Ford's F-150 the talk of Detroit


Top Ford (F -0.5%) exec Joe Hinrichs tells Automotive News the transition by the automaker to aluminum with its F-150 line is about more than just fuel economy savings.

He notes the loss of 700 pounds of weight will improve towing, payload capabilities, and stopping distance for drivers.

The F-150 project is one of the most closely-watched in the industry as Ford could set itself apart from peers or stumble if the new F-150 is perceived as less sturdy.

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne recently upped the ante by taking a few potshots at Ford for the use of aluminum in F-150s which brought a bristling response from management at Ford.

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Comments (59)
  • J38765
    , contributor
    Comments (1387) | Send Message
     
    It is hard to see how manufacturers can hit the new fuel economy standards without the use of lightweight materials. That being said, going all in with the "franchise" product is bold indeed. If Ford is wrong on this call it will go down as one of the greatest corporate blunders of all time. I suspect the Body In White technology will be widespread in the industry before all is said and done. If you believe Ford is right the pure play is Constellium, the clear leader in Body In White applications.
    20 May 2014, 10:07 AM Reply Like
  • RicJensen
    , contributor
    Comments (3384) | Send Message
     
    Sergio should take those sour grapes and make some more whine.
    20 May 2014, 10:30 AM Reply Like
  • royhammy
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
     
    Chrysler's customer satisfaction and complaint program is what caused them to go bankrupt and I was one of the many that helped to put them under. Having the head of Chrysler badmouth technology would be par for the game with this company. I could write a book on the lack of honesty and integrity I cam across in dealing with a junk truck and the Chrysler puppets. I wonder who will bail them out next time they bite the dust.
    20 May 2014, 10:30 AM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    Marchionne had nothing to do with Chrysler pre-bankruptcy.

     

    BTW, have you been following Chrysler's double digit sales growth numbers vs Ford's negative sales comps for Feb & April?

     

    Marchionne expressing "reservations' for Chrysler using aluminum, does not sound a lot like "Potshots" or mudslinging to me either.

     

    And you can Bet Ram 1/2 ton diesel will get better MPG than any gas F-150 despite the extra costs and weight savings from aluminum.
    20 May 2014, 10:52 AM Reply Like
  • Chop
    , contributor
    Comments (57) | Send Message
     
    I'm a proponent of diesel, however the extra fuel cost and engine costs create a very long term payback period, especially since gas prices have remained relatively steady.

     

    I like the fact that Chrysler was first to market in applying a diesel powertrain in a light duty truck, however their choice of engines could have been better. In a rush to get a diesel in market and claim fuel economy leadership, they have significantly sacrificed the truck's capabilities.

     

    The engine is only rated for a payload of ~1100 pounds (also deduct the weight of the occupants from that number). This is a significant trade off for truck buyers, which mostly value payload vs. towing. Also a reason why it is virtually impossible to find the payload ratings for the diesel on their website.

     

    Ram's better fuel economy numbers appears to have helped Chrysler take truck share from Chevy, with little impact on Ford.
    20 May 2014, 01:18 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    Ram 1500 eco-diesel shows max payload 1620#

     

    Max tow rating 9200#

     

    I assume the max applies to reg cab models.

     

    http://bit.ly/13n6kUF

     

    I'm sure those that need more can step up to the 3/4 ton models with the Cummins motor, vs the VM Motori Italian built engine in the 1/2 ton eco-diesel.
    20 May 2014, 01:30 PM Reply Like
  • cbroncos
    , contributor
    Comments (2785) | Send Message
     
    What negative sales comps for Ford on the F-150? Man you love to spread false news. And I will grant you that the Ram 1/2 ton diesel will get better MPG, but at what cost? The diesel option starts at $36,475 and diesel is 50 cents per gallon higher - only a fool would buy one. There have been numerous articles about how buying a diesel just doe not make sense as you need to keep them for many years. The diesel option Ram truck may have some extra bells and whistles, but it is $12,000 more than the base Ram truck.
    20 May 2014, 04:44 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    cbroncos,

     

    I was referring to aggregate Ford sales, (feb & April, both were dismal and worst among all, automakers) not F-150 in particular. In response to another poster's assertions that Chrysler was doing "poorly"

     

    Re Diesel I agree, Unless a lot of towing, payback for diesel can be quite long.

     

    But Chrysler gets to charge customers willing to pay up for the extra cost diesel option.

     

    Will Ford be able to recover the extra costs related to aluminum?

     

    That is the big question.

     

    Diesel increases HWY MPG about 5 MPG

     

    Aluminum will do 1 MPG improvement at best.
    20 May 2014, 04:51 PM Reply Like
  • C.N
    , contributor
    Comments (261) | Send Message
     
    Rams diesel gets 31mpg/hwy.

     

    Dodge does offer lifetime warranty on the vehicle for 2-3 grand extra
    ( Gasoline Ram)
    20 May 2014, 07:30 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    CN

     

    Ram diesel is 28 hwy.

     

    Here's the link,

     

    http://bit.ly/13n6kUF

     

    Just where do you people get your numbers?
    20 May 2014, 07:41 PM Reply Like
  • dmc7553
    , contributor
    Comments (9) | Send Message
     
    I always thought the heavier the truck, the better equipped it was for towing. I can't imagine a lighter truck able to tow more. I think that the F-150 will be a well received vehicle for the truck enthusiasts, I just don't believe the part about being able to tow more weight because it is lighter.
    20 May 2014, 10:35 AM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (8383) | Send Message
     
    It is amazing how such myths prevail. That extra weight equals strength is a canard, and a wide-spread misconception.

     

    Just because some fat couch potato weighs 350 pounds with 35% body fat does not mean he is somehow stronger than the 275 pound lean, mean, bodybuilder with 10% body fat. In fact, that couch potato carries around 123 pounds of fat on his 228 pound lean mass, while the bodybuilder carries 28 pounds of fat on his 248 pound framework. Which do you believe would be able to do more work?

     

    The Chassis in any truck is safety-rated to a Gross Combined Vehicle Weight (including a trailer). If the curb (empty) weight of the truck is lower for the same GCVW, the towing capacity is naturally higher.

     

    The GCVW rating considers Powertrain load capacity, structural durability, accelerating braking, steering, handling, and other factors.

     

    The truth will come out when Ford finally reveals the numbers officially, after the usual government audits and SAE certifications. Until then, you can take probably assume that Joe Hinrichs is not lying.
    20 May 2014, 12:08 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    I hope we can trust the numbers this time :)

     

    http://bit.ly/1jzYHUq

     

    http://bit.ly/1e6Ikql

     

    http://lat.ms/15ICDRp
    20 May 2014, 12:48 PM Reply Like
  • cbroncos
    , contributor
    Comments (2785) | Send Message
     
    Thanks for giving us just the facts and no spin!
    20 May 2014, 04:58 PM Reply Like
  • jimn12
    , contributor
    Comments (21) | Send Message
     
    dmc is correct in that a heavier truck is better for towing. If you want to use some crazy comparison to humans, put a large person at one end of a rope and a small one at the other end. Who wins the tug-of-war? Getting back to trucks, look at the problem of towing a larger trailer. Your logic would dictate that a Datsun mini-truck could be strengthened and modified to pull anything that a big truck could pull. Sorry but without more weight, that Datsun will be spinning its wheels and running off the road.
    20 May 2014, 05:27 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    Heavier is better for traction and stability. (think, Tail wagging the dog)

     

    But TDOT is correct that a drivetrain's capability is still measured using GCVW ratings.

     

    As such, all things being equal, a truck weighing 500# less, would likely have it's towing capacity increased a similar amount.
    20 May 2014, 05:31 PM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (8383) | Send Message
     
    Jim - please feel free to put your favorite 350 pound couch potato with over 1/3 body fat on one end of your favorite natural hemp tug-of-war rope, and then put your favorite 275 pound linebacker with 10% fat on the other end, check the results in a Best of 7 and get back to us please. Thanks in advance.
    21 May 2014, 08:32 AM Reply Like
  • rgundry
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    I live in Arizona now but grew up in Detroit, won't being made out of aluminum stop any issues with rust?If it does thatwould seem to be a good thing too.
    20 May 2014, 10:57 AM Reply Like
  • Philip Marlowe
    , contributor
    Comments (1538) | Send Message
     
    Yes, aluminum is much more rust resistant than automotive steel. That is why it is already heavily used in many commercial vehicles.
    20 May 2014, 11:39 AM Reply Like
  • bgold1955
    , contributor
    Comments (2350) | Send Message
     
    And aircraft.
    20 May 2014, 04:34 PM Reply Like
  • Sam Sipkins
    , contributor
    Comments (113) | Send Message
     
    Many Heavy Duty trucks use lots of Aluminum. Frames, fuel tanks, wheels, etc.
    Ask Peterbuilt/Kenworth.
    20 May 2014, 11:11 AM Reply Like
  • ted lujan
    , contributor
    Comments (1624) | Send Message
     
    The use of aluminum is disruptive to the truck builders. Especially for those that have not lined up with the aluminum producers for supplies. That is one reason why GM has to wait three years to get into production to compete with Ford. Give some credit to Ford Engineering they know what's is at stake. You can bet that it has had more tests than any truck ever built. These trucks will be a cash cow for the company. Investors that wait until the proof is in, will have to pay dearly if they want to join the party. The bigger rewards always go to those that are willing to take the risks.
    20 May 2014, 11:44 AM Reply Like
  • J38765
    , contributor
    Comments (1387) | Send Message
     
    Actually GM's 3 year wait has nothing to do with aluminum producers or aluminum supplies. It is a function of the normal product cadence and a bit of a wait and see approach.
    20 May 2014, 11:54 AM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (8383) | Send Message
     
    Timing is everything. The competitive GM and Ram products are essentially all new for 2014, and it will take them 3-4 years for them to go back to the drawing board and come up with something comparable. Meanwhile Ford will be galloping along, working on upgrades and improvements for the next generation versions for the ca. 2017 and 2020 time frames.

     

    Ford very quietly spent the last 5 years or so building prototype truck bodies out of sheet aluminum, and anonymously passing them off as pretty much "normal" to fleet customers for construction and utility workers and such, as test / demonstration vehicles. I wonder if were probably a little annoyed that their magnetic advertising signs wouldn't stay put on the doors? Anyway they also ran the prototype test trucks through all the usual durability and performance testing, and even quietly ran it in the off-road Baha Desert race - it finished the race alongside the vaunted Raptors which were specially designed for such off-road activity.

     

    Point is, Ford's competitors will be watching carefully to see Ford's performance numbers, trying to get any sort of information for benchmarking, and getting production samples as soon as they can for their own testing and reverse-engineering. They will be watching the sales charts and profits. Meanwhile you can bet their designers and engineers are busily coming up with their own versions of aluminum trucks, based on whatever information they can get.
    20 May 2014, 01:14 PM Reply Like
  • cbroncos
    , contributor
    Comments (2785) | Send Message
     
    And what will those recalls look like for GM? Will it ever get its aluminum truck to market with all of the recalls right now?
    20 May 2014, 05:00 PM Reply Like
  • dlc13
    , contributor
    Comments (10) | Send Message
     
    The new F-150 will not be all aluminum. The frame is still high strength steel. That is what is being taxed when towing. The body is going to switch to all aluminum. That reduces the weight and the load the truck itself has on the powertrain, meaning more horsepower can go to pulling. The fact that Chrysler won't entertain an aluminum body is a step in the wrong direction.

     

    Once you go to aluminum, the next step is carbon fiber. Sedans are already taking this on, aluminum frames and carbon fiber bodies. However, they have to get the cost of CF down, because when you get into accidents and the impact exceeds the strength of the CF, it will break. It won't just dent, it will break, meaning you would have to replace the whole panel, that makes repair costs go through the roof.
    20 May 2014, 12:19 PM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (8383) | Send Message
     
    Sergio Marchionne's main contention is that his small 3.0L EcoDiesel in the Ram already gets 20/28/23 mpg city/highway/combined - compared to Ford's current 16/22/18 on the EcoBoost (gas) engine.

     

    That ~27% higher fuel efficiency is pretty normal for diesels, and even accounting for the higher price of diesel fuel the delta works out to about 20% better than gas. There is also the "amortization" of the higher cost of the diesel engine itself, about $3000, meaning the diesel option would pay for itself in about 100,000 miles of driving.

     

    Rumor has it that Ford is trying to stretch the 2.7L Ecoboosted aluminum-body F150 to 30 mpg. Just have to wait and see how that turns out.

     

    In any case, what is unknown is if and when Ford plans to use the Ace card up its sleeve: the new 3.2L PowerStroke Diesel that is in their new Transit van. Presumably it would have some similarity in terms of fuel efficiency with Ram's EcoDiesel, closing the gap to close to nil. Then add the lighter weight from the aluminum body, and Ford could be looking at well in excess of 30 mpg highway in a 3.2L Diesel F150. Then adding their hybrid electric booster to the diesel could even drive that number closer to 40 mpg.
    20 May 2014, 02:36 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    TDOT,

     

    Weight has a negligible effect on HWY MPG

     

    That's a fact, not my opinion.

     

    http://bit.ly/1d2ewfb

     

    Per link below;

     

    "Most of drag is from Aero rather than weight"

     

    http://bit.ly/L3FQCq

     

    A Corvette with half the frontal area,, shaped like a missile, running on 4 cylinders with an extreme overdrive gearing , struggles to get 30 MPG

     

    No full size gasoline pick-up (with current styling) will get there

     

    90% of Hwy MPG is determined by size of frontal area X aero coefficient of Drag.

     

    At best the aluminum (itself) will add 1 MPG hwy. Only getting them back to even with GM's V-8's (powertrain changes aside)

     

    Weight only affects acceleration braking and steering response.

     

    Until people stop wanting Big Boxy shaped macho big-rig styling, HWY MPG will not improve much

     

    Would you pay $2K more for a truck to get 1MPG better fuel mileage?

     

    Amazing to me how some see aluminum as some magic revelation that will change the world, rather than an intelligent cost/benefit analysis.

     

    That's the big question what aluminum may, or may not, do to margins on Ford's most profitable vehicle.
    20 May 2014, 03:02 PM Reply Like
  • BTM
    , contributor
    Comments (486) | Send Message
     
    I think that drag is certainly important in MPG of vehicles. But if you think that weight or mass is negligible then you need to rewrite the laws of physics.
    20 May 2014, 03:56 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    That is the law of physics.

     

    http://bit.ly/1joCG9E

     

    Weight is nearly negligible for HWY MPG, (hill climbing excepted) but not for city, which involves braking and accelerating.

     

    Once mass is brought up to speed, energy is no longer required to maintain it.

     

    That is why automakers provide us with 300HP engines when cruising at 60 MPH only requires 30 HP.

     

    Acceleration is Hp to weight. (city driving)

     

    Top speed, or to maintain speed (highway driving) is a function of Hp to aero-drag.

     

    (with other small calculations for parasitic losses/rolling resistance, etc)

     

    Read the data I provided.
    20 May 2014, 04:19 PM Reply Like
  • cbroncos
    , contributor
    Comments (2785) | Send Message
     
    Cannot like that comment enough!
    20 May 2014, 05:13 PM Reply Like
  • BTM
    , contributor
    Comments (486) | Send Message
     
    1980xls

     

    That link does not say what you think it says. Please read it yourself.

     

    And your comment about once an object is brought up to speed energy is no longer required to maintain it is pure non-sense. Are you reading what you write?
    20 May 2014, 05:18 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    It's called Newton's law.

     

    Ever heard of it?

     

    Read Cummins analysis.

     

    http://bit.ly/L3FQCq

     

    Per above link;

     

    "Most of the drag on a car is aero dynamic drag, (rather than rolling resistance from tires and weight)"

     

    "top speeds are either gear limited or drag limited"

     

    What it means,

     

    Weight does not even get calculated because it is largely irrelevant.

     

    What do you not understand?
    20 May 2014, 05:20 PM Reply Like
  • TradingHorn
    , contributor
    Comments (34) | Send Message
     
    That weight would have minimal effect on drag is unsurprising. If anything, a decently educated fellow may be surprised that weight has any effect on drag at all (mainly due to deformation).

     

    However, weight most certainly affects the amount of energy needed to accelerate a car. F=ma. More mass means less acceleration with the same amount of force. Or, more mass means more force is needed for the same acceleration.

     

    To reach the conclusion that weight has very little to due with MPG, you'd have to believe that the energy expended accelerating an object is a tiny fraction of the energy spent combating drag (friction). As you've indicated, friction is a relatively small force requiring relatively little power from the engine to combat. On the other hand, quick acceleration requires a tremendous amount of power, thus the reason that engines have 300hp when only 12hp-30hp is needed to counteract drag at normal operating speeds.

     

    I believe the reader can reach their own conclusion at this point.
    20 May 2014, 06:20 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    It (weight) has little to do with highway cruising (once up to speed) with exception of small calculations for tire deflection due to weight, which itself is variable and can be mitigated with tire design, air pressures etc.

     

    It does have substantial effect on stop and go driving however, as such driving involves considerable time expended accelerating a mass to desired speed.

     

    All my references to weight having a minimal effect, referred to HWY MPG
    20 May 2014, 06:32 PM Reply Like
  • BTM
    , contributor
    Comments (486) | Send Message
     
    1980xls

     

    You need to read Newton's first law closer. edit

     

    I read your Cumins link and while it does emphasize the importance of drag coefficient on MPG (which I agree with), no where does it state that weight is negligible in MPG for vehicles. That is something you've made up.
    20 May 2014, 06:43 PM Reply Like
  • TradingHorn
    , contributor
    Comments (34) | Send Message
     
    Your initial comment suggested that because weight reduction had marginal benefit to HWY MPG, it would not survive a cost-efficiency analysis. This conclusion was based on the false inference that improvements to CITY MPG are not relevant to a cost-efficiency analysis.

     

    Additionally, while I don't know the specifics of how HWY MPG is calculated, I assume it takes into account more factors than power needed to overcome drag. People accelerate and decelerate, even on the highway.
    20 May 2014, 06:45 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    Horn,

     

    No, I was only focusing HWY figures.
    (that was what TDOT was mostly touting) Those are the big numbers automakers like bragging rights to.

     

    Certainly City MPG would have to be part of the overall equation, I agree.

     

    And yes, even per Cummins analysis, driver and habits have an effect, Such as inconsistent steady speeds, jackrabbit starts etc.

     

    But advertising bragging rights will be on the EPA test cycle ("Your mileage may vary") Hence the reason Ford already got in trouble (along with Hyundai) and had to pay settlements for poor real world mileage (C-Max) vs window stickers, which Eco-Boost is now becoming famous for.

     

    http://bit.ly/PS4qs9

     

    http://bit.ly/PS4RTk

     

    BTM,

     

    You obviously chose to ignore the laws of physics and choose to believe what you want. Fact; No horsepower (fuel) is required other than to mitigate drag once a mass has already been accelerated to it's final desired speed.

     

    Its fact, not opinion (do your homework)

     

    Weight has little to do with hwy MPG, other than it's effect on rolling resistance from tire deflection, which I already mentioned (hill climbing excepted)
    20 May 2014, 07:22 PM Reply Like
  • BTM
    , contributor
    Comments (486) | Send Message
     
    1980

     

    You have no idea what you're talking about. Based upon what you assert a semi truck with an empty trailer would get the same gas milage as that same vehicle would get with that trailer carrying 20,000 lbs of freight. We all know that isn't correct.

     

    You seem to forget about a little thing called gravity, friction between the vehicle and the road, and the vehicle and air. Good luck with that.
    20 May 2014, 09:39 PM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    BTM,

     

    Apparently you did not read my comments about weight and tire deflection. (they are a small factor, albeit adjustable and variable)

     

    There is also a big difference from EPA bragging rights vs real world numbers (they don't have hills in the test lab)
    Nor did you note my reiteration about highway mileage.

     

    Believe what you want. Ignore the laws of physics. They are facts, not my opinion.

     

    There is precedent on this issue.

     

    2005 VW Phaeton vs 2005 Audi A8

     

    Get the EPA MPG numbers yourself, I'm tired.

     

    Both identical 2 ton +, AWD V-8 (over 4 liters ) powered drivetrains (not unlike pick ups)

     

    Almost identical aero signatures.

     

    Difference?

     

    One steel, the other all Aluminum, including the entire chassis/unibody.

     

    The aluminum A8 achieved only 2 MPG better MPG combined fuel economy overall vs the Phaeton. Half of which was achieved by the much taller gearing in the A8, possible due to it's lighter weight, thereby not sacrificing acceleration & responsiveness.

     

    My prediction?

     

    At best, aluminum will boost the F-150 mpg by 2 mpg city/1 MPG hwy

     

    (that is all things equal) Forget taking advantage of smaller engines like a 2.7 Eco-Turd, which would eliminate any towing capability gains from the weight loss anyway.

     

    In addition Ford is already under scrutiny for exaggerating it's fuel mileage. So I don't expect them to push it.

     

    But!

     

    Why you say, would they spend so much money for so little gains?

     

    Did you actually read Ford's cup in hand bailout request for DOE money?

     

    Thought so.

     

    http://on.wsj.com/PS7STB

     

    Their $5.9 DOE loan was based on Eco-boost and taking extreme risks trying to improve MPG, as they were crushed post Katrina/Explorer/Fires... after relying on trucks and SUV's for almost ALL their profits, and had nothing in the pipeline. That's why Ford alone sucked up almost 1/2 the money from the DOE program trough, while disingenuously claiming they did not take bailout money. (which they were stopped from advertising such, BTW)

     

    http://onforb.es/POf2oi

     

    The letter to the Gov't asks to have extra money waiting (just in case)

     

    Get ready, if the economy weakens. They're already borrowing more from the bond market right now.

     

    So now we have about $1500 per car in aluminum (my figures, because Ford won't disclose them)

     

    About $300 per vehicle in loan payments to the taxpayers.

     

    And about $1000 per truck for Eco-Turd. (turbos are not free, not to buy, warranty or recall) Might be worth it if it worked, but GM's V-8's are already rated higher MPG vs the Eco-Turd)

     

    http://bit.ly/TsnRd1

     

    In summary, we are now at about a $2800 disadvantage per truck vs GM.

     

    When your highest margin product is experiencing margin compression and competitive disadvantage, you better get concerned.

     

    So, what's your prediction for the 3.6 Eco-boost in the new aluminum truck?

     

    Please share it with us.
    20 May 2014, 10:36 PM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (8383) | Send Message
     
    1980 -

     

    First of all, the tire rolling friction is directly proportional to vehicle weight, and that drag results in extra fuel consumption at all speeds, including the highway. The tires heat up, and they make noise, and it takes fuel burning to do that. Nevertheless, at highway speeds above about 40 mph the aerodynamic drag is usually the main contributor.

     

    But second, and most important, the EPA highway mpg calculation is NOT at a constant speed as you seem to think. It includes speeding up and slowing down with typical traffic patterns. http://1.usa.gov/NRpOdK - the cycle includes accelerating from 0 to 35 mph as on an entrance ramp, moving along at 45-50 mph changing speeds constantly, slowing to 30 mph, accelerating to 60 mph, slowing back to 50 mph, accelerating back to 60, and then braking to a stop as if exiting the highway for about a 13 minute commute.

     

    That is how a lighter vehicle can get better EPA highway mpg - all that accelerating burns fuel proportional to the mass. This is also how some hybrids excel in EPA highway: they can shut off the engine and recharge their batteries during the decelerations, and sometimes accelerate and cruise for a short time in electric mode, reducing fuel burn.
    21 May 2014, 05:56 AM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (8383) | Send Message
     
    1980 - False, as described here http://1.usa.gov/NRpOdK the EPA Highway mpg procedures include lots of braking and accelerating.
    21 May 2014, 06:00 AM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (8383) | Send Message
     
    Also the High Speed cycle which goes into the EPA Highway Formula includes a LOT of speeding up and slowing down - simulating traffic jam situations. http://1.usa.gov/NRpOdK
    21 May 2014, 06:03 AM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    Yes TDOT,

     

    I acknowledged Tire deflection with weight as a component. Tire deflection can be reduced with by tire design and increased air pressures. (I said that several times) Just like the Chevy Cruze gets hwy mpg bragging rights with the use of tires specially designed for MPG

     

    As far as the EPA cycle, I agree any portion that involves accelerating would be boosted by weight reduction., but that amount is minimal (I looked at the test cycle graph)

     

    But, even if it does involve some instances of variation in speeds and a few acceleration events, that does not change the fact that Aero drag is by far, the single biggest component of a trucks HP (fuel) requirement at hwy speeds. There is a big difference accelerating from a stop and braking in a city mpg cycle, from occasional speed variation in a hwy test cycle. The test cycle in lenient and often portrays better than real world results, as Ford in particular has been fined and/or been under scrutiny with Eco-boost, along with calibration recalls, as you are well aware, I am sure.

     

    And, any advantage from weight loss on variable grades will not be realized in the EPA test cycle, as the EPA says in the link you provided that all testing is simulated for level ground.

     

    (and yes I am fully aware of how regenerative braking works)

     

    At best the weight reduction will result in 1 MPG hwy improvement, (all other factors being equal) effectively getting them back to even with GM's V-8's. Bragging rights always show advertisements proclaiming the hwy MPG figure, just as with the Ram Eco-diesel web page I have posted twice already in this discussion.

     

    Once again just look at the comparison I demonstrated with the Audi A8 vs the VW Phaeton.

     

    So,

     

    What's you guess as to Fords cost per vehicle in switching to aluminum?

     

    Because in the end that's all that matters. Cost/benefit ratio.
    21 May 2014, 07:08 AM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (8383) | Send Message
     
    1980 - You may have missed that the US06 "High Speed" cycle" which is part of the highway formula includes no less than eight accelerations from zero to 30, 40, and 60 mph over about 10 minutes, and only about 5 of the 10 minutes is actually at "highway" speeds varying from 60 to 80 mph, averaging 48 mph over the 10-minute "commute". http://1.usa.gov/NRpOdK - click and compare the Highway and the High Speed tabs.

     

    Just as a cross reference, my old V8 RWD car is EPA-highway quoted at 16 city, 22 highway, and 18 combined. My actual steady-cruise 65-70 mph highway mileage (from digital display) is about 30 mpg, and the cumulative combined mpg for the year is at 24 - it varies from about 22 in winter to 26 in summer. It is all about how you drive, compared to the standard EPA cycles. And piling a bunch of extra junk in the trunk absolutely hurts the real world fuel efficiency.

     

    Anyway yes, the weight is a rather secondary or tertiary factor at steady highway speeds with no accelerating going on, but with the EPA highway drive cycles, the weight is absolutely a primary factor, because there is a lot of accelerating going on.
    21 May 2014, 08:10 AM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    TDOT,

     

    Weight is factor, but not a primary one. (you're kidding yourself)

     

    Using EPA the link you provided,

     

    http://1.usa.gov/RU2cZX

     

    Weight savings 1-2%, per 100 lbs (1% would likely be hwy)

     

    Note their disclaimer, Weight reduction has less affect on larger vehicles vs smaller vehicles

     

    Aero drag potential savings (just from a cargo appendage) on vehicle at 65-75 MPH = up to 25% At 80 MPH it would be even higher.

     

    Why? Like I said. Aero drag is the OVERWHELMING factor in HWY MPG, increasing exponentially as speeds get higher. That is the reason the HP to speed calculator links I provided in other comments don't even bother with weight at all.

     

    Just an appendage on your car can decrease mileage 25% while weight reduction about 2% (less on larger vehicles (per EPA)

     

    Aero has 10X more an effect on hwy MPG vs weight.

     

    To summarize my whole point from the beginning,

     

    Fords switch to aluminum will at best produce about 5% incremental improvements in HWY MPG

     

    that's about 1 MPG

     

    Considering they are already behind GM's V-8's, what's really the point?

     

    Clink on the EPA speed penalty calculator link,

     

    compare F-150 3.6 eco-boost (cost per 100 miles @ 80 MPH) vs same for Silverado 5.3L v-8

     

    Despite the larger and less expensive to manufacture normally aspirated v-8, the Chevy gets much lower operational fuel costs.

     

    What's the point, really?
    21 May 2014, 08:48 AM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (8383) | Send Message
     
    Assuming 1.5% per 100, over 700 pounds of supposed weight savings - that is 10.5%, or on the order of 3 mpg. Add to that the smaller 2.7L Ecoboost which may add a couple more mpg, we are getting into 27 mpg EPA range.

     

    The available stop-start technology also gives another mpg or two in the EPA tests as the engine stops injecting fuel during coast-downs, shutting off the engine at stoplights and such.

     

    You can probably expect that Ford worked hard on the drag coefficient as well by reshaping proportions slightly and rounding and chamfering the edges and such, maybe worth another 1 mpg. At the end of the day, Ford has been officially tight lipped, but the chatter among the folks at the auto shows was that 30 mpg was apparently a stretch target, even if they end up a bit short of that at the end of the day.

     

    But, the point is that this is all wild guesses and speculation and unofficial leaks and commentary. Ford will reveal the final EPA-certified mpg figures on the new F150 probably some time this summer, after all the necessary paperwork and independent verification and checking and cross-checking and such. And with that, all the information about the SAE towing capacity, curb weight reduction, and so forth. Perhaps those details when released will become your new benchmark for the possibilities of trucks with aluminum bodies on steel frames, and smaller twin-turbocharged gas engines?

     

    Frankly, I hope Ford also introduces a small diesel option in F150 as well. The current 5-cylinder 3.2L engine as a European Duratorq 3.2 makes 200 HP and 350 ft-lb of torque (although the US-spec version Powerstroke in the new Transit is said to be upgraded from that), less than the Ram's EcoDiesel 240 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque.
    21 May 2014, 09:37 AM Reply Like
  • RicJensen
    , contributor
    Comments (3384) | Send Message
     
    BTM, Be careful, 1980XLS is right

     

    (if you are in a vacuum and have no gravity). Excluding minimal amounts of interstellar hydrogen, helium, electromagnetic radiation, magnetic fields, neutrinos (have no real sub-atomic mass that is measurable) dust, ice, cosmic rays, dark matter and dark energy.

     

    Last time I checked that wasn't a problem for us, except in space.
    21 May 2014, 09:43 AM Reply Like
  • TradingHorn
    , contributor
    Comments (34) | Send Message
     
    What's your point, really?

     

    Are you saying that the weight reduction is pointless because it will not have a dramatic effect on HWY MPG?

     

    *Isn't overall efficiency important to drivers?*

     

    Are you saying that Ford shouldn't do weight reduction, instead it should redo its engine?

     

    *Why can't it do both?*

     

    I'm just not sure what you are arguing or why.

     

    "Aero has 10X more an effect on hwy MPG vs weight"

     

    That isn't exactly true. Aerodynamic effect would be a curve and subject to diminishing returns. Small changes to a non-aerodynamic body will result in large returns. Substantial changes to an aerodynamic optimized body will result in much smaller returns to fuel savings.
    21 May 2014, 09:44 AM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (8383) | Send Message
     
    On further review, Ford did release powertrain specification numbers on the Transit. The 3.2L I5 PowerStroke diesel makes 185 hp and 350 ft-lb, less than the Ram's 3.0L V6 EcoDiesel, but perhaps it would be more fuel efficient. Given that the Ram diesel is quoting 28 mpg, or 3 mpg better than the 3.6L V6 gas, it seems rational to assume the Ford could do roughly the same "delta" from their turbocharged gas engine in adding the diesel.

     

    But for now, Ford's statement is:

     

    Q: Why not a diesel engine instead of aluminum to achieve better fuel economy?

     

    A:We’re concentrating on cutting weight as the midterm phase of our Blueprint for Sustainability because it has the most dramatic benefit to customers. This is above and beyond the improvements we’re already making to powertrains as the first phase of our Blueprint. Also, our EcoBoost® engine is a better value for customers than some diesels right now. We expect to see many others follow our lead with regard to weight reduction.

     

    http://ford.to/1k5bv4m
    21 May 2014, 10:04 AM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    My point?

     

    Margins.

     

    We already know eco-boost is more expensive, yet gets worse MPG. Even Toyota agrees

     

    http://bit.ly/1iLKj9z

     

    http://bit.ly/PS4RTk

     

    http://bit.ly/PS4qs9

     

    http://bit.ly/PS4urI

     

    Go to the epa site and see how GM's v-8 provide better MPG than v-6 eco-boost. That's a fact, not my opinion.

     

    Will aluminum boost the bragging rights for the headline HWY MPG that automakers tout in their advertising. I doubt by much. Not all customers will be able to take the towing/hauling capacity reductions by taking advantage of the smaller engine option.

     

    So where's the extra cost going to be absorbed for switching to aluminum?

     

    Customers, or Ford's margins?

     

    Will customers pay more for a truck with an at best 1 MPG improvement over competitors? (that's allowing for a generous 2MPG improved hwy figure, that I doubt ill be achieved)

     

    I doubt it.
    21 May 2014, 10:13 AM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (8383) | Send Message
     
    Other errata: Should have said

     

    Assuming 1.5% per 100, over 700 pounds of supposed weight savings relative to the outgoing (23 mpg) F-150 model - that is 10.5%, or on the order of 2 to 2.5 mpg better. Not 3 mpg as originally posted.
    21 May 2014, 10:37 AM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    2.4 combined, hwy less, City higher. And don't forget, even the EPA said weight reduction less meaningful on larger vehicles.

     

    Early Ford projections I have seen from Ford were in the 3 MPG range. Some of that may have included any benefits from engine downsizing, which will not be viable for many customers.

     

    So even 2 mpg hwy, gets them only 1 MPG better than GM presently with great expense. And that's assuming GM and Chrysler stand still.

     

    Good luck with that.
    21 May 2014, 10:46 AM Reply Like
  • Ryandan
    , contributor
    Comments (1594) | Send Message
     
    We'll have to see about any new-model bugs, the quality issues Ford puts into every vehicle, the real MPG, the real towing capabilities, and most of all the insurance rates. If the body proves to have a high crumble factor, you can kiss sales leadership good-bye.

     

    It will be fun to watch. Everything Ford wants to be will be rolling out the doors later this year and early next year. If they have quality issues, they are going to hit that iceberg and we'll be getting the women and children off first. The captain is already gone...........how ironic.
    20 May 2014, 05:15 PM Reply Like
  • yottabit
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
     
    The highway fuel economy gains from switching to aluminum will be realized by using a smaller displacement engine, much the same way hybrid improves hwy fuel economy. It doesnt inherently, but the extra power of the electric motor allows the gas counterpart to be smaller. In this case freeing up the 700 lbs is likely whats making the 2.7 eco feasible. I believe they are also reducing the base v6 from a 3.7 to 3.5 so that should also help base fuel economy. 5.0 and 3.5 eco equipped f150 will probably see slight boost in city and negligible gains in highway due to the aluminum. I think we will see hwy gains across the board though due to improved transmissions. Remember we are basically comparing fords current offerings to dodges next gen 8 spd auto, etc. Ford has yet to play their cards yet in that regard.
    21 May 2014, 02:55 AM Reply Like
  • 1980XLS
    , contributor
    Comments (3360) | Send Message
     
    yottabit,

     

    The weight has little to do with a trucks hwy cruising HP requirement.

     

    It is certainly the lower weight that will allow for the use of smaller engines and city mpg improvements though, as less power will be needed for accelerating (at least with an empty truck) without loss of performance. The smaller engines will improve hwy mpg, but only marginally, as almost the same amount of work must be done at a given cruising speed. Smaller engines will require to operate at either higher RPM , or be under boost more often.

     

    Those gains will come at the expense of hauling and towing however, for those that actually use their truck as truck, rather than just a car. As those will not be able to take advantage of the Step down, in engine size.

     

    As far as transmissions more speeds will be helpful, but less meaningful for hwy MPG.

     

    As final drive ratio, (engine RPM at a given speed) not number of gears, is the most meaningful figure for hwy. Automakers have already mostly optimized gearing for hwy mpg bragging rights.

     

    It is better for city mpg though, as the engine can more often operate in it's most efficient rpm range.
    21 May 2014, 07:36 AM Reply Like
  • Ryandan
    , contributor
    Comments (1594) | Send Message
     
    I'm going to need to pack a lunch when all you people get in the same room again.
    21 May 2014, 10:26 AM Reply Like
  • Seppo Sahrakorpi
    , contributor
    Comments (2146) | Send Message
     
    Car & Driver:

     

    5 Cool Ways Ford Stripped Weight Out of the 2015 F-150’s Chassis [besides using aluminum in the body]

     

    http://bit.ly/SlwkOp
    21 May 2014, 11:22 PM Reply Like
  • ted lujan
    , contributor
    Comments (1624) | Send Message
     
    Seppo,
    thanks for the link a real revelation.
    22 May 2014, 10:42 AM Reply Like
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