Ford’s adoption of an aluminum body for the F-150 doesn’t signal a new direction for the company when it comes to cars.
Speaking at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of the Americas said that the same potential benefits of an aluminum-bodied truck don’t exist in the brand’s car lineup.
“One of the big benefits you get from lightweighting on trucks is you give customers more capability that they want,” Hinrichs told Automotive News. “You don’t get those same benefits to a consumer on a car side. So truck buyers will pay for more capability. Car buyers will pay for better fuel economy, but there’s other ways to get fuel economy in a car,” said Hinrichs.
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There will be some aluminum in Ford’s cars, but it will be mostly limited to hoods and doors as well as limited production cars like the new Ford GT.
In the F-150’s case, the aluminum body helped to save up to 700 lbs. on some trucks. Ford’s next-generation Super Duty trucks will also use an aluminum body.
Reducing weight is still a priority for Ford however, though the company is looking at other ways of stripping pounds like the expanded uses of carbon fiber. The company has announced that it will invest in accelerating the production of carbon fiber for future use in its passenger cars. The lightweight material has already made it into a new Ford, reducing 52 pounds of unsprung weight from the Mustang 350R thanks to carbon fiber wheels.
[Source: Automotive News]
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