Ford Breaks Down 2015 F150 Weight Savings
Since the 2015 Ford F150 was first introduced to the world, the Motor Company has offered up the figure of 700lbs when the automaker talked about how much lighter the 2015 model is compared to the 2014 model. Over time, we learned that this 700lb weight difference applied to the largest of the new F150 pickups, but the entire lineup benefitted from these weight saving changes – the entire lineup just didn’t benefit as much as the largest and heaviest new F150 pickups.
While many people attribute the lightweight design of the 2015 Ford F150 to the aluminum body panels, those only account for a portion of the diet program so to show us where else the team cut weight, Ford Motor Company offered up a quick rundown of where they trimmed the bulk of the fat with the newest F150.
Aluminum Body, Steel Frame
The odds are good that if you played the word association game with anyone in the auto industry and the first portion was “2015 Ford F150”, a great many people would reply “aluminum body”. Although the 2015 F150 is all-new, the anti-aluminum hysteria created by the steel industry has made the body panels the key focus of any new Ford truck discussion. For this reason, when Ford stated that the 2015 F150 would be 700lbs lighter, it was assumed by many people that all of that weight reduction came from the new body panels.
While Ford hasn’t offered up a pound for pound breakdown for the 2015 F150 weight reduction efforts, they have stated that in those models that cut over 700lbs, around 450lbs was cut from the body and frame. As we all know, the body has aluminum panels rather than steel and in the frame, Ford Motor Company used more high strength steel, which allows the company to use less material in the chassis while making that frame even stronger than the previous generation.
Finally, the front bumper structure of rear wheel drive models has been lightened without compromising any rigidity, which shaved another 2.7 pounds. Yes, that is minor, but every pound counts.
In addition to the greater uses of high strength steel, the 2015 Ford F150 benefits from a variety of new, lightweight features under the truck. This begins with the steering knuckles, which are made out of aluminum for the 2015 models rather than the steel units on the previous generation, helping to shave 23.1lbs. Next, the four wheel drive transfer case sports a magnesium exterior case, which is stronger, stiffer and 3.8lbs lighter than the 2014 F150 transfer case. The mechanical parking brake has been replaced by an electronic unit, cutting a whopping 26.9lbs while also working better with the computerized safety features of the new F150.
One last key weight saving feature found under the 2015 Ford F150 is the revised 8.8” rear differential, which has been beefed up inside to allow for much heavier towing loads. This allows Ford to use this smaller 8.8” differential rather than the 9.75” unit, shaving 35lbs from the 2015 F150.
While the interior components might be lighter than anything found under the truck, Ford put effort into taking any unneeded weight out of the cockpit. In doing so, Ford shaved 31.7lbs from the front seat system (including the two seats, their controls and the framework) while the 2015 F150 rear seat is 14.7lbs lighter. Also, the underpinnings for the dash have been lightened up by 2.5lbs.
So, while the vast majority of weight savings has come from the aluminum body, Ford has made it very clear that they didn’t just lighten up the body and send the truck to market – instead cutting every bit of unnecessary weight possible to help make the 2015 F150 the best yet.