Spied: 2015 Ford F-150 Will Shed Weight

2015 Ford F-150 1 II

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.

2015 Ford F-150 2 II

2015 Ford F-150 3 II

2015 Ford F-150 4 II



Breaking News, Ford Sucks!!!

the war begins! bye bye GM trucks.

Let's see...rear end, wheel wells, rear bumper, position of tail lights, rear window, mirrors, windshield slope, side windows, way it sits, front end profile, etc.
Yeah it's new, but Atlas, I don't know.

Ewe, looks like the same old truck to me with an F-250 front end.

Oh and Ford - don't delete the 5.0.

Same cab same everything just a grill change and tail lights and furd calls it a day oh and some new micro engines lol.

That's not aluminum in the rear fender wells... it's white paint. It is a white truck you are looking at under all that camo.


MAN, that IS a lot of aluminum! That can be both good and bad. Aluminum doesn't rust the same way steel does, but that doesn't prevent it from corroding. If that's an aluminum liner under steel outer panels, the matter gets worse as dissimilar metals create an electrolytic reaction would could corrode both metals even worse.

But let's assume the entire bed will be aluminum, like the body panels on most cars today. The advantage will be lower overall rust, with a much higher likelihood of visible dings during normal use. The bed interior will likely be made of thicker material or maybe even aircraft-style honeycomb for load carrying, relying on either plastic or spray-in liner material to protect the metal from abrasions and puncturing. You'd be surprised how light a 6'x8' piece of honeycomb is for the strength it offers. The drawback is that such a piece is usually 1" thick and still VERY easy to scratch and puncture since the surface panels are 0.1" or thinner.

Sure, you're going to see a much lighter vehicle with that kind of technology, but those panels don't come cheap.

Imagine that. A dinosaur that weighs less...
It still weighs 40% more than the Ranger.

@FYI: Look again. That is bare aluminum in front of the wheel in the next-to-last picture--the reflections make that patently obvious. The other panel is also aluminum as evidenced by its milky-grey color in both that picture and the one above it.

Yea, and a minor fender bender in this thing will probably set you back 10 grand, or even totalled.

I think they took the mirrors off a Dodge Caravan.

Now this truck looks like a full size to me and I believe that this is likely the new F-150. This is not however, the same truck as the other Ford prototypes that have been caught driving around doing rain testing. This is much larger. The hood is different. There are 6 lugs on the wheels of this vehicle and I don't see any inboard shocks in back. So what was that other, smaller truck? Some early frame testing prototypes or something new coming down the pike?

I think you'll find aluminium will be used on straighter panels and applications that require much strength.

To have aluminium with the required tensile strength to reduce the chance of impact damage makes it brittle.

Aircraft alloy can't be bent without inducing stress fractures. It can be and probably will require annealing of each component to maintain structural integrity. This will add substantially to the cost of production.

That why most of the aluminium you see isn't really structural and is replacing light weight polypropylene inner guard liners.

How much weight is being saved and is it coming mainly from the aluminium?

How much is plastic?

Ford will have a new F-150 and F-100 for the 2015 model year.

THIS is why Toyota invested early and invested big in Hybrid tech. The real cost of hybrid components is the obscene R&D costs: Toyota's program cost nearly a billion dollars back in the early 2000s. GM's Volt hybrid research cost just a little more 10 years later, but GM had the benefit of all the white papers and academic work being done in the public sector over that decade.

So Ford, in order to meet fuel economy targets, is having to invest in expensive and possibly flimsier metals for its trucks to meet targets. It will have a higher re-curring cost than Toyota's now amortized R&D for the Prius.

I don't think many of us follow the Japanese car market very closely, but Toyota has been running hybrid trucks on its Japanese test circuits for a few years now. What do you want to wager that the Tundra's powertrain, wearing some added electric motors and batteries, was underneath those trucks? All Toyota has to do is stick with the same materials, engines, and other components its buidling the Tundra out of now, add a beefier rear axle and springs, then stick a battery pack under the bed next to the gas tank, and throw the Priu's electric motor inbetween the transfer case and transmission.

Bang, hybrid pickups that don't suck. Ford spends thousands on turbo chargers, aluminum bodies, and who knows what else, and Toyota has V8's getting as good of gas mileage and fuel saving tech that has proven itself over a decade of use and continued R&D.

F-250 too.

That rear pumpkin looks huge. Either the truck is smaller, the bumper is higher, or the rear is bigger. Maybe they're bringing back the 10 1/4" semi-float, though I think that was a 7 lug rear.

Yeah, from Autoblog pictures it doesn't look like aluminum. It's just white paint that for some reason gave that weird reflection on that picture.
I also wonder if the douche driving that truck still has a job today. Go to autoblog to see what I'm talking about and see more high resolution pics.

He must of seen Michigan Bob on the streets pushing his Chebby!!


@all-American, they could leave all the body cladding on it and still out sell chebby and gm combined!!Oh yeah did I mention chebby sux!!!!!!!!!!

The autoblog pictures are a different truck. I think the autoblog truck had them painted white in the wheel wells but not this one. If you look at the back window the autoblog truck has stickers on it. This one does not. The headlights also appear slightly different on the two trucks unless they are just lit up different. I must say I'm excited to see what the next f-150 has to offer. More than likely I'll be up for a new truck about the time the 2015 trucks come out. new GM= boring. The verdict is still out on the new ram 1500 diesel and 8 speed.

Wow, all u guys are experts. The F 150 has been the number one selling vehicle in the U.S. for how many yeas now? Do urselves a favor and sit back down in ur armchairs.

@Kw Year after year, there are more New Registered Trucks by GM than Ford. Ford owns about 30% of it's dealers and guess what all those Rusty Chasis sitting out in the Sun, Ford still counts them as Sold.


I cannot wait to see what this truck looks like in the next several months. I am a die hard Ford Truck man, and may possibly trade in my 11 Ecoboost FX-4 if they do as well of a job with this new truck as I can expect from Ford. My 11 Ecoboost thus far after 53,000 miles has been exceptional and while I think the fuel economy is decent for a 420 foot pound of torque towing beast, weight savings would make it better. Let us hope Ford does not sacrifice capability in the weight savings process. I'll be on the edge of my seat!!!

@beebe Good eyes! also, different license plates! I do hope the truck is as close to the Atlas as possible. I'm also going to be looking for a half-ton truck in late '14, and so far the GM twins, though a real step forward, have left me indifferent. Dodge is gaining ground IMHO but I'm more biased towards Ford, so let's see...

Aluminum will work depending on what parts they us it for and where they use it. I could see body panels being made from it. Current body panels are pretty flimsy so going to aluminum shouldn't be a huge change in strength. I can't see it being used for the box itself. A composite box would make the most sense.
Remember - the hood and A-arms have been aluminum on the Ford for a real long time.

When Mike Levine was still at the helm of PUTC, there was considerable speculation and hinting that the next gen F150 would be monocoque. Does that explain the shape of the fender we see in the photo?
Monocoque is a form of cough hack OMG unibody construction...... but....but....never in a pickup.....

Smaller engines can shed a lot of weight. If Ford ditchs the 6.2, they can shrink the size of the engine bay. That alone can allow for a decent loss of weight.

I suspect that a small diesel will become the Top Dog motor. The EB 3.5 will become the top gasser. The 5.0 will stay as the "every-man" motor and a TTDI 4 banger will replace the 3.7 V6.
will we see the cough hack OMG demise of the V8?...... but....but....never in a pickup?

Good catch beebe.

Wow ! I wonder how Aluminum tires ride,the 2.9 should get 45 mpg right ?

Sorry ford guys no more big v8 only micro boost engines

I think I will no longer come to this site I am tired of the Ford sucks, Ram sucks, Chevy sucks. Grow up children.

That was a good catch Beebe, however, since the AutoBlog truck is painted white, why would this one have bare aluminum... probably a silver truck, no?

hmmm??? yeah that front end I'm wondering if they went a one piece bumper to a three piece configuration?? hmm I hope not its not worth cutting there. a pickup needs a decent metal structure protecting the engine from possible damage. although, nobody could tell what GM was doing at first either so, there probably testing out different ideas this early in the game. from the looks of things the front appears to be flatter similar to the super duty & new sliverado but, the rear end seems to be displaying more of an aero look like RAM with accentuated lines & a spotter look hmm?? indeed! interesting very interesting.

@Lou - " suspect that a small diesel will become the Top Dog motor. The EB 3.5 will become the top gasser. The 5.0 will stay as the "every-man" motor and a TTDI 4 banger will replace the 3.7 V6.
will we see the cough hack OMG demise of the V8?...... but....but....never in a pickup? "

I don't know would they actually phase the v8s out? at some point they would have to wouldn't you think Lou? I just don't see these new 8-10 speeds working as well with v8s in comparison to a lightweight diesel engine format. in my experience driving tractor trailer diesels, they have a unique way of staying on their torque curve than a gasoline v8 can't with a great deal of gears being added. I think the 8 speed concept with the pentastar v6 is easier pulled off because the engine has a more limited torque number I just don't know Lou. what do you think?

Losing weights not good when it comes to towing. How is Ford going to deal with a lighter truck towing 11,100lbs?

@Dale Milner
I had that same question but more as it relates to SAE Tow Ratings. They have to become more EPA fuel efficient so I long suspected that is why they were the first to say they wouldn't do the SAE Tow Rating on the current Gen trucks. They can shrink the tow rating on the next Gen F150 and say it is due to the weight reduction never admit how they rated overrated it when they had the 5.4L as that had the same tow rating as the 6.2L and the Ecoboost.

Tow ratings will not be reduced. They will go up like the Silvys. Get over yourself and your Tundras.

Hopefully they will redesign the eco boost engine. I can't keep mine out of the shop.

I am just guessing as it is possible the tow rating can go down. I see that you can't handle the idea and facts about the 5.4L like a big boy. Since you cannot prove it is going up like I cant prove it will go down I guess your just guessing like me and their is nothing wrong with that.

Just wait and see. You haven't proven anything either. All you're doing is grandstanding on an issue. The only thing J2807 does is standardize the testing. It doesn't make the tow ratings more accurate.

Look at Toyota. Is the lowest price V8 (small engine) going to do a good job with an 8600 LB load? The fact is I could tow 10,000 Lbs. with any truck but that doesn't make it right. I've towed my 8500 Lbs. camper with a 6.7L Cummins and none of the little V8's would be adequate at over 55mph, a head wind or even up a slight hill. Looks like the Toyota J2807 number is just another piece of fictitious window dressing because they don't have a serious HD model.

Ford has all but gone on record that it will kill off mass producing V8s, they will still make them, but will be reserved for special models at a premium. Ecoboost is the mass produced V8 replacement as part of CAFE strategy. My bet, normal aspirated V6 as base, Ecoboost as mainstream, diesel for serious tow/haul and big gasser option for specials.

They will drop weight by around 700lbs (somehow) and areo the snot out of it (low and flat bottom. High rear diff with extra low gears in tranny to componsate. Will be more "light-duty" unless a Ranger is coming soon...

@Joe - I think that the 5.0 will be the only V8 left in Ford's pickup line up.
I know what you mean when you are talking more gears to keep a rig in its power band.
A smaller engine will not have the torque like bigger V8'd to compensate for big gaps in a gear box. The link you posted about the Ram versus Ford V6 test is a prime example. Both engines aren't that far apart power wise but the Ram had a better set of gears to work with.
The EB3.5 has good power down low to mid so it would do better with 2-3 more cogs in the gear box. A small diesel does not have the RPM rang of a V8 or V6 gasser so a good spread of gears will make it a good pickup option.

i totally see elements from the atlas concept. i can't wait to see what the truck will look like when it's revealed. this will be a re-designed truck obviously. i like how the rearview mirrors have been rounded off. either way, chrysler and gm are keeping an eye on this. not surprising that ford did something like this considering the new silverado was just unveiled a couple of months ago.

@Dale Milner - loosing weight in the right spots shouldn't effect towing at all. If anything, cargo capacity and towing should be able to go up. You drop 400 lb from the truck with similar suspension components to the old truck and you can add that 400 lb to capacity. Another option is to keep tow and haul the same and adjust the suspension for a better ride.

@toyrulz - Gas V8s will remain in all trim levels because the fact remains, nothing has ever come close to beating them, all things considered. V8s will likely outlive all of us. And with emerging tech, will kept raising the stakes on HP and MPG.

CAFE is only concerned with MPG, not engine size/cylinder count.

I do think the Coyote V8 will remain, but will be used in higher end applications.

The diesel? Will the 3.2 still be viable then? There must be a new light Ford diesel in the pipeline.

As for the Eco Boosts, will Ford come out with a smaller 2.7 litre Eco Boost built on the same architecture as the 3.5?

But, like I stated in the lightweight Ram article, this stuff will have to increase the price of pickups. Ford has the same challenges as Fiat with the Ram.

It will be interesting to see how much is real and how much is hype.

Another reality is, are V8s a necessity or a desire? And can marketeers changes peoples' perception of V8's vs turbo V6's and diesels.

@Lou - you made some very valid points...I noticed with my RAM living in tennessee theres hilly country so, my 6 speed tends to shift into a higher gear by the time I'm already at the top of a hill it will lug a little but, not just with mds its the way the tranny reacts to the situation so, maybe if these 8 speeds are a little quicker to react toward a hill approach scenario I guess it probably doesn't make a difference what power plant is being dropped in a pickup. my final thought on this would be for manufactures to design something more advanced to compensate for the sudden changes while driving a pickup through a diverse country environment. Oh by the way this Ford looks interesting to say the least it definitely has an atlas bed nice curves this might take sales away from RAM with a competing stratagem such as this. I'm excited to see what Ford has in store for the competition!

I'd say Ford's gonna nail this redesign much better than GM did sorry no offense. If this thing looks good with all that camouflage, its gotta be a nice flowing design. despite what I've read GM's pickups don't seem to have as much flow or streamline characteristics that have woo'd so many enthuses of the past. However, I believe GM will be forced to use substantial improvisation on their next mid-cycle or redesign because if Ford looks this interesting, early in the game you know competition is going to be tighter than ever! I sure wouldn't run out an buy any new pickups with all these new buggy technology its bound to have recalls for years so, I'm very patient with next pickup I will purchase 5-10 years from now. depending on what if anything drastic changes are made to reconsider buying sooner!

@Big Al from Oz - I think that over time the "V8's are king" types will be in for a surprise. We've already seen downsizing in Europe. High end cars have gone from V12's down to V10's or V8's. Engines have gotten smaller with more tech built in and performance has not been lost. Anyone who thinks V8's will be the dominant engine forever must be basing that opinion on a very myopic view or based on one's lifespan being "forever".

Ford is slowly following through on its "One Ford Global" plan. I do not think pickups will shrink due to the "footprint" based rules so they will need to get lighter by more expensive light weight metals and smaller engines.

This truck will be a disaster, I'm sure they will stick with the ultra hard plastic interiors too.

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