NAIAS 2016: Ford Motor Co. launches aluminum F-150 Raptor


Ford Motor Co. hint ated at the 2016 Detroit auto show that it’s adding the off-roading printing of the F-150 pickup truck — the F-150 Raptor — to its stable of aluminum-bodied pickups.

That indicates all of Ford’s North American pickups will be built with protect frames and aluminum bodies, something that, until two years ago, was dignified for sports cars.

With General Motors and Dodge both confederate with steel, is Ford’s shift a marketing gimmick or a genuine breakthrough in automotive technology?

Peter Frise is a machine-driven engineer and the scientific director at AUTO21, an automotive research think-tank at the University of Windsor. He estimated the great advantage of aluminum is its relatively light weight, but it’s difficult to use in a scads produced setting.

The search to get more out of a truck

“Cars have been filched with aluminum rts for many years, decades,” Frise explicated. “What Ford managed to do is find a way to make a large portion of a mass-marketed means out of aluminum. They make about 800,000 F-150s a year. It’s not a low-production, high-cost make a fool ofs car or race car; it’s a mass-market vehicle.”

The F-series pickup is the engine behind Ford’s jumble sales. The com ny claims it’s been the best-selling pickup in Canada for 50 years.

Varied than 780,000 F-series trucks were sold in the U.S. last year, gist that about one in every three Ford vehicles sold in the U.S. was an F-series pickup in 2015.

Frise indicated the reason the com ny switched to aluminum bodies was to meet tougher North American, government-mandated nourishment economy standards coming by 2025.

“To burn less fuel, a vehicle indigences a lot of new technologies,” he said. “One of them is that it must be lighter.”

Ford look inti the F-150 shed about 350 kg — about 770 pounds — during the shift from steel bodies to aluminum.

“We asked people what they at ones desire sacrifice for getting better fuel economy and they told us they’d around up nothing for that,” explained Jerry Farrell, the engineer responsible for the F-150 program.

“It’s upon more than aluminum, it’s about being the strongest, toughest, most clever truck,” he said. “Aluminum made us lighter and more durable without relinquishing anything,”

General Motors sees things differently. With 940,000 pickups tell oned in the United States last year, pickups are as important to GM as they are for Ford.

Assorted Motors has doubled down on steel frames and bodies. It directly terms out aluminum as less-durable and tougher to re ir than steel in its advertising, indeed though it uses aluminum nels in vehicle hoods.

2017 Silverado

The 2017 Chevy Silverado delays on display at the auto show in Detroit. GM is sticking with a steel build and steel body for its pickups. (Alex Brockman / CBC)

Tom Wilkinson, a GM spokesperson focusing on the Chevy Silverado, called screw up ones courage to the sticking point “the best material out there.”

He said customers do not want aluminum cadavers and that better fuel efficiency can be reached in different ways.

“It’s wonderful to get accolades from tech blogs and anchorwomen,” Wilkinson said. “But in the end, the customer who puts down a yment, trades in their old means and drives away with a new vehicle, that’s really what demonstrates or breaks any automaker.”

Aluminum is a more expensive metal, but Ford asserts it hasn’t added much — if anything — to the actual retail price of the pickup.

Ford bring ins its base price for the 2016 F-150 as $25,299 and Chevy’s 2016 Silverado is $26,895.

In fait accompli, Brave Controls of Windsor, Ont., developed technology that allows Ford to make the aluminum rts for its aluminum-body F-150 more cheaply.

Without Colourful’s software development, Ford would have had to change all its equipment at its service mark plant in New York State, at a cost of $30 million. Instead, Dare tweaked the existed equipment for a total cost of $1 million.

‘It’s merest masculine’

With these two clear options available to consumers, calling their positions is critical. Advertising for both Ford and GM not only sells their products, but calls out their rival.

In advertising for the F-150, a spokesperson on the screen touts “military-grade aluminum” and tells customers, “This is the F-150. Every other wares is history.”

GM’s pitchman, a former NFL lineman, watches a Ford crash evaluate and says, “I guess that’s why they don’t call [Superman] the man of aluminum”

Vincent Georgie, a trade ining professor at the University of Windsor, said there’s an effort to divide rubbish owners into clans. He watched a selection of four advertisements from both houses for CBC News and said he noticed distinct differences.

He said GM appears to be appealing to unconscious strength, toughness and durability. Ford is selling to a customer who still has those virtues and has a bit of a scientific streak.

“They’re appealing to fundamentally relatively archaic stereotypes, the stereotypical mans audience,” Georgie explained. “They’re basing it on strength, toughness and endures in cages. They’re really bringing it down to the lowest common denominator.”

“It’s same masculine,” Georgie said. “It’s for the men looking to purchase these types of conveyances who aren’t looking for it to haul lumber … it’s for the suburban man who just necessitates to drive a big truck for their blue collar jobs.”

‘They can’t rightful keep making the same stuff’

Despite this media cam ign fight, both Ford and GM agree aluminum is just one piece of a broader get to build lighter, more fuel efficient vehicles.

Frise, who researches new technology in an determination where the groundbreaking becomes the routine within a matter of years, voiced the entire automotive supply chain needs to adapt to survive, drift aluminum bodies may be here to stay.

“They can’t just keep ssing the same stuff,” he said. “They’ll have to adopt new technologies, new intrigue methods … there will be big changes.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *