From mobile devices to mobility and automotive technologies – the future is smarter, stronger, and lighter.
Acceleration, handling, safety, braking, and fuel economy all have the capacity for vast improvement through the use of lightweight materials. Light weighting is an essential design element that impacts overall vehicle performance.
Weight reductions are being reached across Ford’s lineup through the use of lightweight materials like magnesium and aluminum alloys, carbon fibre composites and even sustainable biomaterials. These materials are an essential part of Ford’s sustainability plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stabilize carbon dioxide in our planet’s atmosphere.
From the extensive use of aerodynamics and carbon fibre in the Ford GT, to the high-strength boron steel in the Ford Fiesta, and the military-grade alloys in the F-Series lineup, the same lighter materials that are crucial in spacecraft, commercial trucking, and aircraft are increasingly being implemented in Ford vehicles.
THE 2017 F-150: LIGHTER, TOUGHER THAN EVER
Ford engineers are no strangers to throwing out the rulebook to design a better vehicle. Between this generation and the last, the 2017 Ford F-150 received a considerable aluminum upgrade to its body; a class-exclusive cab and box constructed from military-grade aluminum alloys.
As a result, the 2017 F-150 is up to 335 kg lighter than the 2014 model.
That’s roughly the equivalent of over 800 hockey sticks, or 50 thousand loonies. Tap below to see just how much weight we saved on the 2017 F-150.
It’s about more than being lighter. We arrived at every design decision on the latest generation of F-Series vehicles with engineering precision; the 2017 F-150 is designed to be tougher, more capable, and smarter than ever before. The F-150’s aluminum alloy body means that the vehicle is not only lighter – it also boasts improved dent and ding resistance, as well as better stiffness and durability through the frame.
Our engineers designed these lighter, tougher vehicles with our drivers’ safety and pocketbooks in mind. The light weighting of the F-150, along with an available all new 3.5L EcoBoost V6 paired exclusively with an all-new 10-speed transmission helps to improve fuel economy –while also receiving the Top Safety Pick from the International Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). All this without sacrificing any of the performance you require for the hard work you do every day.
When the pickup weighs less, drivers are able to transfer that saved weight to the payload, allowing them to haul more, tow more, and work harder and smarter. With greater power-to-weight ratio, higher payload capacities, and improved acceleration, handling, and braking responsiveness – it’s good to be light.
A lighter chassis also means more room for the latest technology – without compromising overall vehicle weight. When you’re on the cutting edge, there’s plenty of tech to be included – from available 360-degree camera with split-view display to available BLIS with trailer coverage.
Elsewhere in the F-Series family, the 2017 Super Duty weighs roughly 150 kg less than the outgoing model, and the 2017 Raptor shaves a considerable 225 kg compared to the previous generation Raptor. The benefits of light weighting are displayed across Ford’s pickup lineup, resulting in the strongest, smartest F-Series generation yet.
How do we go lighter, tougher, and more efficient in the future? Ford remains on the cutting edge of advancements in light weighting vehicles across the board, taking steps now to ensure that tomorrow’s vehicles are both more capable and more efficient.
Currently, Ford is partnering with DowAksa – a company that specializes in the production of lighter materials, tailoring strength to a specific part – and the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation to produce automotive-grade carbon fibre. The type of fibre that might feel right at home on the Ford GT.
Ford is also researching new types of steel designed to be up to three times stronger than the steels currently used in production, as well as polymeric plastic strengthening foams designed to reinforce steel components. These foams will be tough enough to withstand impact on the body, but light enough they could glide comfortably across Lake Ontario.
Where do you see the future of lighter vehicles? Comment below or on our Facebook!