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novicius
January 15th, 2014, 11:42 AM
2015 Ford F-150 brings big aluminum to the Rust Belt (http://www.autoblog.com/2014/01/13/2015-ford-f-150-detroit-2014/)

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Instead, the big headline news Ford is highlighting are the truck's new aluminum-intensive structure and 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine.

And with good reason – all that aluminum means that Ford was able to cut a massive 700 pounds from the truck's curb weight. That is going to cause all sorts of great things to happen to the 2015 F-150's driving dynamics, performance and fuel efficiency, not to mention its ability to haul heavy loads. For those customers worried about the strength of aluminum versus the more conventional steel, Ford is quick to point out that many military vehicles, such as the HMMWV and Bradley Fighting Vehicle, use a very similar sort of aluminum alloy in their construction.

It's also worth mentioning that the backbone, a fully boxed ladder frame, is hewn from high-strength steel. Ford says "2015 Ford F-150 is the strongest and most durable F-150 ever," for what it's worth, claiming that "torture tested" in labs and in the real world for more than 10 million miles. What's more, the truck, in disguised form, completed all 883 miles of the Baja 1000.

Engine options are equally intriguing, with a new 2.7 EcoBoost V6 engine making the most headlines. That engine, which Ford says will "deliver the same power as some mid-range V8s," doesn't yet have official power or efficiency ratings but sits right above the base 3.5-liter V6. The well-known 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 carries over, as does the 5.0-liter V8. Other high-tech tidbits include a 360-degree camera, which ought to make maneuvering the massive truck much easier, LED lighting all around, an eight-inch in-cabin LCD screen.
First to market. While it may look like a Tundra, this sucker is going to move units.

Another tidbit:


The truck frame will be made of steel. But the full cab and bed are high-strength, heavy-gauge aluminum alloys that Ford engineers insist are tougher and more dent-resistant than steel body panels Ford has used for decades. The current F-150 uses aluminum only for the hood.

Engineers took the unusual step of building six prototypes of current F-150s with aluminum bodies for stealth field testing. The unique trucks were tested at a dam construction site in Pennsylvania and a gold mine in Utah. They endured brutal use and abuse by unsuspecting workers who had no idea they were dropping heavy loads into an aluminum bed.

Ford also surreptitiously entered an aluminum prototype F-150 with the new engine in the grueling Baja 1000 race in November and it finished.

Random
January 15th, 2014, 11:45 AM
Regardless of material, it would be nice if the bed heights would reverse their current trend of constant increase. F-i-l notes that he can't get tools in and out of the side windows on the shell of his new F-150 b/c the lift-over height is too much compared to his old 2000 Silverado. :|

Kchrpm
January 15th, 2014, 11:46 AM
Very interested to see the EPA rating effect this has. And for everyone else to copy the drastic weight savings.

Russ-
Tell people to stop lifting their trucks once they get them, my guess is they're sending the message that taller is better.

novicius
January 15th, 2014, 12:03 PM
This is how Ford snuck a 2015 F-150 past everyone at the Baja 1000 (http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-shows/2014-detroit-auto-show/2015-ford-f-150-baja-1000-prototype-ford-snuck-in)


Ford pulled a prototype pickup from its test fleet: a 2015 model in 2014 clothing. In order to keep spy photographers at bay, Ford went through the hassle of stamping a number of 2014 bodies in aluminum for road testing. It was the perfect camouflage.

“This truck is all the 2015 powertrain, frame, the suspension stuff, the 2.7-liter EcoBoost motor, and then they actually stamped the old molds out in aluminum so we could hide in plain sight,” Foutz said.

He grabbed a prototype and set to work. Unlike previous race trucks, Ford was dead set on using as may production parts as possible. Aside from a set of lift springs, Fox shocks borrowed from the Raptor, a fuel cell in the bed, a cage, and a set of 35/12.50 R17 prototype BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A tires, the truck is bone stock. It even has the factory transmission cooler.

“We broke all the rules for racing. This is as stock as you can possibly get. It’s all the stock arms and four-wheel drive components.”

Ford even insisted on using the factory air intake and filter.

novicius
January 15th, 2014, 12:47 PM
Regardless of material, it would be nice if the bed heights would reverse their current trend of constant increase. F-i-l notes that he can't get tools in and out of the side windows on the shell of his new F-150 b/c the lift-over height is too much compared to his old 2000 Silverado. :|

The upper lip of the bed is about an inch lower, making it easier to reach into the bed, and bed-side steps are now available even on the shortest boxes.
Sounds like more than your f-i-l complained about that.

MR2 Fan
January 15th, 2014, 12:47 PM
I'm no fan of Ford or Ford trucks, but 700 pounds off is a HUGE improvement and a step in the right direction.

neanderthal
January 15th, 2014, 01:32 PM
I'm no fan of Ford or Ford trucks, but 700 pounds off is a HUGE improvement and a step in the right direction.

This.

I wonder if they are trying to Federalise their 2.5 liter diesel engine for this too...

Leon
January 15th, 2014, 02:15 PM
I love that they ran it basically stock in the Baja, and in front of everyone. :)

thesameguy
January 15th, 2014, 02:25 PM
Ford's trucks have been getting better and better since their low point in the '90s - glad to see they have the wherewithal to keep that trend going! For me, this is the first truck that is good enough that would make me think long and hard versus a Chevy... the previous several generations have been very nice, just not quite good enough to change my default vote. ;)

neanderthal
January 15th, 2014, 04:41 PM
I think they should have gone coil spring in the rear though.

I'm a Ram fan because of their innovation in that area.
And i'm surprised why there hasn't been innovation in using air springs as helper springs for coils. Or even hydraulics. Citroen has been using them for decades. So has Mercedes. Smooth ride. Load handling. BOOM!!!!

Phil_SS
January 15th, 2014, 05:31 PM
Awesome. It's nice to know that they are not standing pat and are still trying to improve the design.

Hopefully the use of aluminum will filter down to the entire car lineup. The Mustang is already seing the benefit and 700 lbs is huge for a truck like this. Many people who sit on the fence between the brands are gonna be very impressed and I think Ford is gonna see a huge spike because of it. Maybe they were right when they said they would the biggest car company in the USA over the next couple years.

neanderthal
January 15th, 2014, 05:42 PM
I was going to "phooey" your statement that 700lbs is huge, until I realised that it is more than 10% of the vehicles mass.

Well bloody done Ford.

Kchrpm
January 15th, 2014, 05:50 PM
The 2014 F150 curb weight is, at its lowest, about 4700 lbs, so yeah, about 15%.

I didn't realize they were THAT heavy. If it's down to 4000 lbs, it will be around 1000 lbs lighter than the Silverado :eek:

MR2 Fan
January 15th, 2014, 08:01 PM
I can see the ads now "lighter than a Dodge Challenger"

thesameguy
January 15th, 2014, 08:15 PM
4000lbs would make an F150 about the same weight as many mid-size and full size cars!

novicius
January 16th, 2014, 06:04 AM
Ford Introduces All-new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 in 2015 F-150 Truck (http://www.enginelabs.com/news/ford-introduces-all-new-2-7-liter-ecoboost-v6-in-2015-f-150-truck/)


“We’ve applied lessons learned from the 3.5-liter EcoBoost to the new 2.7-liter EcoBoost, but with new technologies that make this more efficient engine perform like a larger mid-range V8,” says Raj Nair, Ford’s boss of global product development.

The new start-stop technology is especially tuned for truck customers, Ford says. It shuts off the engine when the truck comes to a stop — except when towing or in 4-wheel-drive to give drivers power on demand in critical situations. Otherwise, when the brake is released while the truck is stopped, the engine quickly restarts.

Another new feature of the 2.7L is Ford’s first use of a compacted graphite iron cylinder block in a gas engine. That’s the same block material used in the 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel engine.
Heh, I wonder how much power this lil' mill can withstand. :D #hotrodding


Other smart new features of the 2.7-liter EcoBoost include:


First use of fracture split main-bearing caps, which create a superior fit between the cap and engine block for reduced crankshaft friction to help improve efficiency
All-new aluminum cylinder heads feature water-cooled integrated exhaust manifolds that bring the turbos closer to the exhaust heat and pressure
Variable-displacement oil pump reduces internal engine friction
Intake and exhaust variable cam timing that improves torque
Lightweight, durable composite intake manifold
Cooling jets beneath the pistons that spray oil on the pistons to help lower operating temperatures
Piston connecting rods use an offset I-beam that provides strength to manage peak engine power levels while reducing weight
Cartridge-style oil filter integrated into top of the engine for easy service

In addition to stringent factory testing and validation, the engine also completed the 883-mile Baja 1000 race last year. Powering a new F-150 disguised to resemble a current production model, the truck raced with no additional coolers or radiators typically added for such a race. Ford says the truck had no engine issues and only the stock air filter was changed.

Other Ford tests included more than 1,000 consecutive extreme temperature loops and brings the engine from -25 F to 235F — which is like driving from Death Valley to the Arctic Circle. The engine was also ran a full load for more than 17 straight days, most of the time at peak torque and power. And the start/stop function was validated with more than 900 hours tests, simulating 240,000 start/stop cycles. The engine was even torture tested with gas mixtures up to E20 and intentionally degraded oil with towing for more than 800 hours.
Is this the first American-made start-stop vehicle?

Kchrpm
January 16th, 2014, 06:31 AM
Is this the first American-made start-stop vehicle?
No, the first GM hybrid trucks were just start-stop vehicles.

novicius
January 16th, 2014, 09:07 AM
Ah, good to know. It's too bad this new 2.7L Ecoboost V6 isn't in the new Mustang 'cause it sounds the business. :hard:

thesameguy
January 16th, 2014, 11:02 AM
The 2.7l does sound pretty awesome... the features read like a textbook on how to build a great turbocharged engine! 2.7l has got to be one of the smallest motors ever put in a full size truck.

novicius
January 16th, 2014, 11:46 AM
Nicko, are you making any parts for this mill yet? I hope the factory wrist pins are beefy... :twisted: #800rwhp #newlightning

Nick T
January 16th, 2014, 12:30 PM
No, nothing with that one yet, even from the aftermarket. We haven't really done anything with Ford since the original eco-boost engines. But if history tells me anything, it's that Ford has no issue spending another few cents a pin to get the good ones for the engines that they cherish most ;)

(however, if I'm building something serious it is going to have a DLC pin in it)

KillerB
January 17th, 2014, 10:54 AM
Anyone else find it really strange that the lowest displacement six-cylinder on sale in America will be in a full-size pickup?

novicius
January 17th, 2014, 10:57 AM
Not when it's twin turbocharged -- I expect 1,000 rwhp out of that lil' guy. :hard:



(however, if I'm building something serious it is going to have a DLC pin in it)
Bespoke is the answer to every weakness; I'm just curious on if the Ecoboost 2.7 has the factory internals to support some serious magazine numbers. :D

Random
January 17th, 2014, 11:06 AM
Anyone else find it really strange that the lowest displacement six-cylinder on sale in America will be in a full-size pickup?

ObPedant: IS250?

Nick T
January 17th, 2014, 02:08 PM
Not when it's twin turbocharged -- I expect 1,000 rwhp out of that lil' guy. :hard:



Bespoke is the answer to every weakness;

Of course. I just wanted to say that DLC pins are really, really awesome.

KillerB
January 19th, 2014, 05:11 PM
Totally forgot that was still on the market. I'm guessing the Infiniti G25 made a quick exit? I literally have never seen one.

TheBenior
January 19th, 2014, 05:29 PM
The G25 lasted all of 2 model years, probably due to horrible sales. Infiniti never broke up G sales into anything besides coupes and sedans, so who knows just how poorly the G25 sold.