Though this week's big news in the pickup world is centered around General Motors' new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, Ford is nabbing at least a little of the spotlight by apparently aiming for a 15-20 percent fuel economy improvement for its 2015 F-150.
The next F-150, which will debut in late 2014 as a 2015 model, could boast an average of 3 mpg better fuel economy across its lineup, an unnamed source revealed to Reuters. The source is identified only as an "industry" member, not necessarily a Ford employee.
"They're shooting for best-in-class fuel economy," the source said.
Ford is remaining mum on the next generation F-150, although spokesman Mike Levine told Reuters that the automaker is "committed to offering our customers leading fuel economy."
Not much is known about the next F-150, which is expected to be the most substantial redesign of the truck since 2004, when the current platform debuted. Although Ford has been far more diligent about updating its half-ton pickup line over the last decade than its rivals, the truck's basic bones are particularly heavy, which dents fuel economy.
Reuters again cites unnamed industry sources who claim that Ford is looking to shave between 700 and 750 lbs. from the 2015 F-150, a move that stands in stark contrast to the Silverado and Sierra unveiled yesterday. GM's new trucks promise class-leading fuel economy when they go on sale next year, but the automaker wasn't able to shave substantial weight from the vehicles overall. Instead, GM says that it added content while keeping curb weights about the same as the outgoing models.
Also boosting Ford's fuel economy is a series of new smaller, turbocharged V6 engines, which are being developed under the appropriate code name Nano. But that new powertrain line won't debut until at least a model year or two after the redesigned F-150 hits the market.
It's also expected that a version of the company's new Duratorq 3.2-liter inline five-cylinder will be tested in the next F-150. The 3.2-liter mill will go on sale first in this market in the new Ford Transit commercial vans, which will replace the venerable Ford E-Series line.