2015 Ford F-150: Body and Cabs First Look

D 2015 Ford F-150 Platinum rear II

Let's start by offering some perspective about what we're talking about regarding the world debut of the 13th-generation Ford F-Series half-ton pickup truck at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

There is no other way to describe the type of change exemplified by the 2015 Ford F-150 unless you use the word "historic." The Ford F-150 has been the most popular vehicle sold in the U.S. for more than three decades, so for this truck to change from using steel body parts to, what effectively amounts to, a fully aluminum body will likely send ripples (if not shockwaves) through the automotive industry. And it all started quite a while ago with one question: Where can we save weight?

Yes, the F-150 has been using an aluminum hood since 2004 — and several other truck makers have used various types of aluminum and plastic for their hoods and bed designs — but never have we seen the use of aluminum to this extent in any type of production vehicle except luxury sports cars. In fact, when Ford tells the story about when this idea first became a serious pursuit, it goes all the way back to when Ford Motor Co. owned Jaguar and Volvo, with the former using a great deal of aluminum in the design of their luxury sedans and powerful sports coupes. In fact, according to Automotive News, the AIV Sable showed them they could expect as much as a 47-percent weight savings by using aluminum. 

Ford engineers took what they knew from Jaguar body construction techniques and started to apply those weight-saving and strengthening strategies to the F-150. The math was pretty simple: Aluminum has greater density than steel and weighs less, so engineers could make the truck lighter without sacrificing strength. That meant the very real possibility of a stronger pickup that would be able to more easily achieve the federal EPA fuel-economy targets fast approaching in 2025.

Every panel on this new truck, and all the cab configurations, will use aluminum panels and construction — the doors, cabin, bed, everywhere. We're told more than 95 percent of the body of the 2015 pickup will now be aluminum. The only spots not made of the lightweight material are some of the QuietSteel pieces still in the dash (mainly because Ford likes the way it keeps the interior so quiet) and in the bottom corner piece of the cabs, which turns out to be a problem spot for current aluminum stamping technology to accommodate.

We expressed some skepticism regarding the use of aluminum in a pickup bed that will see a good bit of abuse, and we were assured this military-grade material (yes, the military is requiring more aluminum than ever before in its current and future vehicles) will be stronger and more dent resistant than the product it is replacing.

Ford said it will continue to offer its current three-cab setup for the 2015 F-150 because that's what customers want. Interestingly, where GM decided to change its extended cab design to a traditional (albeit smaller), conventional four-door design (in large part to better meet the more strict roof crush standards), Ford has kept its clamshell-style door for SuperCab models because their customers like having the bigger pass-through opening for incab cargo storage.

Although testing is quite a ways off, Ford says it will have no trouble meeting the government's roof crush standards. It will be some time before the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a chance to test all three cab configurations for the 2015 F-150 (it just finished testing the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, which got five-star overall ratings on all three cabs), but the Ford people are saying they fully expect their new truck to perform at the highest levels.

C 2015 Ford F-150 Plat doors II

 

Comments

This Next Generation F-150 will only make General Motors Stronger... Bring it on...

Wow. This really is a Ford site. Heard others gripe about but now I believe it! These articles have been tweaked for days! Well written Mike Levine!

@Unclebud,
When does an article become PR Spin
"There is no other way to describe the type of change exemplified by the 2015 Ford F-150 unless you use the word "historic."

" so for this truck to change from using steel body parts to, what effectively amounts to, a fully aluminum body will likely send ripples (if not shockwaves) through the automotive industry."

I wonder how much they will cost.

I wonder if Ford has much profit and will it be absorbed by future high aluminium prices.

Have a read. Australia may benefit.

http://www.smh.com.au/business/indonesian-mineral-export-law-a-threat-to-chinas-aluminium-production-20140112-30oob.html

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/jakarta-minerals-export-ban-may-boost-australian-bauxite/story-fnciihm9-1226800127361#

@ RichardJensen(which ever one you are)
Painting aluminium isn't hard, no harder than painting steel.

Using composites isn't that easy. There are many factors that make using a composite material expensive.

Composites are cheap when laying the fabric to produce flat, square sheet. Robotics can do all the work.

When curves and comples shapes are required laying the fabric is currently labour intensive.

Also, delaminations of composties weaken the material, this could cause safety concerns. The composite loses much strength and isn't visible.

@RichardJensen
I suppose you owned an uninsured Mustang that burnt to the ground.

Have input, but stop with the trolling garbage.

Also, use your real name.

@Richard Jensen, @Big Al

Er, actually gentlemen, the effective use of a composite body panel goes all the way back to the 1950s with the Chevrolet Corvette. Ever since then, every standard Vette has had a fibreglass body (Yes, Virginia, fibreglass is a composite).

The decision at Ford to use alloy for body panels is an exciting development for truck owners. Let's see some weight figures!

@papa jim
I work with composite materials quite extensively.

I really do know what I'm on about.

Fibreglass from the 50s is much different than working with carbon fibre or kevlar.

Laying the fabric is very awkward for complex shapes and IS labour intensive. That's why clothing is made in Costa Rica, Honduras, India, Vietnam, China, etc.

Plywood is a composite and yet it can be made cheaply.

All composites are layered. What occurs is a delamination will occur which isn't visible. We have to X Ray to find some. Easy de lams can be found by tapping with special hammers.

A delam could make a 5 star safety rated vehicle into a 1 star by having someone slam a door into your vehicle in a parking lot, unless you engineer the panels to be able to absorb this damage. But then you've lost your weight advantage.

I think Australia has the most advanced robotic equipment for the manufacture of composite vehicle parts.

There is much work being done here with Audi.

Once we can robotics to be able to lay material, then we will have cheap composite vehicles.

All competitors will be irrelevant once this thing hits show rooms. This is coming from a Dodge Ram loyalist. Time for Dodge Ram to step it up another notch. I bet GM is kicking themselves right now. And I'm not being being rude either.

@Big Al

My dad was an aerospace engineer back in the days after WW2. Composite, carbon fibre, fibreglass was the big rage then. The factoid I quoted about the Corvette was to remind my readers that the use of composites in manufacturing is nothing new.

Apart from ignorance (or pure owner abuse) I have not seen much trouble with Corvette finishes over the years except for the fact that it's very different from doing repairs and body work on traditional body/frame steel vehicles.

@Uncle Bud/Robert Ryan/More people to come

You realize PUTC posted just as many blogs about the 2013 Ram 1500... You guys think everything is Ford biased, when magazines actually tend to favor Chrysler because they feel sorry for them for some reason.

Dafug,
It is nothing about Ford per se ,it is the over the top language used in the article.

@RichardJensen, I've owned several Mustangs since the 1980's, most from 1999 to 2014 and I've never had any problems with the hood paint. Know a lot of Mustang owners and haven't heard of any problems. Don't be a hater just cause Ford has the best selling truck for the last 34 years. If the F150 is such a 'joke' as you say, then why did it out sell the closest compeditor by over 200,000 units last year? Looks like the 'joke' is on you.

Looks like the 2015 Truck of the Year to me!

I have to admit at first glance at 4am in the morning I thought it was a Toyota. Looking closer at it, it does take a lot from the Atlas concept, which is good and very Ford. I think the half ton pickup wars have just heated up. I just hope all players (Ram, GM, and yes Toyota and Nissan) stay in the game.

Doesn't look any different than the present 1/2 ton. You also need to back up the statement "best selling 1/2 ton" with actual figures breaking down sale, not just throw in 'f series", leave PU.com much less credible. I also agree PU.com is trying to sell fords over other makes by gratuitous promotion. Other vehicle reviewers aren't kissing fords ass like PU.com is because of the use of aluminum, a commodity that fluctuates in price and is sought after by the Chinese making it a huge financial risk. I worked many years with aluminum in machining and it is very sensitive to temperature becoming brittle in cold and expanding greatly in heat. Wait and see, it can also rust that is called white rust....so at least the fords will keep on rusting.

I don't like the looks, also not sure I like the looks of the interior, gonna keep my. 09 F-150 long as I can

Unsure if I want a pickup truck made out of aluminum. Aluminum? like a beer can? I don't think so. I will wait for a while to see how rugged this truck proves to be.

I think this my be the down turn for Ford, what goes up must come down and I think this may be it. I'm not saying the aluminum is a bad idea but many pickup buyers buy whats tried and true and I don't think they will want to risk buying this experiment.

Wow. The trolls are out in force! As someone that has been anticipating this reveal for a long time, I think they did a great job with the design. If you hate the current ford, you might as well not comment. As someone that loves the current design, I'm glad they didn't try to totally change the look, but clearly they changed EVERY aspect of the design in some small but mostly better ways. If you like the atlas concept (which most people seemed to really like) then there's no reason you shouldn't like the look of this truck. As for those saying this is a biased site, you don't know anything about this pickup. EVERY article you will read today about this truck will use the exact kind of wording like "historic", "shockwaves through the industry", etc.

Ugly trim on the tailgate and they still have that stupid slope in their doors where the window comes up and down. It still looks like a Ford and now all their trucks will have the same look unless they change their ancient super duty.

Not to take the wind out the sail for Ford, but their news on their new pickup just got second stage when the new 2014 Silverado was voted North American Truck of The Year at the Detroit auto show. Nice try Ford, but your beer can truck just kicked to the side of the road.

Oh, woe is Ford!--so say the Obama Motors and Fiat fanboys. Surely this new truck will spell the doom of the Ford Motor Company!

Of course, these same people have been touting the supposed superiority of their respective gimmicky toys for the past 43 years, all the while Ford has spanked them in the sales department.

So next time I'm looking for a vehicle made of chrome-plated styrene, or an Italian roller skate made in Mexico, I'll shop for a Silverado or a Ram. But since I drive trucks, I'll stick with Ford.

I like the interior, finally up to the mark of Ram's interior. A bit of a copy with the colors but hey, I do like it. Grille is neat-ish....but once again....mostly the grille is changed and nothing else on the body. Not sure if I like the lower model's grille though. Definitely need a platinum if you are going to get one in my opinion.

@Greg:

Could you maybe explain to us how the future 2015 F150 got its butt kicked because it wasn't awarded a 2014 truck award? I think you're a little confused...

* Looks like a Toyota tundra - rear taillights and front hood.

They sure did make it uglier. Pretty much a copy of Ram and GM truck upgrades other then a few small things that a normal guy who buys a truck to beat in the woods for work won't buy, cause it be on the high end trims. I also got kick how they cut down on trim packages *cough couch GM style*.

As for Ford and Lincoln cars with aluminum hoods and trunk lids, the paint has bubbled up and corrode probably faster then most steel ones would have would have.

http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/15/judge-allows-suit-over-aluminum-corrosion-in-fords-to-move-forward/?_r=0

High Mileage,
Ford has got it covered. It's called "magic dust".

So, the loud mouth from Ford that told us about a year ago that the F150 won't change much at all wasn't lying. Remember the article that was pulled from PUTC a day later?

The truck didn't change much on the outside. New grille and headlamps (standard protocol at Ford).
93% aluminum body will be interesting. Bottom corners of the cab are still steel because there is no technology to stamp aluminum in such matter. There will also be some steel materials in the dash to insulate outside noise.
They said 70% of weight savings came from aluminum body and 8.5% from frame.
The engine order will look like this, new 3.5L V6, new 2.7L TV6, 5.0L V8 and 3.5L TV6. No more 6.2L and no more 3.7L.

Just out of curiosity; Why does this website have six or seven first looks about everything on this new Ford truck and yet only have one First look on the new GMC Canyon?? Numbers don't lie; Levine is gone to Ford, obviously Mark Williams is pining for a job there too: get an un-biased person who just reports the facts about the product and leaves his/her personal preferences at home!

The interiors and exteriors are handsome; however, I'm not seeing any real leaps in buyer experience. Dodge still seems to lead on this front. It will be interesting to see how the aluminum bodies are supported with body shops and such. Regardless, Dodge, Ford and GM have very conquerable products out there. And with that said, it's still surprising the limited innovation we see in the pickup platform. The Honda Ridgeline is still the only pickup truck I've seen that has some great lessions to learn. Utilizing stiffer bodies, independent suspensions and creative storage solutions. Our big trucks need more of this. I understand the difficulty of this in regards to cab and bed combinations, but that's why its called innovation.

The cab corners are still steel so they will rust just like they do now as that is a problem area on the current trucks with rust!

I don't like some of the grilles on some models of the new f-150 but the black truck at the top of the page on ford's 2015 f-150 website is really nice. That is definitely the grille I want on mine. That's what I was hoping it would look like. It is nice that ford offers so many different configurations. most likely this will be my next truck. Definitely a big step forward. It's also pretty cool that every model has at least the 4 inch screen in the dash if that is true. I'm a little disappointed there is no 10 speed yet. LED lighting in the bed will be really nice and the doors on the extended cab that open 170 degrees. The 110 volt outlet. Grille shutters. Better visibility out of the front door windows (ford already easily had the best visibility which is one of my favorite things about their trucks). A

http://www.ford.com/trucks/f150/2015/?hptid=bb-2197-f150-reveal


@Len:

I'd the same thought about the cab corners...condensation collects/runs down and rusts them out from the inside (especially up North where I live). Oh well...at least the fenders won't rust out.

Thinking about the aluminum experiment from a supply standpoint: if Ford is going to shoot up to the number 2 consumer of aluminum in the world, that's got to put some upward pressure on the price of aluminum (which is already high compared to steel).

For the sake of argument, let's say this works and everyone suddenly realizes that aluminum really IS the best material to make pickup bodies out of...Ford starts selling aluminum trucks like hotcakes and gaining market share... Eventually, GM and Ram are sure to follow suite putting even MORE upward pressure on aluminum prices squeezing everybody's profit margins!

I've already read several articles where they're saying substitution of aluminum for steel is going to hurt Ford's fullsize truck profit margins (especially on lower-tier vehicles).

I can see this truck easily becoming a victim of its own success.

I also think this truck is a step backward, aesthetically. The headlights, tail lights, and tailgate just look too busy and over-styled.

IMHO, Ford peaked with the simplicity of the 2004- whatever models and the F150s have gotten a bit uglier with each successive redesign.

Not impressed, front end has a similar look to the 2014 Tundra to me.

Ya know, just 'cause something is popular doesn't mean it's the best.

Remind me, who got elected and then re-elected again? How's that popularity thing work again???

There are lots of sheople (sheep + people) out there, folks. Sales figures aren't all that's needed to prove you've got the best stuff... Just keep that in mind.

And this truck is fugly and full of lots of questionable hardware. A 2.7L, boosted to the max? Yeah - I'd hate to see the maintenance costs on that sucker. And the life expectancy. What you're looking at there is a return to the "100,000 and it's done" days... The resale value on these turbo-6 trucks will tank, because the dealer or 2nd owner will be responible for a major overhaul shortly after trade-in.

I would like to bring 'richardjensen' to the moderators' attention. This individual has a history of assuming my nickname from BlueOvalForums.com, in order to post disparaging commentary about Ford.

Over the course of the past five years or so, he has been banned several times from BlueOvalForums.com, most recently a couple months ago. He has also used the nickname of another moderator at BlueOvalForums.com in order to post disparaging commentary on other websites.

I am fully prepared to vouchsafe my identity, privately, if requested to do so. I am certain that cars.com is not interested in providing a platform for petty and spiteful individuals to exact childish revenge for well-earned discipline received elsewhere.

Richard, we have removed those comments, and have made efforts to block him. Thanks,

Patrick Olsen, Editor-in-Chief, Cars.com

Ted.. Maybe it didn't get the award because its a 2015 not a 2014? Did that ever cross your mind Maybe?

Well, Ford did one thing right here. They kept the clamshell extended cab door. Strangely, despite taking a more 'conventional' path on the full size GM trucks, the Canyon and probably the Colorado retained that same clamshell aspect. For me, smaller is better, so I'm not yet forced to buy a full size just for the convenience of easier access.

Thanks Patrick!

From a practical standpoint on the original topic, I'm wondering to what extent body shops are going to need training to fix these panels.

I guess the goal is to minimize minor damage and major damage would require replacing steel as well as aluminum, so there's no major change in work there.

Richard, to that point, welding aluminum will take a lot of practice. It will most likely be easier to replace panel rather than repair them. Now, damaged bedsides, will be interesting...

Stupid Ford. First you introduce a gas guzzling V6, now, you introduce a truck made out of beer cans and an even smaller, yet more high strung V6 that will drink fuel like crazy.

Ford screwed up...what you can't screw up.

And it's looks like a Tundra that was hit with the ugly stick.

Even this F150 will still sell well above 500K/yr. Given that it accounts for 90% of Ford's profit they have clearly done their homework.

Wait until the engines and transmissions are updated mid-cycle...

Ford just stepped 10 yrs ahead of other trucks on the market.there high strength steel is the same thing our military has used to keep our troops safe in combat for yrs( the beer can statements are evidently from some daily drunks who know little about how strong aluminum really is)'. The new ford saved 700 pds from new high strength aluminum and stronger and lighter steel making the chassis yet stronger then ever before. The self lowering tailgate is awesome as is the all around view. Is is almost identical to the atlas concept so it looks awesome. The new 2.7 will be awesome in a 700 pound lighter truck so look for high 20 s on the mpg scale out doing the new fiat rams diesel option and Chevys old is new again 5.3 . Great job again ford on the design . Somewhere there are some gm designers getting there walking papers and some fiat designers accepting defeat yet again

GM used aluminum hoods and trunk lids on downsized full sized cars in 1977 and on downsized midsized cars in 1978 and I don't recall any issues with paint on those parts. Ford is taking a bold move with this and it could very well be a game changer.

Ford fails yet again. This is about as ground breaking as snow on top of mountains.

This truck is a laughable joke

Wow you call this a truck with a 2.7l engine! I'd like to see this towing (you'd hear it first). Does it have a rev limiter? I have two friends that have the Eco Bust engine. Yeah, they both went bust! While towing each with about 35000 miles on the od and their trannys blew. With such a small engine in a big machine your tranny has to work like all hell to keep rpm's down, everyone know this who's towed.Ford is creating the same disdain for turbo powered engines as did GM with their gas modified diesel engines. Keep up the good work we'll see how those sales # go. Oh did Autozone have leftovers on blackefriday? Looks like they went down the chrome isle and took everything they could! Keep going Ram!

I'm generally pretty fair and unbiased with trucks. But these guys who post dumb things about ford just make me glad that ford continues to take market share from GM. From an unbiased standpoint, I am a little concerned about the future of GM trucks. I have a lot of buddies who have been lifelong GM fans that are switching to Ford. Some to Ram. Some of them even say they will "never" buy another GM product. With the new F-150 GM honestly is probably really worried right now. Is there a GM fan out there with something intelligent to say? I think GM makes a good product and there is a small chance I'll buy a silverado this year, but those of you trying to trash the ford just make GM and Ram owners look foolish. That is not a club I want to be a member of. Like GM's advertising strategy in years past trying to bully owners of ford trucks. It just makes GM look like a spiteful company and they are FINALLY learning to get away from that marketing strategy. You aren't doing yourself any favors by being unrealistic and petty.

Bubba you need to watch the gauntlet test on youtube. Some truck website hauled a trailer up the gauntlet pitting the ecoboost vrs the 6.2 big Chevy motor hrs the fiat ram and the tundra and Titan. The ecoboost beat Chevys biggest motor to the top by over a minute. The Chevy was wide open from bottom to top and never broke the speed limit and sometimes dropping to 40 mph while the v6 ecoboost had to be slowed down several times to keep from speeding so the generals biggest and most powerful couldn't run with fords little ecoboost.that is sad that a 6.2 big block couldent out pull or out run fords little ecoboost fords technology was way ahead of gm but this new f150 looks to be 10 yrs ahead of anything gm can come remotely close too.fords trucks look modern and gms new truck already looks 15 yrs older now that this atlas inspired will soon be out. Better luck catching up next time gm because the only thing you will ever see if ford driving off into the sunset if you can see it with all the new gm trucks burning to the ground in only 6 months of production!!!!!!!



Post a Comment

Please remember a few rules before posting comments:

  • Try to be civil to your fellow blog readers.
  • Stay on topic. We want to hear your opinions and thoughts, but please only comment about the specified topic in the blog post.
  • Your email will not be shown.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Home | Buy or Sell a Truck | News | Special Reports

Powered by Cars.com. By using this site, you agree to our terms of service | © 2014 Cars.com | Privacy Statement | Contact Us

Visit our partner: MovingTruck.com