When it was introduced last year, the new Ford F-150 sent waves through the auto industry with its claims for light weight and tough performance, mostly attributed to its use of aluminum for body panels. Competitors picked up on it and tried to turn the tables but Ford has come up with another benefit to using aluminum — recyclability.
Ford claims to recycling 20 million pounds of aluminum (over 9 million kg) every month at the Dearborn Truck Plant that builds the full-sized light pickup. That’s the equivalent of 30,000 SuperCrews with the 6.5-foot box.
Not only is that good for reducing scrappage, but Ford claims recycling aluminum reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 95% when compared to manufacturing aluminum, as well as using less energy and water. It all adds up to what the Automotive Science Group (a California environmental research and analysis company) says is the segment in terms of product lifetime footprint.
The weight savings of the aluminum-intensive pickup helps reduce lifetime emissions, compared to the previous generation, and between 30% and 40% of the aluminum coil from which body panels are made becomes scrap in the stamping process, which then is recycled to reuse in the truck in the plant’s “closed-loop” system.
The savings and advancements in material handling may also aid Ford in another announcement — that it is introducing the F-150 Raptor SuperCrew to the Chinese market for the 2017 model year.
“F-150 Raptor represents the very best of what Ford can accomplish with its world-class engineering and design teams, and its long history of building tough, capable and versatile trucks,” said Jamal Hameedi, global chief program engineer, Ford Performance. “We are thrilled to offer our customers in China the chance to experience new levels of off-road performance.”
“F-150 Raptor is the ultimate showcase of the tough capability available throughout Ford’s family of trucks and SUVs,” added John Lawler, chairman and CEO, Ford Motor China. “By introducing it to the world’s largest auto market, we hope to inspire a new generation of off-road enthusiasts, and demonstrate how we are always bringing our customers new innovations.”
The 2017 Raptor exclusively uses the 411-hp 3.5-litre EcoBoost V-6 engine that puts out the power of a V-8, paired with an all-new 10-speed automatic to effectively deliver the power with fuel efficiency of a normally aspirated V-6.
The truck also features an all-new 4-wheel-drive, torque-on-demand transfer case to combine the best attributes of on-demand all-wheel drive with locking 4-wheel drive to tackle whatever surface conditions are put in its way.
And its pioneering off-road driving mode technology has evolved into an all-new Terrain Management System with six driver-selectable modes — Normal, Street, Weather (rain, snow and ice), Mud and Sand, Baja (high-speed desert running), and Rock (low-speed climbing).
The all-new 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor will be built at the Dearborn Truck Plant and exported to China in 2017.