Ford’s Aluminum F-150 Needs Less Power Than Current Truck

Ford Motor Co., the second-largest U.S. automaker, said its new aluminum-bodied F-150 will come with less standard horsepower and torque than today’s pickups. In the lighter truck, drivers won’t miss it, Ford said.

“It’s really going to be an amazing difference in performance when driving,” Doug Scott, Ford’s truck marketing manager, said at an event to discuss the new F-150’s performance at Ford’s Dearborn Development Center. “Every single customer is going to get better performance.”

The new F-150, which weighs 732 pounds (332 kilograms) less than the current model, will start with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that delivers 283 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque, Ford said. While that’s less oomph than today’s 3.7-liter V-6 with 302 horses and 278 pound-feet of torque, the new model has a higher power-to-weight ratio, Scott said.

Ford’s F-Series pickups have been the industry’s best-selling vehicle line for 32 years. Using aluminum to cut weight would help meet rising fuel-economy standards. The new pickup may approach 30 miles (48 kilometers) per gallon on the highway, up from 23 mpg in the current version. Scott declined to say what the new truck’s fuel economy will be.

The new F-150 can also be bought with a six-cylinder, 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine, which will have 325 horsepower, 375 lb.- ft. of torque. It can carry 2,250 pounds and tow 8,500 pounds, Ford said. The standard 3.5-liter V-6 is rated for 1,910 pounds of payload and 7,600 pounds of towing, which Ford says is the best in its class.

Retooling factories for the new truck’s aluminum body will cost Ford production of more than 90,000 pickups.