Canadian Manufacturing

2015 Ford F-150 will battle Dodge Ram for fuel economy crown

Ford shaved 700 pounds off the weight of the truck by switching the body from steel to lightweight aluminum



The 2015 Ford F-150 features available LED headlights. PHOTO Ford

The 2015 Ford F-150 features available LED headlights. PHOTO Ford

DEARBORN, Mich.—Ford said that its new aluminum-bodied F-150 pickup will get up to 26 mpg (9.04 l//100km) on the highway, making it the most fuel efficient gas-powered full-size pickup.

The Dodge Ram truck is the current leader among pickups, getting up to 25 mpg (9.40 l//100km) on the highway with a gas engine.

Fuel economy is a key data point for the new F-150, which is arriving at dealerships this month. Ford shaved 700 pounds off the weight of the truck by switching the body from steel to lightweight aluminum, a dramatic change for the bestselling vehicle in the U.S.

Ford hopes the F-150’s new 2.7-litre EcoBoost engine will account for 28 per cent of sales of the new truck. The fuel economy is 13 per cent better than the outgoing truck’s 23 mpg (10.22 l//100km). Ford had predicted an improvement of 5 per cent to 20 per cent.

The new truck is Ford’s response to customers’ requests for a more fuel-efficient and nimbler pickup. The company hopes the advantages outweigh customer doubts about the durability of aluminum or potential repair costs for the pricier metal.

It’s a big risk. So far this year, one out of every three vehicles Ford sold in the U.S. was an F-Series pickup.

The new F-150 will be going on sale as gasoline sells for an average of $2.84 a gallon in the U.S., the lowest price in four years. Ford has said that pickup owners, many who use the truck to run a business, welcome improved fuel economy no matter the price of gasoline.

Ram’s diesel-powered pickup gets even better fuel economy, at 28 mpg (8.40 l//100km), but starts at $30,215. The F-150 starts at $25,420 with $495 premium for the EcoBoost engine, a popular option. Ford isn’t offering a diesel version of the F-150.

Here is Ford’s fuel-economy breakdown for other F-150 engine options:

  • The base F-150 with 3.5-litre V6 engine gets 25 mpg (9.40 l//100km) on the highway, or 20 mpg (11.76 l//100km) in combined city/highway driving. This version is expected to be 16 per cent of sales of the new truck.
  • The 3.5 litre EcoBoost V6 gets 24 mpg (9.8 l//100km) on the highway, and 20 city/highway combined. Ford expects this version to make up 28 per cent of sales.
  • The 5-litre V8 gets should get 22 mpg (10.69 l//100km) on the highway, and 18 mpg (13.06 l//100km) city/highway combined.

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