Ford Motor Company announced on Monday that their 2017 F-series Super Duty coming to showrooms this fall, the F-450, will feature an unprecedented aluminum frame.
The move toward aluminum as the primary fabrication metal for the automotive body comes amidst the never-ending battle within the automotive industry for the highest towing capacity. Ford’s newest and beefiest truck to date, the F-450 tops out with a 32,500-pound towing capacity – adding 1,300 additional pounds to the current leader.
In order to incorporate heavier, more heavy-duty components to help with towing capacity, Ford decided to make the switch to an aluminum body in order to redistribute weight. The lightweight attributes of aluminum have long made it one of the best choices not only for strength and mobility, but also for durability and custom chemical and mechanical properties.
“The switch to aluminum was considered one of the boldest moves in the auto world in the past few years,” stated USA Today. Steel has been the dominant force in automotive fabrication for, well, forever. But the benefits of aluminum as a structural alternative are undeniable: it’s lighter, just as strong, durable, and more efficient. Not only do aluminum parts help with towing capacity – they also improve fuel efficiency, addressing a major concern among car buyers and manufacturers alike.
If aluminum is good enough for Ford’s newest F-series – America’s best-selling vehicle – we have a feeling it will be good enough for more major players in the automotive industry sooner than later.