been previously offered by Ford and is one of four powertrain options available for the updated lineup of this, the country’s best-selling vehicle.
Also available for the F-150 line are a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, a 3.5-liter V6 without EcoBoost, and a 5.0-liter V8. It’s believed a 6.2-liter V8 will be reintroduced for next model year.
Depending on model, fuel economy for the 2015 Ford F-150 has improved between 5-20 percent when compared to current models, according to Ford.
Ford’s use of “military spec” aluminum has caused much discussion in the industry and among drivers who use these vehicles both for personal and commercial purposes.
The 700 pounds or so saved thanks to aluminum will incrementally add up to a lot of fuel conserved given the sales volumes of these trucks, and such “lightweighting” is an alternate approach to improving powertrain efficiency, such as by hybridization.
Ultimately however, the move to aluminum alloy throughout the entire body frame is a risk for Ford. While the aluminum offers high tensile strength and will not corrode, it also comes with a higher price tag. Depending on the model, prices on the 2015 F-150 will rise between $340 and $3,385 over 2014 prices. This represents an increase of between 1 – 7 percent, depending on base trim line.
Nor does it make the vehicle the most efficient. Ford has been careful not to say the 2015 F-150 has the highest fuel economy ratings of any full-sized pickup available. That designation is currently held by the 2014 Ram 1500 4×2 EcoDiesel with its 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine providing EPA fuel-economy ratings of 20 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined.
There are no initial projections from Ford as to which of the engine options will dominate sales. The previous F-150 offered a 3.5-Liter EcoBoost engine and accounted for approximately 40 percent of sales. In 2013 Ford more than 521,000 F-150 trucks in the United States.
Ford has recently begun production of the 2015 F-150 with deliveries to dealerships expected to begin in December.