Fuel economy should improve over the outgoing model.
Edmunds decided to inject some fact into the fray over repair costs for the aluminum 2015 Ford F-150: it bought a $52,000 long-term F-150 and clouted it with a sledgehammer. Twice. Then it drove the truck to a Ford dealer to get it repaired. Seven days later it had a restored truck and a bill.
Green Car Reports says that Tesla Model S owners are finding out just how expensive aluminum can be to fix, with repair estimates like $7,000 to fix "a small dent and scratch" to $45,000 for "minor front-end damage." With aluminum figuring ever more in our automotive future to save weight, this could be the canary in the coal mine for all of us or just opportunistic price gouging.
Ford has given the F-150 a dramatic makeover for 2015, switching to an aluminum body that helps reduce weight by about 700 pounds. Because the truck is dramatically different, Ford also had to change the way it makes the F-150, so we went inside its sprawling factory in Dearborn, MI, this week to see the Blue Oval's new manufacturing techniques in action.
Perhaps more than any other vehicle currently for sale in the United States, the Jeep Wrangler is viewed by purist fans as a vehicle that simply must maintain the status quo. In this case, that means a body-on-frame design, solid axles, a relatively large engine sitting up front and a removable top. It's always been that way, and it always will be.
The Jeep Wrangler may be a timeless design, but sooner or later, time will run out and Chrysler will have to replace it with a newer model more friendly towards the earth it's designed to traverse. That will, it seems, mean a shift to aluminum construction (whether just for the body or for the entire structure) – but what will that mean for the Wrangler's long-time home of Toledo, OH?
Ah, aluminum. The lightweight, strong material has long held a following within the premium ranks, but as Ford prepares to launch an aluminum F-150, the material is gaining acceptance among more mainstream automakers. Toyota is one such brand, with a new report indicating that the Japanese giant will add aluminum bits and bobs to some of its upcoming vehicles.
Novelis, based out of Atlanta, is the largest supplier of aluminum sheet to the auto industry, counting Ford, Audi and Jaguar among its clients. It's owned by Mumbai, India-based metals company Hindalco, the world's largest producer of aluminum sheet, and company reps see the aluminum market and their place in it expanding. In June, Novelis' VP of global recycling forecast carmaker demand for aluminum sheet to increase five-fold by 2020. The managing director at Hindalco said the company expecte
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