this Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014, file photo, a 2015 F-150 truck
is driven off the production line during a news conference
at the Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Mich. Ford says its
new aluminum-bodied F-150 pickup will get up to 26 mpg on
the highway, making it the most fuel efficient gas-powered
full-size pickup. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
— Ford said Friday that its new aluminum-bodied F-150 pickup
will get up to 26 mpg on the highway, making it the most fuel
efficient gas-powered full-size pickup.
The Ram truck is
the current leader among pickups, getting up to 25 mpg on the
highway with a gas engine. The Ram gets up to 28 mpg with a diesel
engine; Ford doesn't make a diesel version of the F-150.
Fuel economy is a
key selling 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 best-selling vehicle in the
thought the truck might even top 30 mpg after Ford's multi-billion
dollar investment to develop and produce it. The final figure met
Ford's expectations of a more modest improvement, and represents
13 percent greater fuel economy than the current F-150.
With gas now
averaging $2.84 per gallon, the aluminum F-150 will save the
average buyer only $100 to $200 a year in fuel costs over
competing gasoline models from General Motors and Chrysler, said
Larry Dominique, president of the ALG auto forecasting firm.
Ford's truck marketing manager, said the majority of truck
customers aren't solely focused on fuel economy. The new F-150
beats its rivals in both towing — of up to 12,200 pounds — and
payload of up to 3,300 pounds.
that buyers will focus on the total package. "The payload,
the towing. Those aspects of it plus a little bit better fuel
economy is definitely an increased value," he said.
a relocation specialist at ALE Solutions in Phoenix, said he
expected higher fuel economy. But he still plans to buy a new
F-150 sometime in the next year.
pounds on the truck is enough for me," said Caraher, 29.
"Less brake, tire and shock and suspension wear is where I
take my benefits."
The F-150 will
get 26 mpg on the highway with a 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine, which
Ford believes will account for 28 percent of sales of the new
truck. The top highway fuel economy of the current truck is 23
The company hopes
the new truck's advantages outweigh customer doubts about the
durability of aluminum or potential repair costs for the pricier
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. It's been America's best-selling
vehicle for 32 years.
diesel-powered pickup gets even better fuel economy, at 28 mpg,
but starts at $30,215. Also, the price of diesel is currently 76
cents per gallon higher than gas. The F-150 starts at $25,420 with
$495 premium for the EcoBoost engine, a popular option.
improve fuel economy, product development chief Raj Nair says Ford
is developing a 10-speed transmission to replace its current
6-speed. It's also working on smaller but more powerful engines.
He said a diesel engine doesn't make sense for the F-150 right
provided the fuel-economy breakdown for other engine types:
— The base
F-150 with 3.5-liter V6 engine gets 25 mpg on the highway, or 20
mpg in combined city/highway driving. This version is expected to
be 16 percent of sales of the new truck.
— The 3.5 liter
EcoBoost V6 gets 24 mpg on the highway, and 20 city/highway
combined. Ford expects this version to make up 28 percent of
— The 5-liter
V8 gets should get 22 mpg on the highway, and 18 mpg city/highway