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.