Is Ford About to Build the Greatest Truck of Our Generation?

Photo credit: Ford.

There are rumors that Ford's (NYSE: F  ) next generation F-150 could have an aluminum body. The move could shave up to 700 pounds, or 15%, off the truck's massive frame, which would go a long way to improving its fuel economy.

However, aluminum might not be the only ingredient fueling the next-generation Ford truck to greatness. That's because Ford's F-150 will soon also be available to have a natural gas engine installed. Combine the two, and the end result could be a real breakthrough for the industry.

Built for performance
Aluminum has always been an important material for the automotive industry. It's already used to make engines and wheels, but today's advanced aluminum alloys are increasingly being considered for other areas such as the hood, trunk, and doors. In fact, Tesla's (NASDAQ: TSLA  ) groundbreaking and award-winning Model S credits its all-aluminum body for its remarkable performance.

Ford is rumored to be on the verge of joining Tesla in taking its truck to the next level of performance by replacing its steel body with aluminum. The bold move would not only cut its weight to improve its gas mileage, but it would also improve the truck's overall performance. That's because lighter-weight aluminum enables vehicles to brake and accelerate more quickly -- all with better handling.

Fuel of the future
Ford's innovations don't end with aluminum. The company recently announced that its F-150 will soon be available with a natural gas engine designed by Westport Innovations (NASDAQ: WPRT  ) . While it won't be available until the first quarter of next year, the addition of the Westport WiNG Power System to its fleet will make it the only full-size pickup that can come prepped from the factory for natural gas. The move really boosts the options for customers, as they will soon have the opportunity to purchase a new truck that's powered by a next-generation fuel.

WiNG is already available in Ford F-250 and F-350 pickup trucks. Photo credit: Westport Innovations

Not only is natural gas 50% to 80% cheaper than regular gasoline, but it's also up to 90% cleaner. That's a true win-win situation for both customers and the environment. Finally, while electric vehicles such as Tesla's are clearly the future, given the performance requirements of most F-150 customers, the industry has a long way to go before it can offer customers a comparable truck powered by electricity, meaning natural gas is the only real option for the medium term.

What this means for both consumers and investors
The potential of combining the performance gains from aluminum with the economic and environmental benefits of natural gas could truly be a game-changing move by Ford. These moves could make the F-150 the gold standard when it comes to owning an environmentally responsible truck. When looking at that potential, Ford truly could be building the greatest truck of our generation. That means Ford's stock could prove to be quite a rewarding long-term investment.

Not only is Ford set to truly revolutionize its top U.S. truck, but it's also making inroads in China, which is already the world's largest auto market -- and it's set to grow even bigger in coming years. The real question is whether Ford is doing enough to take advantage of that surging market. That's why a recent Motley Fool report, "2 Automakers to Buy for a Surging Chinese Market," takes a closer look at that market and names two global giants poised to reap big gains that could drive big rewards for investors. Is Ford one of those named? For that you'll need to read this report, which is yours for free -- just click here for instant access.


Read/Post Comments (97) | Recommend This Article (43)

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  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 11:28 AM, Jason87467 wrote:

    Ford is not ready to build the greatest truck of a generation, because GM already has with their 2014 Silverado..

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 11:29 AM, MiserblOF wrote:

    Aluminum body might be a good thing but natural gas on the highway is a meg-disaster waiting to happen. Fracked gas rivals coal for environmental destruction and is far worse than even gasoline. And of course there is the "bomb in an accident" factor.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 11:30 AM, MiserblOF wrote:

    A REAL improvement would be a plug-in hybrid truck with a 50+ mile EV range. Until then, forget about it.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 11:55 AM, LungsOfSteel wrote:

    Funny, but didn't Chevrolet just build it?

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 11:55 AM, deravadis wrote:

    The best just keep getting better. Also ford has the best truck period,and built without goverment money.too bad GM your still behind

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 11:58 AM, thebar20 wrote:

    Bought Ford when it was 1.04. Loaded up on

    a block. Against all the naysayers. Sure glad

    I did. I have used Ford Trucks on my Ranch

    for the past 55 years. Still have a 66 running

    and pulling Stock trailers. 300,000 miles on

    it. Have put in some new motors. However

    the tranny and drive train still the same.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 12:07 PM, Freddbe wrote:

    Ford keeps making those can't fix or can afford to get fix trucks. I had a 2008 it took 20 dollar plugs that you had to take the engine apart to replace. The shop will charge you 1200 bucks for a tune up and that is if they don't have to tap any plugs out the head. That isn't the future I'm looking for.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 12:16 PM, jims1950 wrote:

    gm has built nothing but junk for the last 50 years. they will never see my money

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 12:17 PM, hmsthehood wrote:

    Be interesting to see how the Aluminum bodies hold up.

    I'm guessing not as well or everyone would be making this move.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 12:19 PM, retiredhm wrote:

    Aluminum frame there goes the protective box, light weight metal on ships, guess what a small dinghy with explosives did to the cole. The only vehicle that will not hurt the future ford 1-150 will be the cooper or the backless casket of 4 tires.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 12:20 PM, Glen49520 wrote:

    Ford keep thinking of the world we live in and this maybe the best yet , I have had Fords since 1950 and still going strong.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 12:20 PM, rezneck59 wrote:

    government motors (GM) has a lot of catching up to do.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 12:25 PM, DBeard54 wrote:

    GM is not and never will be stiff competition for Ford. As far as trucks go, Ford already outsells GM by nearly 2 to 1. And what's all the hype with the new Silverado? I've been in the showrooms. The 2014 looks just like the previous model. I thought it was supposed to get a redesign.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 12:28 PM, jmyers6670 wrote:

    Great for the environment too... once it's old you can just crinkle it up into a ball and toss it in the recycle bin....

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 12:29 PM, omorin34 wrote:

    Land Rover has been using aluminum for decades. It doesn't easily rust and seems to resist dents. Nice that more companies are using it. I still would like to see a small diesel for this class of truck that can run off of bio diesel as well. Commenter that said trucks should be EV with a 50 mile range has obviously never used / owned one for it's intended purpose. Also Land Rover is one of the heaviest SUV's made, e.g. LR4. All things equal, the F150 should be lighter but trucks keep adding towing capacity to this segment and the weight keeps going up.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 12:36 PM, Teuffelhunden wrote:

    Ford's are already the most expensive trucks on the road with dealers that barely move on price; compared to aluminum steel is cheap. How much is an all aluminum truck going to add to already ridiculous sticker prices? Natrual gas is less expensive but where would I get it around my neighborhood much less on a road trip across the US, and how much would this add to the build? The Chevrolet LS engines are the most powerful and cleanest burning gasoline powered engines out there due to thier design, computer controls, and direct injection. Just build a better engine- Ford...After all a majority of the LS design was stolen from the Ford modular motor such as the head porting and firing order!

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 12:37 PM, kaosv1 wrote:

    I hope so I bought a thousand shares of Ford at 4.00 + a couple years back.....be nice to see a 100 stock at some point. :-)

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 12:37 PM, downdie wrote:

    Ford would be better fitting it with an economical turbo diesel engine instead of natural gas, more torque, better fuel economy, more environmentally better than gas guzzling gasoline engines that are wasting the environment and natural resources of the planet quickly. Global warming - too large gasoline engines be used and too many aircraft polluting the atmosphere,in europe the gasoline engine is on the way out due to its inefficiency and pollution, wake up Ford.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 12:41 PM, catiiiz1 wrote:

    10k for the new engine. Not going to be worth it. Why can the utility companys and law enforcement retrofit their vehicles for 2k?

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 12:50 PM, Stevegarry22 wrote:

    Just think, all this innovation Ford has, and they didn't need a government handout! They also make a superior product. I've been driving Fords for over 40 years. I had one Chevrolet P/U in 1994, the oil filter fell off at 525 miles, and the engine blew. I will never buy a piece of junk GM product again.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 12:51 PM, Teuffelhunden wrote:

    I agree downdie my Cummins does just fine because it is a TRUCK and used as a TRUCK. Half ton pickups have become the new SUV. All you see on the road today are Megacabs with shoe boxes for beds...A 6 foot bed? A piece of plywood is 4' X 8'. If you are so worried about the environment buy a Nissan Leaf and move to California.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 12:52 PM, Dream2long wrote:

    I've read the natural gas models will cost you $10,000 more than the regular gas models. Now to me that's a whole lot of gasoline. Just like the electric cars that cost in average of $10-20,000 more to go about 50 miles if you're lucky and if you don't run anything else in the car on electric. When the savings equals the extra cash spent these "green" vehicles might be worth it, but until then they're just building more expensive toys. Thinking natural gas could be more of an explosive issue too.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 12:58 PM, shawnbigger wrote:

    Why does everybody assume electric is the future - from an environmental perspective mining the lithium and then disposing of it is more of an environmental disaster waiting to happen than any carbon based fuel. Why do things like this get swept under the carpet like so many other things.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 12:58 PM, angie6872 wrote:

    We shopped for trucks before we purchased our F-250 and found that Chevy and GM have vastly more expensive trucks with a lot less style. In fact, the only GM truck that I might have been interested in was well over $80,000. I love our new truck...it looks and acts like a truck but drives like a car with a lot of style and comfort. And power? It has wicked power! No. I would never buy a Chevy or a GM.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 1:02 PM, readfederallist wrote:

    Wanna sell a million trucks ? Build a normally aspirated 6 cyl diesel that runs instead of sitting in the repair shop. A basic work truck with 250-300 real HP, A/C & seats that last. Not the frilly over revving 450 HP auto-grenade crap they call trucks and want 45-55K for, which promptly begin falling to pieces. Some of us work our trucks, and want something dependable & geared right that gets 25 open highway mpg for about 1/2 million miles. It's easily done, why not offer a real medium duty truck ?

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 1:04 PM, GT500KRX wrote:

    Even if the new F-series is an @$$kicker, any gains made will be lost the end of the production of the Econoline van. RIP Ford Econoline!

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 1:05 PM, zigg72md wrote:

    The greatest truck of all time is already being built by VIA Motors. It is a range extended EV truck with 40 mile EV range that can get 30+mpg without plugging it in and 100+mpge if you do. It has a 400 horsepower motor and 300 ft ibs of torque. Which is available at all RPMs. Although as a Ford man I would prefer a F-150 version over the Sierra version they have now.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 1:12 PM, TexasVolt wrote:

    Westport - yawn! Another over-hyped stock ready to crumble.

    Altech Eco (privately held) already has a Ford-approved bi-fuel CNG/gasoline upgrade available for the F150 and for sale through qualified dealers and installers on the new truck.

    The F150 3.7L may be the first vehicle for which the combination of natural gas and gasoline is the dominant fuel option. With CNG running $1.50 - $1.99 a gallon in most places, Natural Gas has finally arrived.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 1:16 PM, franknelson70 wrote:

    As far the concern over an exploding fule tank, there a lot vehicles out on the road today that have been involed in an accidental explosion. The City of Hamilton Ohio uses natural gas vehicles and has since the early 80's, without incident.They are also looking to build a natural gas station in 2014.Dodge has built a LPG Ram Series truck, but you lose bed space. The fule tank is located toward the rear of the cab in the bed area. Right now it being marketed for contractor's only.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 1:19 PM, franknelson70 wrote:

    That's not have been involved in explosion's. Sorry for the typo.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 1:19 PM, mso88 wrote:

    "Finally, while electric vehicles such as Tesla's are clearly the future..."

    SAYS WHO?

    Tesla's are interesting but need to double their range and cut their price in half. As for the Volt, a major car company's CEO describes it as "a car for idiots."

    I'll definitely take a look at the new F-150. Ford's biggest selling point is they didn't take government bailout money.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 1:53 PM, steviebeef wrote:

    Have owned Dodge, Jeep (57) Ford pickups, with repair bills that give you nightmares and eating a lot of pasta and ketchup.

    Enter my 2006 Honda Ridgeline. 126, 500 miles--repairs NONE. Major service every 60K miles, change the oil that's it. Brakes once, and not bad at all, Honda makes real thick rotors that can sometimes be turned twice. 22 MPG highway with A/C on, can haul 6,000lbs, roll out cage extender over tailgate, sunken lockable watertight trunk under back bed.

    No offense but you can keep the others, I wouldn't be caught dead buying one again.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 1:55 PM, Cmorganson wrote:

    I just want to know where they will buy their aluminum. That company might get a bump and be worth an investment. Anyone know?

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 1:55 PM, whughw wrote:

    The Postal Service has been using aluminum bodies for about 25 years...they were originally planned for a 20 year life (called LLV for Long Life Vehicle)..where the old trucks were only good for 10 years or so...After 20 years, the expectancy was expanded to another 10 years. The bodies just keeping on going because of the No Rust Factor.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 1:55 PM, kca124cain wrote:

    Sounds interesting. For those of you who think aluminum does not corrode, got news, it does corrode. But aluminum body would be considerably lighter in weight.

    When Ford acquired Range Rover, they discovered that Range Rover had not isolated their aluminum bodies from the galvanized chassis. They changed that with the next model.

    Ford knows what they are doing. Even though I currently drive a Chevy and am very happy with it.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 2:01 PM, vet212 wrote:

    Only and I repeat only if they forget about "image vehicle" status of the pickup and get back to its hard working roots as utility machine okm keep the comfort amenities but forget the useless gingerbread and all the stupid decaling

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 2:04 PM, Moparman821 wrote:

    FORD better look into doing something different, because whatever they do now, sucks. Ford trucks are the most over rated garbage on the road. A friend on mine is a service manager for our local Ford dealer, he says he would not drive a Ford if his job didn't depend on it. He is a MOPAR man through and through!!!! My bro in law and father in law both have fords and hate them, their words, under powered, rough riding, noisy interiors. And whoever said GM makes the most powerful engine on the roads...where the hell you been?? 5.3L V8 315 HP?? RAM 389 hp, Toyota 390 hp, been pushing more HP than that since what 2009 or so. Hell the new RAM V6 has 315 HP!! I looked at the 2014 GMC at my dealership the other day after all the rave about it. Its the same thing they been making, just a few little tweaks, still looks like a plain ole paw paw truck with a paw paw motor

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 2:10 PM, jamesdan567 wrote:

    Electric vehicles made no sense in 1970 when gas was $0.29 per gallon. I was there. Cars got about 12 mpg back then. Today, cars are about 100% improved on fuel economy and gasoline has risen 1240%.

    Even if you back out inflation the price has risen at least 6X versus mpg. THAT means the price of driving is increasing for all the dummies here.

    ELECTRIC CARS AND TRUCKS ARE INEVITABLE. WHY?

    The Tesla EV is 400% more efficient than cars in its class. When gasoline prices hit $5.00 that number will be 440% more efficient. Anyone here STUPID enough to think gas prices won't rise? As gas prices rise, people can now switch to high efficiency EV's.

    People who resist EV's are the same people who resist computers, or Internet, or Smartphones. There simply are many people who are afraid of change and want to deny it. To them, I say, where is your typewriter?

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 2:13 PM, saabhubby wrote:

    Uhhh, you didn't make any mention of what it is going to cost with all this wonderful stuff. Read a report yesterday that the NG fuel system will cost an extra $10,000! For what? 8 new injectors, new heavier duty lines and rails? Uhhhh, a little overcharge or what there Ford? How much is the all aluminum body going to add to the truck? Aluminum is more expensive than steel. So, who do you think is going to be able to afford it? Other than that, yeah, NG is cheap now, however, you need to look at the bigger picture. Coal is virtually being outlawed for energy production and the power companies are going to convert to NG for the most part because all the "green" options are not reliable enough. You start adding NG cars to the mix and how long do you think NG's prices will stay low, not very long. So...in the long run, this is going to be a loss for the investor.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 2:15 PM, oregonrider wrote:

    Idiots.

    The first truck company to make a light duty pickup with a 6 cylinder diesel engine at the right price point will "revolutionize the market"

    A small diesel would provide the torque, mileage, longevity and reliability that truck buyers yearn for - and have to step up to a 3/4 ton or 1 ton truck to get.

    Diesel is available everywhere - compressed natural gas is not available in some markets (like mine).

    This is foo-foo eco-groovy cr*p-ola. I don't want this - I want a *very* durable all steel truck with a diesel motor....

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 2:16 PM, kernal75 wrote:

    Like everything in life, good things come with a price, It would not surprise me if Ford jacks up the price of one of these 30-40% over a comparable gasoline competitor, like dumb GM with the VOLT which would take 15-20 years to see a payback of which by then the car will need major repair. I'll just keep running my Toyota's which keep going and going and going well past domestic models, JMHO

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 2:23 PM, jak74 wrote:

    I agree, Ford is already one of the more expensive trucks out there, I also agree Ford is prolly the most durable, that being said how is Aluminum going to hold up over steel? If your talking performance like gas usage and 0-60 sure Aluminum sounds great, but most truck owners use Fords as a work vehicle these days, hauling, plowing, etc... also natural gas is coming around but its going to be another 5 years before its common enough to be main stream enough for the average driver, I have seen some companies like waste management and Ozinga with natural gas trucks but I imagine they have their own natural gas setup on the property something most people cannot afford. Sounds great Ford but still a few years off imo, wont work right now.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 2:28 PM, kca124cain wrote:

    Actually, back in the mid 1980's, Ford offered a small 6 cylinder diesel in the ranger. It was probably a BMW diesel, as they offered them in the Mark 7 and a small diesel in the Escort.

    At that time, they could not sell them. So they discontinued them

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 2:28 PM, rockhopper213 wrote:

    Aluminum is a disaster. With any bump, any hit it takes, the body is dead. Aluminum becomes weaker with every hit, and you can never spring it back to maintain it's strength. With steel bikes, when someone crashes them, they can easily reshape them and stabilize them. With aluminum bikes, that's it, take it to the junk yard.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 2:29 PM, rdmcdonald48 wrote:

    Building a CNG powered vehicle is one thing, providing readily available fuel resources for it is something completely different.

    Buyers will be limited in their range of usefulness due to the lack of filling stations for CNG powered vehicles.

    That is one reason you do not see as many LPG powered vehicles on the road either. Why spend $ 45K on a truck with limited drive ability due to a lack of fuel suppliers?

    Not to mention - insurers are going to "love" the use aluminum body panels, especially in "tornado alley" where hail is a frequent occurrence. Going to be an insurance adjusters link to job securlty.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 2:34 PM, fpdsm wrote:

    They should design a truck that is easy to be repaired .When you have to lift the cab off the frame to work on an engine you get into labor costs . Replacing head gaskets and sparkplugs should be able to be done WITHOUT TAKING THE CAB OFF THE FRAME !!!!!I hope Ford learned from their 5.4 L !!! Engineers need to personally work on the crap they design and maybe they would design such crap !!! Hopefully this engine won't have the two piece sparkplug design :(

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 2:42 PM, nrtoma wrote:

    Gov CAFE standards kill. How many deaths have resulted? Depending on which study you choose, the total ranges from 41,600 to 124,800. To that figure we can add between 352,000 and 624,000 people suffering serious injuries, including being crippled for life. In the past thirty years, fuel standards have become one of the major causes of death and misery in the United States — and one almost completely attributable to human stupidity and shortsightedness.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 2:53 PM, babyleg wrote:

    That would be the Chevrolet Silverado.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 2:56 PM, babyleg wrote:

    Aluminum is great for Pepsi Cans...but not for the durability and strength a steel body provides for a truck. Don't try to reinvent the wheel. It rolls just fine the way it is.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 3:09 PM, EmilyGoodall wrote:

    Difficult to take the Fool seriously. They're too easily bought away by financial interests like Ford Motor Company. This is nothing more than an ad for Ford, thinly disguised as a "news item."

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 3:14 PM, brocks0905 wrote:

    Ford is getting their aluminum from Alcoa. I'm working on the expansion at the Davenport, Iowa plant. They are already in talks with other auto manufacturers about producing aluminum for their lines.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 3:46 PM, hughbarfley wrote:

    First off: Aluminum frames are not a new innovation; planes have been made with them for decades. BTW: aircraft-grade aluminum (which is what I assume they'll use) is very strong, much stronger than other commercial grades of aluminum, such as the kind used in bikes.

    Now: This new F-150 will never be a "great" truck, let alone the "greatest" truck of this or any generation.

    Here's why it sucks:

    1: It's a "FORD" an acronym which means "Found On Road Dead"

    2: Like all modern pick-ups it has an extra big cab that comfortably seats 5 or more William Taft sized people, a tiny bed that is two feet long; i.e. it is only designed to carry annoying passengers, & there's more cargo space in the trunk of a '68 VW Beetle!

    3: There is already a greatest truck. It is Chevy's '82 "S-15" (later called S-10) which features a small cab and an 8 foot bed & already weighs probably half what this new F-150 does. What makes the S-15/10 the greatest is that you can replace the factory bench seat with a single bucket seat, adding extra storage room to the cab for your stuff, whilst discouraging annoying people from mooching rides! -- "Oh, you want a ride, huh? Well, hop in the bed & hold on tight, haha" --

    4: Did I mention it's a FORD?

    *points at F-150*.....Haw-haw!

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 3:50 PM, jferristx wrote:

    Are there any business people here? I thought this was an investment discussion, not a fanboy urination contest. IF Ford does this, Alcoa looks better, because everyone will jump in on the bandwagon. This isn't new technology for the body parts, lots of manufacturers already use aluminium, even if the rocket surgeons on this board don't believe it works. It's a good play for NG, it is a great play for Alcoa. It may take some shake out to determine who is the better CNG engine maker. The rest of you go with your conspiracies on fuel standards, your engineering genius about vehicles and pop cans, and how FOOL is just free advertising for Ford. I'm here to make money, this is information that will let me do so.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 3:55 PM, PhoenixJack wrote:

    I wish that they would bring back the Ranger.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 4:05 PM, roxnylons wrote:

    The paint will wash off---no matter what anyone says---hilarious.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 4:17 PM, fangzamillion wrote:

    Looking at the other posts, one can only assume that many (most?) were written by GM dealers. GM failed for numerous reasons, but building junk was the number 1 issue. Based on my experience/observations, I would never trust a GM product again - no matter how many dealers/salespersons get on here and advertise for them.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 4:17 PM, TCInFlorida wrote:

    But CNG takes four times as much volume per energy unit of fuel, so the vehicle must have less range or a huge fuel tank. Tractor trailers can mount large CNG tanks, but there is no good place in a personal vehicle to mount a 100 gallon tank.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 4:32 PM, hunter3203 wrote:

    First - Tesla is not the company that has pioneered the extensive use of Aluminum in its cars. Audi did that with their A8 twenty years ago.

    Second - I do think Ford has a chance to truly one up the competition if they can actually produce an affordable truck that is 700 lbs lighter than the competition. Fuel economy, performance and towing can all be improved at once. That's a game changer.

    Third - The F-150 will only be available as "prepared" to be converted to natural gas. You'll have to pay an additional $8-10K to get that conversion and it means having a large tank taking up part of the pickup bed.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 4:59 PM, Tcorrec wrote:

    The truckadero. That big truckadoo.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 5:42 PM, DCMilwaukee wrote:

    "...but today's advanced aluminum alloys are increasingly being considered for other areas such as the hood, trunk, and doors."

    You mean sort of like on my old 1988 Mazda RX-7?

    Thanks, but about 25 years late on that comment.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 6:01 PM, iefbr14 wrote:

    Aluminum body panels are nothing new. GM used aluminum hoods as far back as the late 70s. Aluminum is hard to work back into shape at a body shop, though, so look for your insurance premiums to go up. And aluminum only reduces fuel consumption in stop-and-go-driving, not on the highway. Once the mass is moving, it's moving.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 6:12 PM, jmshiprep wrote:

    "...while electric vehicles such as Tesla's are clearly the future..." Wow, we even get a little green commentary thrown in with our "hard" news article. Thanks!

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 6:45 PM, JnKONNER wrote:

    There are two major Engineering errors with Fords` direction. The first error is to reduce the mass, as forward Kinetic Energy = MVsquared. This means that YOU will have the Mass of a Yugo, and will absolutely lose when impacted by anything more massive. Imagine you in a Yugo in a head on collision with an RV or any truck ?

    Your decelleration and REBOUND accelleration in the oppisite direction would be instantaneous and profound. The Human Body would be pulverized.

    That`s why most thinking people avoid small cars and motorcycles.....

    Second, Mercedes Benz tried the aluminum body twenty years ago, and realized that once you bend the frame, you must throw away the vehicle, and even minor dents mean panel replacements and painting match / adhesion problems.

    Finally, Designers who create the artistry of design are generally NOT engineers. They are artists, who have generally never soiled their hands with a wrench, and have no concept of R&R issues. And yes, I have the appropriate degrees to back up what I have said. Sorry, but I think you and your family deserve Physical and Physiological truth over sales pitches and "economy".....

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 6:50 PM, wolf1950 wrote:

    We drive F-150's at work and they are lousy work trucks. Can't reach over the sides to get anything unless you are 8 feet tall, have to have a ladder to climb into the bed, the seats are uncomfortable and the seat belts are so poorly placed that they eat a hole in your neck.

    So, building the truck of the generation is not likely based on past examples.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 7:19 PM, speedstack wrote:

    My Old Ford (Author Unknown)

    Oh, my old Ford,

    They all make fun,

    They say she was born

    In 1901.

    Maybe she was,

    But this I'll bet,

    She's good for many miles yet.

    The windshield's gone,

    And the radiator leaks,

    The fan belt slips,

    And the horsepower squeaks.

    She's a rattle in the front,

    And a grind in the rear,

    And a Chinese puzzle

    For a steering gear.

    The coils are all dead,

    And the plugs won't fire,

    The piston rings

    Are made of baling wire.

    She makes the screws

    And the nuts all loose,

    But I get 40 miles

    On a gallon of juice.

    When I can't get gas,

    I burn kerosene,

    And I've driven home

    On Paris green.

    In spite of this,

    She pulls me through,

    And that's about all

    Any car can do.

    With high-priced cars,

    They give you tools,

    Some extra parts,

    And a book of rules.

    A good wire stretcher,

    And a pair of shears

    Are all I've carried

    For 15 years.

    And if I live

    To see the day

    When she busts up

    Like a one-horse sleigh,

    And Henry Ford's

    Still in the game,

    I'll buy me another

    By the same darn name. ("Popcorn Sutton" drove one when looking for a good place to put up his Liquor Still.)

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 7:30 PM, emjayay wrote:

    You can always trust the internet for attracting a certain amount of uninformed or irrelevant comments.

    Ford trucks are no good and too expensive! For some reason they sell the most year after year. Ram and GM trucks are not that different in design or reliability. Ram trucks have some features like coil spring rear suspension that gives them a better ride.

    I had one years ago and it sucked! Someone I know hates them! OK. Not particularly relevant though.

    Aluminum crumples up like a beer can! Well I guess beer cans do.

    CAFE standards have made cars unsafe! Oddly, in the last decade or two the rate of deaths per passenger mile have been cut in about half. Credit safety engineered structures and airbags all over the place among other things.

    The article didn't mention that aluminum structures and bodies have been used for about ten years or so by Audi, in their higher end vehicles, and Jaguar. Obviously, both expensive cars. Also Rolls Royce. The new Range Rover Sport just switched to aluminum stucture and body and lost about 800 pounds. All of them do fine in crash tests. A lot of cars have some aluminum panels and parts including engines. It's not like it's an untried technology.

    But for cost reasons I doubt that Ford trucks will go to all-aluminum frames and bodies.

    And yes, natural gas vehicles will cost more. They are for a specialized market, not for you. Nothing to get excited about.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 7:48 PM, 123dlsmith38 wrote:

    From another poster "Another car companies' CEO calls the Chevy Volt a car for idiots"

    Well of course a CEO from another car company would say that. It doesn't make the Chevy Volt a bad car though.

    Husband and Wife each drive. They each have a vehicle. One vehicle is used as a multi-purpose vehicle. The other is used just to commute to work. The commuting vehicle makes a round trip that is less than 60 miles.

    In the above scenario I would get a Nissan Leaf. It uses only electric so it doesn't have the cost, weight, maintenance of two motors. However, I could also see using a Chevy Volt if every now and then the commuting vehicle gets used for a short trip that is 300 miles round trip or less.

    Another comment "A REAL improvement would be a plug-in hybrid truck with a 50+ mile EV range"

    Really? I didn't know that hybrids plug in. Maybe the person was thinking about, well, I don't know.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 8:00 PM, 123dlsmith38 wrote:

    A comment "cafe standards have made cars unsafe"

    I could argue the opposite. A lack of cafe standards is why very heavy vehicles could be built in the first place. If cafe standards were strictly enforced there would not have been so many large SUVs that were on the road late 90s and 2000s until gas hit $4 a gallon, which is when people realized they couldn't afford to put gas in their vehicle that got 15 mpg. Now there are a lot more CARS on the road, and because of it there isn't as much pressure on the oil industry to pull an unsustainable amount of oil from the ground every day.

    So now that there are a lot more cars on the road and because there are a lot more smaller SUVs on the road so that auto companies can meet CAFE standards, there is a less likely change of the heavy SUV collision with a small car. which was a major concern in the 90s, and why basically 1000 to 3000 lbs of weight was added to trucks and car for metal framing to protect against mainly side impacts.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 8:17 PM, PiSSINonliberals wrote:

    How's your bail out Truck?

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 8:30 PM, bosox3431 wrote:

    To the person who said something about the USS Cole, you do know anywhere from 400-700 poundds of explosives were used right? It's not like they stuck 2 lb piece of c4 on it.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 8:33 PM, 11x wrote:

    1981 Oldsmobile Cutlass featured aluminum hood, hood hinges, radiator core support, trunk, and rear brake drums.

    Specialty: 1962-64 Plymouth Fury 426 "Max Wedge" had an entirely aluminum front clip, but that was mainly meant for drag racing.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 8:34 PM, Detroiter77 wrote:

    Good Move. Actually Natural Gas, is not something out of the future, but many countries around the World use CNG (Compressed Natural Gas), in fact, developing world countries like Pakistan lead the way, Pakistan runs 90% of its cars and most buses on CNG and is top CNG user in the world. You can buy a $5000 sub compact car brand new with factory fitted CNG. The cost of CNG kit alone in US with Labor was around $5000 including labor and installation charges. Anyway, good move. Argentina and Brazil are also 2nd and 3rd on the list of CNG using countries.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 8:46 PM, Jmlholt wrote:

    Check your facts.. Gm already producing factory cng trucks.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 9:48 PM, warbird56 wrote:

    I wouldn't own a Ford if you gave it to me. I am a mechanic and work in a shop with a lot of other mechanics and very few would own a Ford nor do they drive one and most do

    not even like working on them. Their parts are expensive and often not immediately available. Plus they are not as user friendly to work on as many others.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 10:42 PM, Zapmaniac wrote:

    The reading should be, Is Ford improving the greatest truck of our generation?

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 11:10 PM, emailnodata wrote:

    Woo-hoo.

    Now the fuel used to heat my home and run my elect rial generation power plant will be wasted in pick-em-up trucks??

    Great.

  • Report this Comment On August 11, 2013, at 11:22 PM, chessaol wrote:

    Aluminum is good for beer cans but not for cars. The flight to “Green” has cost common sense. Steel holds up to stresses that wreck aluminum. I know= Aluminum is stronger than steel pound for pound but you are removing 800 pounds. Aluminum is difficult to weld and shape after damage so it will become a parts replacement standard for body shops making repairs more costly. Little dings will become major bills. The old saying,” If it aint broke don’t fix it ” applies here. Too much too soon.

  • Report this Comment On August 12, 2013, at 12:02 AM, ivdad wrote:

    Ford wanted to bring their F150 diesel to America, it is the best seller in Europe, but the illustrious members of congress, with their CAFE standards decided that diesel causes too much pollution and said no.

  • Report this Comment On August 12, 2013, at 12:08 AM, lwazny wrote:

    Gee, has Ford heard of what fracking and the Natural Gas industry has done to ground water in Texas and Pennsylvania? A real wise move ecologically speaking....

  • Report this Comment On August 12, 2013, at 12:34 AM, anon1492 wrote:

    Ford discontinued the greatest truck of our time (the Ranger). I have no need or desire to have a ton dually supercab four door to drive to work, or to haul my occasional large purchase. Manufacturers have decided we want a vehicle 21 foot long, 9 foot wide (w mirrors), and 9 foot tall if we have to haul something. Light weight aluminum isn't going to make that monstrosity fit in a parking space.

  • Report this Comment On August 12, 2013, at 1:33 AM, bigd2337 wrote:

    I don't understand all the bad comments about ford. I have owned alot of fords and they have been very good to me. I had a 1999 ford mustang 226,000 miles on it no problems no service engine light and ran perfect. I now own a 2013 F-150, 2013 Ford Focus, and a 2013 Ford Escape. I have had zero problems with them all. On the other hand the worst vehicle I ever had was the first Chevrolet and last GM product ill ever buy which was a 2007 Chevy Silverado 5.3L 1500. Engine trouble, front differential, power steering, and brakes all in 27,000 miles. And I am religious about maintenance, oil changes every 3,000. Transmission fluid and antifreeze every 30,000. Even though I changed the oil every 3,000 miles in that silverado I still had a lifter lose hydraulic pressure and have to be replaced which they wanted me to pay for even though it was under warranty. So I called GM Customer service and they sided with the dealership. I will never buy a piece of crap government motors as long as I live.

  • Report this Comment On August 12, 2013, at 9:32 AM, topjkl wrote:

    When you are towing a trailer the weight of your vehicle dictates how much weight you can legally safely tow. It would make more sense to build better diesels like the kind they sell in Europe. I wonder how people who are ranchers or farmers or contractors will be able to tow the same weight that they do now. Unless they make two trucks one with steel and one with alum. btw Ford makes the best truck, they out sell others because they are the best. If you live 100 miles from town and the last 10 of it is gravel road then you probably drive a ford truck.

  • Report this Comment On August 12, 2013, at 9:51 AM, americnhrlygrl wrote:

    bigd2337,

    If you had engine problems at 27,000 miles on a Silverado. That was a fault of yours. I know own another Silverado. My first has 224,### on it. I've never replaced anything but a fuel pump on it. Besides battery lights and minor crap you would have to replace. If you take care of it, that truck will deliver. As far as you people saying Government motors. You might want to get your facts straight. Ford may have not needed bail out money. BUT you bet your butt they took it. Before you run your mouths. Make sure it's not crap that comes out, if you don't have a napkin to clean it up.

  • Report this Comment On August 12, 2013, at 10:24 AM, xdm9mill wrote:

    50-80% cheaper untill GREED TAKES OVER !!! ...

  • Report this Comment On August 12, 2013, at 10:39 AM, svttim wrote:

    Wow, look at all the GM Fan boys here. I drive Ford trucks, love them and probably always will. But, I wont degrade GM or Dodge products. What you drive is your choice. That being said, the fact that Ford outsells both is telling. If Ford truck were as bad as some off these fools suggest, that just would not be the case. Dodge is coming out with a small 1/2 ton Diesel, I think that is a very smart move, one I wish Ford would have done. GM's latest was just a recycled version of the last. While CNG may never go mainstream, the attempt to innovate at a production level is laudable and that's what will keep Ford on top. Dodge will continue to gain market share at the cost of GM. Oh, bigd2337, may I suggest a bath towel for you. You have no facts to back your statement up except your desire to not have to deal with the fact your boys needed and took that handout and Ford did not. If Im wrong, prove it

  • Report this Comment On August 12, 2013, at 11:15 AM, BigDennisC wrote:

    Moparman GM trucks do have the most power. Have you looked at the 6.2 litre engine the Denali Sierra has? Over 400 horsepower. Ford brought out a 6.2 engine in their trucks to try and compete with it but their engine falls short in the horsepower stats.

    Nobody is anywheres near GM in the V-8 technology market. GM gets 29 mpg highway out of a 450 horsepower Corvette. Ford cant touch that. The Sierra/Silverado have 355 horsepower in the 2014 model and get better gas than the V-6 EcoPoop turbo Ford touts. The idea of using a Turbo for towing is such a laugh. Turbos make their most power as the exhaust opens up which happens at high RPMs not low which is where you need to tow.

    Anyone that wants to rip the new GM trucks hasnt driven one. They are soo quiet, the power is unbelieveable, they have soo many standard features, the materials are gorgeous, fit and finish are top of the line. Its not an ugly basic Ford interior. Its quality and luxury for an amazing price.

    If Ford makes an all aluminum body for their new truck they need to fire everyone that approves the dumb idea. I can only imagine how much more expensive their truck will be with aluminum body and how much insurance costs will go up seeing how expensive it will be to replace those body panels in accidents.

    Im a GM guy so I am all for it if Ford wants to make a stupid decision like an aluminum body truck. Maybe then the public will wake up and stop drinking the kool aid that Ford is an amazing company that didnt take a bailout.

    Their outstanding DOE loan to build fuel efficient engines with no money repaid yet was a bailout they partook in but GM and Chrysler didnt. Oh yeah and their $26 Billion revolving credit line that they got by putting their blue oval as collateral has been refinanced with the US treasury so they could get back to investment grade on their credit. They havent paid the Treasury anything on their refinance, but GM repaid the government everything they were loaned.

    As for GM supposedly owing the taxpayer money they sold the government stock. If the government sells the stock at a loss GM doesnt control that and they owe the taxpayer nothing. IF you sell stock at a loss does the company owe you money for selling it at a loss? NO? Then why do you think GM does?

  • Report this Comment On August 12, 2013, at 11:20 AM, BigDennisC wrote:

    Oh yeah and GM already has CNG trucks for sale to Fleet customers. As of 2013 those trucks have been available. Gm was the first to offer CNG trucks then Crapsler followed and as always Ford is the last to the table always playing catch up.

    To claim Ford outsells GM trucks 2 to 1 proves someone failed math. The #2 best selling vehicle is the Silverado and it sells over 500,000 units a year. Ford HAS NOT sold 1 million F series trucks in 1 year. And that doesnt include the sales of the Sierra to the GM truck numbers.

    And last point I care to make about this is Ford counts sales of their F450, F550, and F650 in their truck sales while GM only includes their 1500, 2500, and 3500 numbers.

  • Report this Comment On August 12, 2013, at 11:31 AM, BigDennisC wrote:

    Ford Borrows $5.9 Billion from DOE to retool plants.

    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/06/ford-loves-them-som...

    Even though Ford claims they didnt borrow money from the taxpayers they in fact did. The DOE (DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY) takes money from the US treasury which is money the public calls taxpayer money even though they have no claim to the money at all.

    Alan Mullaly did ask the government to leave open a $9 Billion loan to Ford when GM and Chrysler were FORCED into chapter 11 protection.

  • Report this Comment On August 12, 2013, at 11:33 AM, BigDennisC wrote:
  • Report this Comment On August 12, 2013, at 1:05 PM, mifleck wrote:

    I thought that this was an investment site?

    Anyways what happened to all the Fool's that had GM stock after bankruptcy---guess what they got shafted.

    So just based off of that little information, I will never own a GM product even if given to me, I would sell it at a loss rather than be seen in that vehicle.

  • Report this Comment On August 12, 2013, at 2:01 PM, Art46 wrote:

    Why is it that in the supposed pursuit of better fuel economy the obvious is not being used ?? Think transmission I realize my solution is not suitable for all vehicles but take for instance my truck . I have a 315hp engine so no lack of power....

    So why not have a transmission with more gears and higher ratio on high end ?

    Probably automatic transmissions would be the best option but manual also. tractor trailers have up to 18 speed transmissions.

    There is no way that on flat land or moderate hills that an engine should be turning around 2000rpm at 65-70 mph

    I have a friend that has an old early 80's Ford heavy duty crew cab with a big V8, 220,000 miles and 5 spd transmission..

    At 70 mph in top gear it is turning 1300-1350 rpm and gets 22mpg highway in that big ol worn out beater

  • Report this Comment On August 12, 2013, at 7:43 PM, temachine wrote:

    Uh very interesting comments. How about some real life facts? I drive 1999 ford f250 that runs exclusively on cng and have been driving this very same truck for years. It has a 5.4 litre engine. I pull a sixteen foot stock trailer, an eighteen foot ranger bass boat, and my car hauler. It currently has 158,000 miles of hassle free driving. I currently pay 1.00 dollar per gallon equivalent for fuel. I have never paid more than 1.35 a gallon. I drive this truck every day. I have lots of friends and neighbors who have cng powered vehicles now. Please continue argueing amoungst yourselves. Just know that there are a bunch of us in Oklahoma who find these arguements incredibly amusing. If you are in Oklahoma and a guy pulls up beside you in a white ford pickup with fairly loud pipes and a blue triange sticker on the back that says "cng" and big smile on his face that would be me. Oh, and I get about 18 miles per gallon with a 16 gallon capacity which I fill up for under twenty dollars every time. CNG is a REALITY here. Oh, one more thing, there are lot's of places where I live that will put you a complete cng system on anything you currently drive, both old and brand new, for under 5,000 dollars and prices are coming down every day. You should see the new dodge pickups the state workers are rolling around in. They are sweet. I guess the real question is whether this becomes a reality for the rest of you. I believe it will eventually. Meanwhile keep sucking on that oily muslim pipe my friends. Let the angry comments commence!

  • Report this Comment On August 13, 2013, at 12:12 AM, Risky88 wrote:

    88 ranger

    346,000 miles

    and its still a BEAST!

  • Report this Comment On August 13, 2013, at 8:38 AM, svttim wrote:

    BigDennisC, Turbo's are not for towing! Have you checked under the hood of any serious hauler? Wont find one without a turbo. And although not found in a truck, Ford makes the worlds most powerful production V8

    As for the bailout, Ford never took a bailout, period. There has always been money available to all the automakers from the government for certain segments. The bailout was a separate thing, the government actually owned part of GM and Chrysler. That was NOT the case for Ford.

  • Report this Comment On August 15, 2013, at 11:28 AM, SkepikI wrote:

    ^ The US Treasury STILL owns a lot of shares of GM and at the moment the scorecard reads: GM management and employees + $16 Billion, Taxpayers - $16 Billion. I would not care to guess at the losses by former GM shareholders and Bondholders.

    Reading the commentary has been MOST amusing more so than the article.

  • Report this Comment On August 15, 2013, at 11:29 AM, SkepikI wrote:

    So after a bit of thought, I recommended this not for the article but the very interesting and amusing commentary

  • Report this Comment On August 15, 2013, at 6:22 PM, TravelTrailerGuy wrote:

    Patience people Patience! Have just gotten back from another (8.400 plus miles) cross country trip pulling 30 feet of trailer with my 04 Ford Excursion powered by a 6.0 Power Stroke Diesel. Great towing vehicle! I'm willing to wait another year or two to buy my replacement vehicle to see just what Ford will come up with. Look at the RV along with aviation industry to see great use of aluminium and other light weight products to reduce fuel costs. The natural gas engine is a long way off as for major non-commercial usage, but I'd suggest looking into CLNE or WPRT as a good investments and hanging on to F as it makes it's comeback w/o the Government. So be patient and wait like smart investors not impatient emotional fools.

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