When you've had the bestselling vehicle in the US for 32 years, why change the formula? To make it even better, Ford argues. That's why the company's 2015 F-150, which will appear at dealerships next month, will have a body made almost entirely out of aluminum rather than steel. Customers' biggest concern about pickup trucks is their gas mileage, executive chairman Bill Ford tells the New York Times. With the aluminum version some 700 pounds lighter than previous models, the F-150 will see its mileage improve by 5% to 15%, Ford says.
Aluminum is as strong as steel, the AP reports, though it's a little pricier. The base model will now cost an additional $395, making it $26,615. And right now, gas prices are around their lowest in four years. But "even with gas at $3 a gallon, fuel economy is still very important to people," says Bill Ford. The 2014 F-150 gets about 19 miles per gallon, the Times notes; the official figures for the 2015 model haven't yet been revealed. In other improvements, the new model can tow 1,100 pounds more than its predecessors, while it hauls up to 530 pounds more, the Detroit News reports. The first one came off the assembly line yesterday. "Is this a risk? Yes," says Bill Ford. "But it's a risk worth taking." (Read more Ford stories.)