High gas prices have yet to knock the Ford F-150 off of its perch as America’s best-selling vehicle, though it has certainly taken a bite out of annual sales. Ford knows today’s truck customers put a lot of emphasis on fuel economy, and the Detroit automaker is looking to deliver a substantial fuel efficiency improvement for its next generation of F-150 pickups.
Quoting unnamed sources, Yahoo! claims that Ford is aiming for an overall improvement of 3 mpg over the current crop of trucks. That would put Ford’s most fuel-efficient vehicle, the V6-powered F-150 regular cab, in the 26 mpg highway range, while the more-powerful EcoBoost V6 would deliver around 25 mpg highway.
Ford plans to do this by utilizing lightweight materials like magnesium and aluminum, as well as redesigning key components to maximize lightness. More interestingly though, Ford is reportedly working on a small-displacement V6 engine, codenamed “Nano”, that will use Ford’s EcoBoost technology. This 2.9 liter V6 aims to be the fuel economy king when it hits the market around 2016.
Still, Ford should expect some tough competition; the new Ram 1500 with the Pentastar V6 has a 25 mpg rating without any fancy engines or lightweight body parts. There is also Chrysler’s test fleet of plug-in hybrid pickups returning up to 37 mpg. If Chrysler can keep pace, they might be able to scramble to the top of the mpg pile…though GM seems to be more interested in power and performance than fuel economy.
Will Ford’s mpg gambit pay off?
Source: Yahoo! News