Spy shots by KGP Photography
We've just heard from one of our deep-cover spy photographers who recently found a heavily camoed 2015 Ford F-150 running the streets of Michigan. Here's what he wrote us:
The F-150 is expected to follow the design lead foreshadowed by Ford's Atlas concept, which bowed during January's North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Elements of the Atlas concept can be seen peeking through bits of the camouflage.
As important as the next F-150's styling is what it will be made of. We hear rumors of extensive use of aluminum, which could result in massive weight reduction. Questions remain as to just how far Ford is willing to go in its use of the expensive, tricky metal. We see some interesting things around the rear wheel wells of this F-150 prototype — unpainted metal with the look of untreated aluminum around the rear bed — which may give us our first clue to the metallurgical makeup of this massively important product within the Ford empire.
Sources tell us that this next F-150 will utilize Ford's new range of V-6 engines (being developed under the codename "Nano"), likely displacing 2.9liters in the F-150 range. Direct injection and dual-stage turbocharging are rumored to be part of the Nano's defining technologies. A diesel engine is also a near certainty for the next F-150 range.
No doubt we'll be hearing and seeing more about weight-saving technology from all the big (and midsize) truck makers as they come to market with their newest models. In our 2013 Light-Duty Challenge, due to go live next week, the new GM half-tons were almost 400 pounds lighter than the heaviest trucks (can you guess which ones they were?). It doesn't take much imagination to see that if Ford wants to get serious, it could possibly double that number.