Sources Say: Ford Planning Innovative Changes Aimed at Fuel Efficiency in Next F-150

Sources Say: Ford Planning Innovative Changes Aimed at Fuel Efficiency in Next F-150

In order to meet tough new federal regulations that raise fuel economy requirements to 30 mpg for light trucks and SUVs by 2016, Ford is considering radical ways to reduce weight in the next-generation F-150, sources have told PickupTrucks.com.

In 2007, Ford CEO Alan Mullaly pledged to reduce the weight of all of the company’s vehicles by 250 to 750 pounds through the use of aluminum and high-strength steel. We’re told that Ford is considering replacing the F-150’s conventional steel-ladder-frame with an all-new platform featuring extensive use of an innovative magnesium-aluminum alloy to shed pounds.

Why magnesium? It’s 36 percent lighter than aluminum and 78 percent lighter than iron. It's also plentiful. Magnesium is the eighth-most-common element on Earth and highly recyclable.

Auto manufacturers have increasingly turned to magnesium over the last decade. BMW has used the material to lighten its engine blocks and the Chevrolet Corvette uses magnesium in its front suspension. Ford shaved 22 pounds of weight from the 2010 Lincoln MKT by combining separate aluminum and magnesium panels in the crossover's liftgate instead of using steel.

Frame stiffness is important in a pickup truck for towing and hauling; to ensure the alloyed frame can perform its job, the F-150 is expected to use limited elements of unibody construction, though the cargo box and cab will be separate, instead of joined as in the Honda Ridgeline. A similar approach, we're told, was considered for the shelved Ford F-100 program.

Beyond the frame, the future F-150 is also expected to use aluminum body panels to save weight over a steel skin. The interior of the cargo box is expected to still be constructed of steel, to retain the durability required of a pickup truck.

Ford has introduced three all-new engines for the 2011 F-150 that the automaker says give its half-ton pickup class-leading fuel economy. Reducing the truck’s weight is expected to further improve mileage, which could open the window to new engine opportunities that keep the power-to-weight ratio the same as the current F-150. Those engine choices might include an inline five-cylinder engine, a source said.

Comments

So, essentially it seems like they're planning on making the next F150 a partial unibody, sorta like the Jeep Cherokee. While this makes sense for a light duty truck like the F150, I feel like it will be a huge gamble for them. As I know, for a fact, there are many truck buyers who wont ever consider buying a truck that doesn't have a full frame. It has the potential to be a tough sell, even if it does make for a technically better vehicle.

Everyone's too comfortable with the ever increasing size and power of todays trucks. The new CAFE standards that are coming simply won't allow this to continue. It's not just for Ford to consider. All half tons, and soon the HD's too, will have to get lighter and more fuel effecient. Ford's Ecoboost is just the beginning. Radical new 'fuel efficient' designs for chassis' and mechanicals are going to happen.

Most light truck buyers don't know what engine is under the hood these days.

Think I'm making it up? I deal with these people every day!

Todays average vehicle owner is woefully stupid. put gas in it and drive, that's it.

Instead of slowly turning the F-150 into a "Wimp" truck, why not just shorten the truck by a foot and narrow it down by an inch or two? The current truck is way large anyway and it could still retain its same degree of ruggedness and would probably be at least 250 to 300 lbs lighter. Aluminum body panels on a pick up truck? that could be a problem. I think they used to make high performance wheels/rims out of a magnesium alloy and some of them used to break while trying to put tires on them. If Ford plans on going the magnesium alloy frame route then I hope their frame is tougher then that. Maybe im old fashioned, but I think this is a risky move..

Well, Ford doesn't have much of a choice. The way I see it, is the way these vehicles keep growing in size and weight, cannot reduce power in the engine (smaller displacement) because then the wieght of the vehicle would cause the smaller engine to struggle. I also think they have tinkered with about everything they can to increase power and fuel economy out of a gasoline engine, all that is left is reduced displacement, which in turn means reduced weight of the truck.

To be honest, trucks should not have ever passed the 4800 lb mark in my opinion. they are mustering a 23mpg out of a high tech V6 with VVT, lots of electronics, 6 speed autos, etc......My old 1996 F150 with a 4.9L I6 and 5-speed, 2.73 rear gear would muster the EXACT same mileage that they get out of this truck, this motor does a bit better in town than my I6 did though (mine got 15-16 in town). I guess I am pointing out, that while they grew the size and weight of these trucks, therfore needing more power than my 1996 had. I know folks will say "the 4.9L isn't as fast or powerful as the new 3.7L", but the fact remains that it was a rock solid engine, got the job done, and mustered the same gas mileage as the newer trucks do.

Engine tech is about done: Turbos, Variable valve timing, variable intake runner length, many gears in the transmission, CVT transmissions, multi-coil, multi spark plug ignition, perfectly trimmed fuel delivery (PCM controls), etc. I could go on. I think we are nearing the end of the road as far as manipulations on engines, the only choilce left is to reduce the weight/size of these trucks. I give Ford credit for trying something new in the F150 with the EB, the issue is that that extra air when the engine is in demand has to be met with fuel, to keep the air/fuel ratio in a specified range to avoid preignition/lean misture. We cannot have our cake and eat it too.

Either reduce the size of the trucks down to the global ranger size, and put the I4 deisel ir I5 diesel in it, or a smaller displacement gas engine. Forget the 4.4L diesel crap, it's too large. It should be an option in the new superduty, not the current 6.7L diesel. Strange times ahead, I think I will hild off on purchasing a newer one for a while :) This is just my take on it, I am probably wrong.....

Martok: you are correct, that is a shame....lol. I have witnessed this alot. Reading an owners manual or repair manual is beyond the normal Americans comprehension.

"What, it has belts and oil that needs to be changed? What do you mean differential oil? I thought that stuff last a lifetime like the transmission, coolant and spark plugs do"....lol Classic Example!

Dan, They satrted turning the F150 into a wimp truck when they ousted manual transmissions and started putting all that "fluff" in them where the computers actually drive the damn thing for you. A true truck doesn't need all that fluff, the reason people get the best of the trucks (platinum, KR, Lariat Limited, Lariat) is to impress in most cases, fill in a void. I know I'll get flamed for this, but it's true. I have witnessed this from some people I know, they will go on and on about what their trucks can do for them (damn near give them a BJ, they get excited when bragging about it).

The days of a simple truck at a decent price that will get the job are gone, due to people buying the fancied up models because they can chunk 1000 bucks down on one and finance a depreciating truck for seven years, only to break even in the last year or two of financing it. I know the lingo her in the states, that about sums it up.

Looks pretty swoopy which is key for hwy speeds. To date Ford has been the least aerodynamically designed. I can't believe they haven't improved the bulbous super duty cab designs.

GM / Dodge / Toyota are going to have to do the same thing to meet those new fuel standards.

So Ford is taking the pro-active approach again.. do it first, get into the market first, and stay ahead of the curve.

I like the F150, but, is it really a day to day driver? Do people really need that much capacity from their commuting vehicle?

I think an F150 with a lift kit and some nice chrome bull bars looks the dogs nuts, but, drive it every day? You must be having a laugh...

Maybe the big 3 need to start offering a smaller pick up like the EU ranger for those who want off road capability? These cars can pull decent size trailers with jet-ski's or snow scooters or whatever the marketing people reckon we all do in the weekend.

Using other materials sounds like a winner as well. Fibreglass fenders / hood / cargo box parts, all little bits help.

Here in Europe all the big players are starting to bring out more and more small turbo'ed engines to replace the bigger lumps. We now get a few 2 to 2.2L diesels kicking out 200hp, that is a good match for a small pick-up....

@ Ken.

You are mis informed. Taek them all to the windtunnel. You'll see.

Oh and what about those 97-03s... Frikkin bricks those units.

@Link

Show the info if you have it. A larger cab with sharp edges means poorer aerodynamics. Ford's current design is from an era gone by and way over due for real aerodynamic design considerations.

i think the f-100 having a unibody would be perfectly fine and make it with ecoboost 2.0l (250hp and 260lbs.)and 2.5l 4cyl.
take the ranger 2.5l diesel and add it in the f-100
towing would be from 3,500 to 6,000

the f-150 keep it box on frame give it ecoboost 2.5l as base engine 3.0l and 3.5l (290hp, 335hp, 365hp for each of the engines)
add a 3.0l diesel and the 4.4l
they should have no trouble passing the new regulations

i would consider buying a truck if it got at least 25mpg

i drive a car to work and a truck when i need to pull or payload 8ft bed

magnesium is also more prone to corrosion than steel and is flammable under the right conditions.

Why does the 4.4L diesel keep coming up? Why not a smaller diesel, like 3.0-3.5L? Does an F150 really NEED 500+ lb/ft torque for everyday use? No!

UK Diesel Driver: You are correct, you do have to keep in mind that the argument of "freedom, Safety, hauling a camper 365 days a year, etc" keep coming up from the fanboys that justify Fullsize pickups slothly parking and driving everywhere as soccer mom commuters. I drive an F150, 2001 model, but I have been looking for a replacement that would make sense and pull a lowboy trailer. The only trucks we have that would do good for size for me is the Frontier and Tacoma (or Navarro and Hilux comparable where you are).

The prices for these trucks make it impossible to justify over a large truck, and the mileage increase is mediocre. I would LOVE to buy a truck about the same track and legnth as my wife's 09 Hyundai Sonata, for a decent price. It is hard to justify a truck like this that only gets 20 MPG and may cost you 25K for a decently equipped one.

I was going to take a chance on the newly redesigned Subaru Forester (supposedly for 2010), they were supposed to send it here with a boxer diesel (2.2 L I believe), but for some reason out of the blue they scrapped the idea. That Subaru would have ate the Ford Fusion Hybrid for practicality (AWD, diesel, towing 4400 lbs max, and has the same highway mileage for cheaper price in the end), but for some reason unbeknownst to me, they scrapped the idea. Me thinks our traitorous Govt EPA/auto industry coalition had something to do with this. So, I guess I will hang on to my old F150 until Ford or someone brings over a decent efficient, non-gluttonous truck unlike the fat, slothy F150 of today, and with a good price tag that a normal middle class American can afford without 5-7 yrs of payments to a bank. $hitty pipe dreams I know :)

I'm curious, when a vehicle is rated for its fuel economy do they test it with regular gas or E10-15?

I'm sure whatever Ford has to do to the F150 they'll beat the hell out of it to test durability like they're doing to the ecoboost right now. Fuel economy has improved for the F150 and its as heavy as ever so a diet should help a lot as long as durability isn't hurt.

SCREW THE GOVERNMENT...THESE RULES WILL WRECK THE VEHICLES..WE FINALLY HAVE BIGGER MORE POWERFUL CARS/TRUCKS TODAY....LIKE THE 70'S THEY ARE GOING TO FORCE US INTO UNSAFE,SMALL,UNDERPOWERED VEHICLES !!!!!

THE GOVERNMENT ALWAYS WRECKS EVERYTHING AND BRAINWASHES PEOPLE ITS BETTER..SOMEONE NEEDS TO BRING THESE POLITICIANS INTO THE REAL WORLD....WE LIKE BIG VEHICLES,POWERFUL VEHICLES....IF WE DONT WE WILL BUY THE SMALL ONES AVAILABLE...AND ITS PROVEN WITH SALES PEOPLE WANT BIG VEHICLES !! HELL HYUNDAI HAS V-8 POWERED FULL SIZE CARS !!!!!!! SO I AM RIGHT !!!THEY THINK WE ARE ALL STUPID AS PROVEN BY THE DEMS....WE CANT EAT ANYTHING,CANT DRIVE A BIG VEHICLE BECAUSE OF BS GLOBAL SO CALLED WARMING (ITS JUST A WAY FOR THE GOV TO RUN OUR LIVES BALL AND CHAIN)

WAKE UP PEOPLE !!!!

GOVERNMENT GET OUT OF MY LIFE AND TRUCK !!!

I AM HAPPY TO DRIVE MY FUEL EFFICIENT 17 MPG AV FULL SIZE NEAR 400 HP TRUCK.....IF I WASNT I WOULD BUY A SMALL COMPACT AND GET 30 MPG...WHY DO THEY NEED TO FORCE ANYTHING ?

WAIT UNTIL THE DEMS CAP AND TRADE COMES IN ....WE WONT BE ABLE TO PAY THE $2000 A MONTH ELECTRICITY BILL !!! GOV..GET OUT !!

As long as it's rear wheel drive with real four wheel drive capability, I believe it's viable. Make it a front wheel drive and it's just another Ridgeline.

KusinKarl..right on brother !!

That picture looks awful !!!!

Short front,ect..what a pos !!!!

The future is over for trucks (all brands)if they will look like that !!

All the trucks so far look good because they have a longer front end,and not to space age looking !!!

Drastic Aerodynamic styling on trucks looks really bad !!!!

I will buy a surplus of Current Dodge Ram's if trucks ever look that ridiculous !!

@ Ken

You can't "eyeball" aerodynamics from afar. Sure a Prius is smother than a Mack, but you get what I'm saying.

Despite its looks, the current F150 is on the better end of current pickups.

http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/video-2009-ford-f-150-aerodynamics-wind-tunnel-10414.html

Not saying they can't do better LOL.

The air underneath these trucks plays a huge impact. Fords really been focusing on that. Job 2 2008 Superduty, 2011+ SD, 2009+ F150.

Heck my 04 F150 looks like its missing parts when I park next to a 2009+ I keep thinking I've lost some of my air dam on a hard snow drift! And beside a 2011 EB it will look more so.

The biggest thing they can do going fwd are losing weight, and lowering it during highway crusing.

If it was that easy to gain mpg, it would have happened:

http://www.trucktrend.com/features/consumer/163_0912_truck_gas_mileage_and_fuel_economy/index.html


Manesium-alluminum is my favorite alloy.

Ford is always on top of this cutting-edge stuff. Remember the Bobcat story from 2008? Well, Ford was already working on the next edition of EcoBoost engine years ago. The 2011 F-150 is going to get about 25 mpg. Add 20% better fuel economy to that and the 2014 will get 30 mpg.

new EcoBoost + Bobcat + new body + new frame = 30 mpg+

The next F-150 is going to blow people's minds.

http://www.pickuptrucks.com/html/news/ford/ethanol-boost/ford-ethanol-boost-engine-code-named-bobcat.html

Good thing the Republicans took over the house. Because Obama is getting out of control. According to the Washington Post he gave up on the Fuel Economy of the HDs and Semi trucks. Too bad the 1500 models are going to have to suffer.

EDIT: He gave up since Republicans took over the house and gained 46 seats in the Senate.

Wow I love Ford and I love the F-150, Its the perfect truck for me. But this drawing is absolutely hideous, I hope the next gen F-150's don't look like this, I know that they will probably have some of the styling cue's of this drawing which is alright...But damn the truck in this picture is just ugly as a whole.

Another thing that make's me shudder is this, (limited elements of uni-body Construction). Look what Uni-body's have done to the SUV world? Only a handful of SUV remain today that still utilize body on frame construction, and even those are not nearly as rugged as your average SUV was 20 years ago. IFS and IRS has also greatly intruded in the market. But Minimal use of Uni-body components may be alright as LONG as they DO NOT make its main components uni-body...Just look at the Ridgeline, a complete flop of a truck, mostly killed by its car like construction.

So lets look at it like this...25 years ago you could get a V8 powered SUV, with body on frame construction, and to solid front and rear axles. As you could most full size trucks. Nowah day's true SUV's have all but been replaced by crossover's or (Slightly Elevated Cars) as I like to call them. Crossover's are complete uni-body construction, V6 powered ONLY (No V8 option) AWD, Not 4WD...Is this what full-size trucks are coming to? 20 to 25 years from now will full-size trucks be nothing more than (Slightly elevated cars)? With no part-time 4WD? No V8 engine? and No body on frame construction or soiled axles?

I am going to buy a 2011 F-150 with a 5.0L V8, And 20 or so years down the road when I get ready to trade it off...If that is what 1/2 ton trucks have become, You can bet your ass I'll be looking in the 3/4 ton market.

This could be the next F150? Uhm, these future trucks become gay... :D

@KUSIN KARL. I agree with you 100%. People will buy what they want. If they want a fuel efficient vehicle, they will buy one. I personally want a powerful truck, like a 2011 F350 powerstroke. Will I use it to its full potential, no. But I will still use it to tow and haul things. Dont tell me what I can and cannot buy when it comes to vehicles.

Nobody is telling you what you can't buy. Ford is providing a more fuel efficient product. If you don't want to buy it, then stick with your 2001 F-150 that is underpowered, under-engineered, ugly, and has gas guzzling V8. I will take the new and improved 2014 F-150 every day and every way.

Guys, guys...

They almost never look anything like the "future drawings" indicate:

Case in point: 2009 F150
http://www.pickuptrucks.com/html/future/ford/09f150.html

Here the "Future" F150 is a 2012.
http://www.pickuptrucks.com/html/future/ford/12f150.html

Any bets thats the 2012?

Here is the 2013 Silverado: http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2010/03/future-truck-2013-chevrolet-silverado-1500.html

Now its easy to point and laugh after the fact. But lets face it, generally the drawings are off just a little. ;)

In fairness the rest of the info regarding powertain etc are much more accurate.

I would take the other angle and say that if the next 2014? F150 is that radical a departure re chassis etc, they will want to keep some of the old when it comes to looks. While being more aerodymanic.

My initial concern is payload. But if the trucks lose lets say 750lb. then they will just bring GVWR down. They can alwyas limit the advertised max tow rating as they do now, with a too low rear GAWR. Or drop GCWR. Numbers that typically don't get discussed in the showroom.


@ Link

so its tiring to me how all this Ford Propaganda keeps brainwashing people. in your article you posted a link to says the f150 has the lowest coefficient drag at .403. even went so far to post gm and dodges number and then QUOTED an engineer from toyota saying we are working to improve............ they ALWAYS are working to improve, thats the companies MAIN business slogan! Its funny after quoting one of Toyota's engineers they decided NOT to publish the Tundra's coefficient drag. if by FORD's OWN calculations this is SO important to be .005-.01 better than the next then a think WE WOULD ALL AGREE that a coefficient drag that is .03 better is INSANELY better right?


THE MOST AERODYNAMIC FULL SIZE TRUCK BY A WIIIIIIIIDE MARGIN IS THE TUNDRA BY FAR!!!

Ram .419
GM .412
Ford .403

TUNDRA .37

isnt it funny how people dodge the facts???? dont believe it? here's a 3rd party link

http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/default.aspx?carID=16618&i=2

heres one from cars.com that shows the tundra at .38 and shows dodge at .42 but the others dont even PUBLISH theirs lol.

http://www.cars.com/go/compare/trimCompare.jsp?acodes=USC10TOT10AC0,USC10CHT27AD0,USC10FOT11AB0,USC10DOT11CA0

THERES SOME TRUTH FOR YOU AND FORD'S FALSE CLAIM OF BEST COEFFICIENT DRAG.....

OH, and to add insult to injury... Toyota has been using VVT technology or (Variable Valve Timing) since 1994, the Tundra has had it since 2004. JUST NOW FOR 2011 Ford FINALLY has 2 of its engines with similar technology, the other 2 engines not so much. "Dude Duderson's" comment above said ford is always proactive and first to the market with stuff lol. i can write a PAGE of things Toyota did years and years before ford, in this case were talking about 7 years faster.

Hmm Toyota killing a lot of Americans with run away cars and trucks, then having vehicles that won't stop because of faulty brakes, and lets not forget all those rusty frames and sludge in the motor.

Yea there are a lot of first for Toyota...

Toyota was my brand, but they still can't meet north america diesel rules and they don't have any diesel engine here,which is shame. They still don't have any MDS system and MPG 13/17 on tundra is not the best. HEMI 13/18.
BTW, VVT is very simple solution. Nothing highly sophisticated. Gears from my dishwasher and computer from my 20 years old casio calculator.
Anyway. I am waiting for somebody to bring me or at least show me on show, full size truck with 2 turbines with ceramic composite axial rotors for very high temperature and 70 % efficiency, heat recovery steam generator to get even more efficiency, connected with separate turbine electric generators, 100kW each, batteries to store energy from generators, braking and to start moving truck from 0 to 60 on the red light.
The technology is here and it's not even expensive anymore. ( I am building one).
Wake me up, when that's happened commercially . Until then, everything is just stupid market tricks and games played by toyota, chevy, ford, chrysler, you name it.I hate words like eco, euro, boost, smart, power, dura, ultra, heavy, stroke, duty...

This is what I want under my hood in my truck.
Sounds pretty good to me.
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xf3lhc_jaguar-c-x75-electric-turbine-conce_auto.
It's almost 2011 and we still drive inefficient pistons.

Who here cant wait till midnight so they can read the Rumble In The Rockies comparison? I have to be up early tomorrow morning but i cant wait to read the article haha

Ford has clearly made the F-150 too big and heavy, it is time for something more practical and efficient. I don't think a unibody utility type vehicle is the answer though.

Oh, and as for Ford 'innovation', the Jeep Comanche was a semi-unitized pickup truck based on the Cherokee. And when did that come out, 1985?

@ Hemi LOL

I said the F150 is on the better end of the scale. Which being 2nd out of 4, well it would be.

Sure everyone has some firsts. GM had seatbelts first for example. Big deal. Blah.

Given how TuRD was last to mkt with a full size truck not sure I'd be waivin that flag. But whatever works for you.

BTW I hope the next TuRD kicks major azz. That way Ford & the rest have to work harder adn we all win.

@ shawn

keep watchin the news and believing all you see. that is if that is the truth you want to know. you know those problems you just listed have only been a "problem" for toyota right? you really believe those cars "ran away" right? and that they somehow had a faulty brake system on their hybrid right? (the fusion and escape hybrid ONLY exist because toyota licensed them the rights to use their old technology). rusty frames? thats funny, Dana corp built those "rusty frames" you speak of. (dana also builds for ford and gm) funny how the only manufacturer who stepped up to the plate to FIX a problem was toyota, and name ONE person who owned an f150 from the 80's whos spring shackle didnt rust so bad it BROKE and let the spring lay on the underside of the bed! but this was not a problem to ford, so it wasnt on the news, and you suddenly think they never had a problem........ nevermind

@zviera

MDS only saves fuel if your coasting. simple VVT is what dodge and ford use. complex dual independent variable valve timing is what toyota uses. this is no simple formula so you are very mistakin there. the intake cam can advance or retard 30 degrees and the exhaust cam can advance or retard 15 degrees SEPERATELY of each other. you dont see a diesel of toyota's in the US because its a niche market here. world wide toyota has dozens of diesels. i like you HOPE that we will finally get one here but our wonderful gov. and cafe standards are keeping this from everyone. now even with 3/4 ton and heavier trucks you have DEF fluid. silly IMO just silly

I know exactly how toyota VVT is working. It's on the european market for several years.
Please, don't teach me basics. I was really driving cars, when you weren't born yet.
MDS can be reprogrammed, to save even more gas.
It was done once already.

I can't see how reducing the weight of the truck is going to decrease it's capacity. A lighter vehicle's cargo capacity can be higher and have the same GVW as an older, heavier truck.
I think that the biggest benefit from a lighter truck would be seen in city driving. Less weight to get rolling and less weight to stop.
The auto makers are talking about active aerodynamic systems such as grill openings. One could even use chin spoilers and body skirts that raise and lower for better aerodynamics. Suspension can be made to lower the vehicle for less drag.
I read a story where guys had an older model Dodge Diesel truck and taped the grill openings shut, and sealed the wheel holes and did a few other simple things and got 30 mpg.
I do not see why guys are spazzing out about unibody design. The truck would not be a true unibody. Unibody design gets a bad rap because the vehicles that use it are lighter duty to begin with.
The Ridgeline is a unibody design but that is not the main reason why it does not sell well. Try looking at price and it's odd design. I've never heard of any structural failures with it's unibody architecture.

Composite materials in the realm of metals, plastics, fiberglass, carbon fibre etc. are the wave of the future.

If you we want to keep driving big trucks we need to accept the fact that they will look different and be built much differently than what we currently drive.

People always fear monger about change.

Ford has clearly made the F-150 too big and heavy, it is time for something more practical and efficient. I don't think a unibody utility type vehicle is the answer though.
Everyone's too comfortable with the ever increasing size and power of todays trucks. The new CAFE standards that are coming simply won't allow this to continue. It's not just for Ford to consider. All half tons, and soon the HD's too, will have to get lighter and more fuel effecient. Ford's Ecoboost is just the beginning. Radical new 'fuel efficient' designs for chassis' and mechanicals are going to happen.

Yea the F-150 deffinatly needs to go on a diet, its gotten to be land yaght in the last generations.

Don't get too upset over the arist's rendering shown here. It's pulled from the 3/2008 article, and I don't think these drawings come from Ford either.

Ford has had VVT for years, it isn't new. The 1995 Contour 2.0L has VVT, F-150 got VVT with the 5.4L 3V engine in 2004, so don't think its a Toyota only thing.

What is new to Ford is the Ti-VVT (twin independant Variable Valve timing). Thats what all the hoopla is about. What is special about this (in Ford's use) is its capeabilites. I can't say for F-150, but I assume it'll be the same as Mustang (3.7L and 5.0L) in its ability to go into a mild atkinson cycle when cruzing at highway speeds under light load. This boosts the highway mileage (look at 3.7L Mustang ratings, huge jump from city to highway).

Big vs heavy? Maybe they are heavy but are F-150's really too big? Most people have a 5.5 or 6.5' short bed which is smaller than most people had back in the day. The cab: I don't how you can make that smaller. It is just the right size.

Look at the Chevy back seats in a crewcab, they are horrendously too small. You could make the Ford cabs a couple inches smaller but what does that solve? Nothing. All it does is creat a new problem.

Do they have to make it more fuel efficient? Yes. Smaller? Not so much. People that want a much smaller F150 usually never wanted a full-size truck in the first place. They like small trucks. If you want a small truck, ask for a small truck. Don't ask to make the F-150 small and useless.

@hemi lol; hows that MDS work now? Last I checked it saves gas when you are not accelerating, just maintaining speed, and coasting. True it is up tp a certain speed, and lots of things determine whatever the top speed it will stay on until, 73? 75? There are people running 4.56 gears and still getting almost 21 per gallon. Quad cab 4x2. Sure it won't be on trailer towing, or if you have 36" tires going 75 mph. If they'd get a true 6 speed, it would really get better mileage, well, the ones that have 3.92 gears, the 3.21 and 3.55 geared ones already do real good.

Dave, I'm not saying to make the truck useless, but I thought the 1997-2003 was a good size, no super high bed sides that make it virtually useless as a work truck, about a foot shorter and a little more arodynamic.

The "small" size of the old F150 wasn't much smaller. Try real measurements (width x height):

'97 F150: 78.4 x 72.5
'04 F150: 78.9 x 72.8
'10 F150: 78.9 x 74.6

I have found that a deeper bed is better for hauling. The steps solve the problem with the height without taking away the cargo space. I'm not sure I want to go back to the smaller crewcab. They have 5.5' beds, supercabs and regular cabs for those who want it a bit smaller.

More aerodynamic I will agree with you on completely.

Here's a novel idea for making lighter trucks. STOP making 4 door trucks. Go back to regular cabs. If you want 4 doors buy a car. Real trucks have 2 doors.

@ Don E - I disagree 100%.
I cannot safely or legally fit my family into a regular cab truck.
I don't know why you are on a truck site if you think a 4 door truck is a waste of time.
I like to take my kids fishing and camping. I can't see a 4 door car getting to my favorite fishing hole (in one piece).

@Dave - the F150 box is only 1.4 inches deeper than a Chevy. I like the retractable side steps and tailgate step. I use mine all the time. Great idea regardless of the box depth.

I would not want a smaller cab or shorter box( I have the 6.5 box).
Sure - a 157 inch wheel base truck is long, it doesn't take long to get used to it. Makes for a more stable truck in the winter and on gravel roads.
Is it too big?
No.
Not for my wants or needs.

I'm sure a Tacoma would fit the needs of the guys wanting to shrink the F150 0r Don E can go out and buy a Prius.



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