Ford's Next-Generation Super Duty Goes Aluminum Too

IMG_3860 II

We've known this was coming for a while but Ford made it official when Raj Nair, Ford's head of product development, announced to a group of current and potential investors that the next-generation Super Duty will also be adopting an aluminum body — just like the new F-150.

The Detroit News reported the announcement while automotive journalists are test-driving the 2015 F-150 in Texas.

Ford has not announced when the next Super Duty will debut, but given the fact our spy photographer have caught quite a few Super Dutys testing this past June, August and September, we're guessing the next truck could debut as a 2016 or 2017 model. Our spies even saw one burn to the ground.

Since all Super Dutys (which account for about half of all F-Series sales at a healthy profit margin) are currently produced at only one site — the Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville — modifying it presents a problem. To prepare for the 2015 F-150, Ford shut down one plant for modification while still producing the half-ton at its other F-150 plant. Ford can't do that with the Super Dutys.

When the Kentucky plant is shut down for the eight to 10 weeks (and that might be an optimistic amount of time) to refit for the new Super Dutys, it will deliver a huge hit to Ford's bottom line. You can bet Chevrolet, GMC and Ram will be ready to take advantage of the changeover by offering special deals on heavy-duty models during Ford's plant shutdown. However, it wouldn't surprise us if Ford had some type of backup plan to produce Super Dutys somewhere else.

Cars.com image by Evan Sears; spy photo by Kent Sundling

 

Spied F-450 3 II

 

Comments

Well, that will make the cab lighter for when you have to remove it for minor repairs... .

Well Ford is going back to using the same Cab as the F-150 for he HD's as well so it only makes sense.

Does it come with a fire extinguisher?

This makes sense since Ford will have had at least a year or two experience with aluminum with the F-150. As time goes by Ford will get better at making aluminum body vehicles.

Although the new Super Duty will be aluminum and possibly share a bed with the F150 [no pun intended], my guess is that it will feature larger cab dimensions and an entirely different front end compared to its little brother.
This will contrast from pre-'99 Super Dutys that had much more in common with the older F150.

Once again whether you like it or not... its the future and those putting it off will be in worse shape than those leading into it.

The transition will be painful its true and there will be complications and issues and costs. But Ford will endure and master these problems before its competition and that should pay off.

Only GM and Chrysler know what it feels like to be taken over, and go under.

What about the '17 Bronco? Will it also be aluminum? To all the deniers, yes a new Bronco is coming, Ford can't hide that.

IF a new Bronco does come one would hope that it would benefit from an aluminum body.

I don't know that a new Bronco is coming. Honestly the market for Full Size body on frame SUVs is sufficiently saturated with choices and it is a market in decline and 2 doors were never strong sellers there and kind of defeat the purpose of the big/expensive/luxurious tow anything haul everyone go anywhere vehicle. Add to that the rise of the extended and double cab pick up and you have even more market saturation. Not to mention there are still a few mid sized body on frame competitors out there and their market too is in decline.

I don't see a new full size body on frame bronco as an asset for Ford. I could see it possible work as something say like the Toyota FJ Cruiser size. With Ecoboost and aluminum body the disappearance of the FJ, the age of the Nissan Exterra the Jeep Wranger would be its only real competition. The question is are there enough people looking for that kind of vehicle to justify making it especially as it wouldn't share more than power train/engine with the new F series.

" we're guessing the next truck could debut as a 2016 or 2017 model. "

Stop guessing. Do some more spy and undercover work and get the scoop on which model year it will be.

LATE BREAKING NEWS!!!!!!

The Wait is Over: Dodge Challenger Hellcat Shipping to Dealers Now

http://www.torquenews.com/106/wait-over-dodge-challenger-hellcat-shipping-dealers-now#sthash.o2pPr2zQ.dpuf

Ford already has sae j2807 highest rated tow capacity for hd pickups and that is with a crew cab 4x4. Add aluminum and take out tow vehicle weight is going to net even more capacity and distance them even more with there leading tow capacities. Great job ford!

If the aluminum construction turns out to be a big success, GM and Ram are going to be way behind. Not to mention toyota, nissan, and honda. So far every indication is that the aluminum truck will be a success. Ram and GM are probably going to be 5 to 10 years late to the party. By the time GM and RAM give us an aluminum truck, Ford will have gone a long ways towards perfecting theirs. The other two probably just haven't had the resources to develop an aluminum truck. I consider myself a typical truck buyer and have many friends and relatives the same. I've lost almost all interest in buying any other truck than a ford right now, and I know multiple other guys that feel the same way. Unless there is some unforeseen problem with the aluminum trucks, I think the immediate future looks pretty bleak for other truck brands.

Aluminum has always been considered a premium material in the things I buy (tools and equipment for my farm and my hobbies), but it usually comes at a much higher price. The amazing thing is that Ford has built an aluminum truck that can compete on price with a steel-bodied truck. Unless ford is straight lying, the aluminum adds 1 to 4 percent to the price on average.

I just got a great deal on a 2014 RAM 2500 HD! Ford can keep their aluminum trucks!

Ram is coming out with a Magnesium Allow truck in 2018.

I bet using more aluminum helps reduce the cost. Ford will likely get discounts for quantity plus I think I read they have a huge recycling program for it as well.

Anyone notice the day of the Detroit News article? It is September 29th. So much for breaking news.

@Bronco Yeah
Ford Australia has been working on this and rumoured a similar vehicle for North America
http://truckyeah.jalopnik.com/2015-ford-everest-is-a-modern-mall-crawler-that-can-rea-1658332784

You'll never see it here. Any vehicle made for sale here pretty much has to start on paper designed for the US safety standards. You can't retro safety equipment, crumple zones, etc that are required. It would make a lousy Bronco anyway. All it would do is rival the cheap Jeeps with all wheel drive, not true 4 wheel like Broncos are noted for having. A version of the Bronco on the F 150 frame with a diesel option is something I've heard about but many of these vehicles never make it to market. I doubt that the Bronco name plate graces any new truck any time soon.

@LouBC,

Ram chief, Bob Hegbloom, says no one's asking for an aluminum pickup. Bob Hegbloom, head of the Ram brand, said drivers feel safer with steel doors!

http://www.autonews.com/article/20141103/OEM/141039943/ram-chief:-no-ones-asking--for-an-aluminum-pickup

The point that rival fan boys are missing is the fact that if Ford drops 700 lbs off of the HD trucks the competition will be unable to beat Ford in rated cargo capacity or towing capacity.

I'll give the current example of the battle between Ram and Ford. The Ram 3500 claims best in class capacity and so does Ford with the F450. Ford's ratings put their truck slightly into the next higher class depending on configuration. That means Ford cannot actually claim best in class ratings for a pickup.
If Ford sheds 700 lb then they can up their capacities by 700 lb. The only way GM or Ram could beat them is by a huge weight reduction of their own.
Since it takes 5 years on average to release a new product, Ford will have a capacity advantage for a long time. Beebe isn't to far off the mark with his comment.

To get the highest rated capacity in say a ram you have to buy the lightest weight, and the truck that no one really wants..... A standard cab 2wd dually with very little to no options. Ford you can pull 31k with a 450 fully loaded 4wd crew cab. They go aluminum on the ford you are going to be able tow even more legally. The GM has already locked up there supply needs for aluminum. Ram better think about signing contracts cause aluminum is only going to get more expensive as time goes on and locking in a long term contract is crucial to making in financially viable.

What I really hope we do not see is a 'quick and dirty' new Super Duty that is nothing more than the new F-150 cab and bed modified to fit on the old outdated current Super Duty chassis.

Please tell me that is not going to happen!

Ryan, you guys are finally getting our old BOF Explorer. Congrats. Hemi ram, hegbloomer has proven himself to be an idiot. He's working for the appropriate company.

GM has a slick and patented process for aluminum already. In use on the aluminum frame and such on the new corvette. They could and will be doing aluminum trucks. Ford patents on joining dissimilar metals and coatings for bonding and adhesion are patented. Even honda is going the aluminum route and have patented processes in place. If Ram isn't exploring and developing processes currently they will be forced to license technology at a premium in the near future. They have a dismal future if they aren't exploring it. Consumers are demanding more capacities and lighter weight and that is something steel can't do. There ecodiesel with 8 speed is good for 28 mpg. They are not going to get much better then that unless they lighten them up to meet 2025 fleet average requirements. If the 2.7 ford comes at mid 20's epa they are just a transmission away from meeting the ecodiesel ram epa figures. Then they are just a small transit connect diesel in the f150 away from blowing those eco diesel figures out of the water.

Due to fuel prices, a 28 mpg hwy diesel EPA rating costs more to drive than a 22.5 mpg gas rating. All ANY gas engine has to do is get 22.5 mpg hwy and the 28 mpg ED is beat!

On combined ratings, the Ecodiesel Ram is rated at 23 mpg and the EcoBoost is 18. All the next ecoboost has to do is add a measly .5 mpg and it beats the Ram with a 18.5 mpg combined rating.

What's more, the 2014 Chevy Silverado at 23 mpg hwy and 19 mpg combined ALREADY BEATS the Ram diesel in cost per mile.

Diesel mpg is for bragging points until you do the math. That's the truth that Hegbloom and Ram gas/aluminum technology deniers don't want to discuss.

@Gregory Stevens,
I do believe that the EPA and CAFE don't use the cost of fuel as a measure. So, your comments are of no real value. We could also bring in the cost of coal has dropped more than oil.

So should we consider coal powered vehicles? Your analogy is akin to stating that it would be much cheaper to operate a new Colorado with the four cylinder.

As has been proven the EcoDiesel Ram is selling faster than diesel engines can be procured for fitment.

Fiat owns aluminium producer. They have everything set already.

Fiat owns Teksid S.p.A., the largest iron foundry group in the world with a production capacity of approximately 600,000 tons annually. The company was established in December 1978, and designs and produces cylinder blocks, cylinder heads, exhaust manifolds, drive shafts, camshafts and other components for automobiles and commercial vehicles. Teksid, which is specialized in casting and processing iron, has plants in France, Portugal, Poland, Brazil, Mexico and China.

Since 2007, Teksid S.p.A. runs also Teksid Aluminum S.r.l. a company specialized in casting and producing auto components from aluminum alloys.


And there aluminum operations are all in italy on a small scale. Basically they just make engine and suspension parts for fiat and ford in europe. They have nothing in place or the capacity for aluminum frames and body panels.
http://www.teksidaluminum.com/plants.htm

@Beast - did PUTC block the Slovac version of your name?

@Robert Ryan and Brono Yeah,
I do feel that there will be no Bronco due to CAFE's footprint method for calculating FE.

I do agree with Robert Ryan the closest vehicle to gain entry into the US market would be the Everest. I do think the Everest will become Fords largest selling SUV, that is a 4x4 with a hi-lo range and a BOF design.

Here's an interesting article regarding the Everest. In our region alone there will be two plants knocking out the Everest.

The images contained within the article will also give some insight on the next gen Ranger. It seems Fords signature front end will play a bigger role. It actually looks much better than the Ranger. The interior is very well done as well.

Also, I hope the Ranger is made in China for their market. This would probably make the Ranger the globes biggest selling pickup.

http://www.news.com.au/technology/design/australiandesigned-ford-everest-suv-unveiled-in-beijing-china/story-fnjwucvh-1227122059175

200 lbs isn't going to mean much on a truck already rated for 33, 000 lbs.
You need a cdl to haul it. How many people have a cdl?

Ford is and will capitalise on the existing aluminium F-150. HDs are a generation or so behind half ton pickups, so this is a given.

The weight saving from aluminium isn't driven by the payload or tow capacity, it is driven by FE. The cost of the vehicle will be the tell tale. I wonder if Ford will show us the cost of these vehicles to manufacture?

It will be interesting to see what occurs when the next Titan and Tundra are released. Toyota and Nissan do have a decent name in the light commercial sector.

There is one downside to a larger load capability. That is ride and handling.

Ram does have a smallish (tiny) payload. But it seems the consumer don't mind considering Ram's sales increase.

Maybe your average Ram owner isn't a real truck guy, he's just a "big car" guy.

As I have stated, the next couple of years will see a shakeup of vehicle sales numbers. Even greater than the renewed interest in the Ram.

"I do believe that the EPA and CAFE don't use the cost of fuel as a measure. So, your comments are of no real value."
Posted by: Big Al from Oz | Nov 14, 2014 4:24:19 PM

Yeah your right, EPA and CAFE don't use the cost of fuel as a measure. The people buying and opratering the vehicles do though! LOL You a little butt hurt that the diesel isn't the best choice eh Al?

200 lbs isn't going to mean much on a truck already rated for 33, 000 lbs.
You need a cdl to haul it. How many people have a cdl?

http://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/International/border.asp?redirect=GenStats.asp

as of 2011 over 4.8 million employed or working where they need a CDL and active DOT numbers. That doesn't include those that have them that aren't employed where they need a cdl but have them.

@beast
My point is fiat doesn't have the North America capacity at all to provide aluminum for ram. Honda has aluminum frame. Corvette does, toyota is switching to aluminum, ford is switch. Gm has there long term contract in place. Supply's are going to get tight, more expensive and 2025 is just around the corner. Ram is dropping the ball big time by not embarrassing and developing there aluminum. My honest opinion is ram will have aluminum body in there next gen as the fiat CEO says they may and hegbloom is just trying to sell trucks until ram can get there aluminum truck developed by say nobody wants aluminum.

@ Beast

American aluminum processed in the US by a US based company owned by a India company. Better then an italy/England company or where ever they are calling there base to avoid US taxes and built in Mexico.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/joannmuller/2014/11/10/inside-the-numbers-how-ford-wont-lose-its-shirt-building-the-pricey-new-aluminum-f-150-pickup/2/

http://www.novelis.com/en-us/Pages/Geographic-Locations.aspx

@Big Al from Oz - the advantage to weight loss is the fact that one does not need to re-engineer the chassis to carry more weight. You drop 700 lb off of the body and that alone can be applied directly to cargo capacity.
Ford will obviously re-engineer the whole truck. The advantage to weight loss if Ford does not increase cargo capacity means that the truck can be built with lighter springs and that will improve ride.

Weight reduction is a win/win for Ford because it allows them more room to maneuver with CAFE/Emissions and the ongoing capacity war.

@Beast - "I guess HEMI from Mexico is better."

Not according to consumer reports and JD Power.

FCA fired the quality control director for a reason........

wait for it.................

wait for it.................

poor QC ratings.

Source -

previously posted on several treads.

Ford already locked in long term contracts for there aluminum needs in the US. So if the supply becomes tight and increases in cost it won't effect them as they already have there long term contracts for what they need. That is why GM locked in the supply of aluminum once ford announced aluminum f150.

Maybe Ram has a supply contract as well but if they don't the longer they wait the more expensive it is going to be secure a supply.

Poor ram, fiat and chyrsler. There hate and misinformation on insurance cost and increased retail cost that they are spreading are going to bite them in the rear in 5-10 years

http://www.jumpassociates.com/for-ford-options-come-directly-from-early-action.html

http://www.autonews.com/article/20140922/OEM01/309229953/toyotas-big-leap-to-aluminum

http://agmetalminer.com/2014/02/19/gm-plans-aluminum-body-truck-locks-contracts-with-alcoa-novelis/

I am curious if their weak frame that they offer now will be any stronger? Either way, it is still a undesirable Ford!

@ beast
the best selling car in america is going to aluminum. Gm trucks are going aluminum. Can imagine building an aluminum pickup in 2020, 2025 with 2015 material prices due to long term contracts for supplies.... Cheap!!!! Even the CEO from fiat said aluminum was a possibility in 2017 for the ram. They prolly went out and saw that they couldn't get any and now there only recourse is to spread incorrect information on it like insurance and repair cost and have the ram CEO say there customers didn't ask for it. They will be asking for it with in the next year or 2 when the see there favorite truck line falling behind.

All the stops will have to pulled out to meet the new CAFE.

There are no exceptions. Fiat, GM and Ford will HAVE to reduce weight. This DEMANDS the use of lighter materials like aluminum and the vehicle body is a GREAT place for it.

Engine displacements WILL fall.

Number of Transmission gears WILL rise.

Turbos, diesel, DI, DOHC, Vari timing, electronic management/controls, electric PS, electric everything, Cylinder deactivation, engine start stop, active grill shutters, tailgate spoilers, lower drag coeficients, are here, are NEVER going away and will EXPAND.

CV trannys, split rears, aluminum frames, even more exotic materials and only God knows what else the future holds and IS coming.

If a company is not EMBRACING these facts, PLANNING for this future, developing and perfecting these technologies then its not being very wise. Being BEHIND on these technologies is the biggest mistake a company can be making as it does take years to catch up in this industry and rushed attempts to "catch up" in the auto industry often produce the biggest most embarrassing failures.

Its best to LEAD. The first to have the issues the first to correct them, the first to reap the rewards are usually the best at it for quite some time after that.

Everyone talks of failure. Only GM and Chrysler have failed as companies so far and it was because of a long history of bad planning. Ford narrowly avoided their failure with visionary planning in the 11th hour. So hey for all the Ram Jihadists that think this is a bad idea... So What? Ford can always take a play from GMs play book... declare bankruptcy, default on its debts, take a bunch of taxpayer money, pay some back, lie about paying it all back in a TV ad, have the Fed forgive the rest and everyone act like its all good... Its unlikely that Ford would need to be taken over in a government funded give away to a foreign company like Chrysler. But the bottom line is no one really fails anymore do they?

Even when they do :)

@Lou_BC,
I don't deny that the payload will increase, but it will come at the expense of ride, even more so than increasing the load capacity of the "older" F trucks by the use of heavier springing.

The empty weight on the axle is less with the aluminium, then the loaded weight is the same and/or similar. The range of the mass over the axle has a larger variance.

This means the springing/dampening must be able to react to a wider range of loads. Coils would have been the best option.

The 700lb difference is on what truck as well. What is the lowest weight gain? 450lbs? So the 700lb you are describing will likely be on the higher end vehicles.

If most of the vehicles go to aluminum you will see less old cars and trucks abandoned on the side of the road because of the value of scrap aluminum. Aluminum is one of the easiest metals to recycle.It wouldn't surprise me if more vehicles get stolen just for the scrap value of aluminum. It will be interesting.

@Tom
"Ryan, you guys are finally getting our old BOF Explorer. Congrats. Hemi ram, hegbloomer has proven himself to be an idiot. He's working for the appropriate company."

Been there, done that. The Explorer was sold in Australia, but it was warranty nightmare for Ford AustrAlia. It was the reason the Territory was developed to replace it

@Robert Ryan - I'm sure Ford has learned the hard way. RHD as an afterthought will bring you headaches. Ask yourself what the only difference is, between the regular Explorer and one for the OZ market. There's too many parts and systems to adapt from left to right (hand drive). Gremlins have to pop up.

Does anybody know on the 15 -F-150 if the remote power opening tailgate if you can open it while you are driving , moving?
The other day I had an idea when another truck was tailgating me about placing some empty 55 gal drums down flat in the bed so they roll out on the tailgating truck behind me.

@Beast - There's no reason for insurance rates to increase dramatically. If at all. Not all claims involve body damage, and if the pickup driver wasn't at fault, who cares how much the other insurance co spends to fix it.

Mostly it involves damaged truck bumpers. Maybe a grill, headlight, hood, tailgate or taillights.

Trucks are different than cars. They're not raced around and more likely driven by adults and or used for work.

If you're accident prone, insurance is expensive no matter what.

The good thing about aluminum though, it's a one-time expense. Nothing to maintain or even think about. Ever.

And savings are year-round. Not just fuel savings, but less over all wear and tear. More miles out of tires and brakes too. That's for the life of the truck. Never mind rust prevention, Insurance doesn't buy you a replacement truck if it rusts to death at 15 years old. You have to eat that.

But another good things is, you're not having to repair all the minor body damage you incur. It a truck for frick's sake!

Even when the Ford HD comes in last in comparison tests against the Chevy and the Ram the Ford is still the #1 seller of HD Trucks.
Why is that?
People trust Ford cause they have the strongest and most respected vehicle maker where they don't need government bailouts and they are not plagued by recalls.
The Ford Dealer treats the customer better, they don't say "No" or dream up excuses and blame when you have a warranty claim.
The Ford has a much better reliability rating and repair parts are always available and less expensive, cheaper and easy to fix, meaning you won't be hit with a $2000 brake job!
Ford Service is the best! They can do it all, don't have to run around to a tire shop, they have tires on stock at reasonable prices AND you get a ASE Master Service Technician mounting and balancing your tires, NOT a flunky at a dirty tire shop banging up your alloy wheels!

@Beast
The off road articulation with the leaf sprung F-150 will be better than the coiled sprung Ram.

The distance of compression with the coil is it's biggest limiter in off roading, unless that is the suspension is designed and tuned for off roading.

US half ton pickups are primarily designed as a 2WD. This has already limited their off road capability.

Historically Toyota have designed their pickups with 4x4 in mind. The best bang for your buck in an off road situation is a leaf sprung live axle setup, front and rear. But this then reduces the ride and on road handling.

The difference between a leaf sprung suspension and a coil sprung suspension is the cost and how the load or stress is placed on a chassis.

Take a leaf sprung suspension. The load across the chassis and between the shackles is spread out over a greater distance and area. This means there is less "pounds" per square foot on the chassis as a load. The chassis can be lighter to accept a larger load.

This is why the Ram load capacity is quite low. To increase it's payload a chassis redesign is necessary. With coils the load is not spread. It is focused on the one area. This will place a large stress load in a very localised area.

So, is the Ram chassis new? Or is it an adaptation of the previous chassis?



The comments to this entry are closed.