In order to meet new fuel economy standards Ford redesigned the F-150 and substituted aluminum for steel in the body. This and other changes cut the weight of the truck by 700 pounds. According to Ford, the redesigned truck will have 5 to 20% better gas mileage than current F150s, depending on the model. The official EPA certified mileage figures will be released later this month.
According to Rich Truett of Automotive News, “Ford has a four-engine lineup slated for the new truck, two new and two carryover engines. All engines use the same six-speed automatic transmission featured in the 2014 trucks. The 3.5-liter turbo V-6 and the 5.0-liter V-8 -- the carryover engines -- provide the best window, I think, on how much reducing vehicle weight improves fuel economy and will very likely come in at the lower end of the 5 percent to 20 percent range.”
The new F-150 will be manufactured The Dearborn Truck Plant in Michigan and the Kansas City Assembly Plant in Missouri. A ceremony to celebrate the beginning of production (first video below) was held at the Dearborn plant. Much was made of the fact that it's located on the former site of the River Rouge Complex, a massive series of factories built by Henry Ford between 1917 and 1928. Nowadays, vehicle components are sourced from factories and suppliers all over the world. The Rouge Plant featured vertically integrated production; raw materials such as iron ore, coal, rubber, and cotton came in one end and finished vehicles went out the other. For two very different takes on the River Rouge Complex see the second and third videos below, one recently produced by PBS and the other produced by Ford in 1939.