Automakers scramble to strip weight from trucks

2011 Ford F-150 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Automakers are gearing up to tackle the upcoming stringent emissions standards head on. From designing more aerodynamic vehicles to producing engines that operate at a high degree of efficiency, automakers appear to have dedicated a significant amount of effort towards hitting the required CAFE marks that come into play in 2016. It's Important to note that trucks, which will have to average around 28.8 miles per gallon, will not escape from the tweaks required to boost fuel efficiency.

In the realm of pickups, automakers such as Ford, General Motors and Dodge are expected to focus much of their effort on stripping weight to increase the efficiency of their truck lines. Steel will be ripped out and replaced with lighter (and more expensive) magnesium and aluminum alloys. Producing lightweight, fuel efficient trucks presents a unique challenge. Buyers demand that a pickup can haul heavy loads and rumble across rough terrain, so trimming mass from a truck will, when done correctly, not compromise that go-anywhere ability.

2011 Ford F-150
2011 Ford F-150
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Photos copyright ©2010 Jeremy Korzeniewski / AOL and Ford Motor Company

[Source: Reuters]

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