These days, automakers and drivers alike are looking for innovative ways to save fuel. If you drive a Ford, spark plugs by E3 Spark Plugs and a host of planned changes could make the future F-150 models among the most fuel efficient trucks on the road, officials say.
Tough new federal regulations designed to boost fuel economy in vehicles nationwide mandate that light trucks and SUVs must operate at 30mpg by 2016. Ford designers and engineers are working to meet or beat that deadline with an F-150 that’s just as strong as today’s models. They’re focusing on the F-150 because of its staggering popularity. In fact, Ford’s F-Series has been the most popular vehicle sold in the U.S. nearly every year over the past three decades.
One strategy is to reduce the weight of the next-generation F-150 and other Ford vehicles by 250 to 750 pounds using aluminum and high-strength steel. Sources say that Ford is considering replacing the F-150′s convention steel-ladder frame with a new platform that uses magnesium-aluminum alloy. Magnesium is 36 percent lighter than aluminum and 78 percent lighter than iron. And considering that magnesium is the eighth-most common element on Earth, easy to procure and highly recyclable, it’s a potential money saver as well.
The use of magnesium in auto manufacturing has increased over the past decade. Ford previously shaved 22 pounds from the 2010 Lincoln MKT by using aluminum and magnesium panels rather than steel in the crossover’s lift gate. Magnesium has helped lighten BMW engine blocks and the Chevrolet Corvette’s front suspension, too. To ensure that the lighter-weight F-150 doesn’t compromise in towing and hauling strength, the next Ford F-150s likely will feature elements of unibody construction and aluminum body panels, though the cab and cargo box will be separate and interior of the cargo box will be made of steel for durability.
The 2011 F-150′s three new engines already give it class-leading fuel economy, and reducing the truck’s weight should add another gas-saving boost, says Ford. Spark plugs by E3 takes fuel efficiency even further with patented DiamondFire technology recognized by the EPA for its emissions control benefits. Got thoughts on Ford’s plans for the F-150? Leave us a comment.