Ford F-150 Gets More Aluminum, Diesel Engine for 2018

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Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) on Friday introduced its 2018 model year F-150 pickup, sporting a smaller V-6 gasoline-powered engine the company says improves on its EPA-estimated gas mileage, along with the first-ever F-150 equipped with a diesel engine. The gasoline-powered version is expected to hit dealer showrooms this fall and the diesel is expected next spring.

The F-150 is the best-selling light vehicle in the United States and consistently contributes about a third of Ford’s total unit sales. In 2015, Ford began selling an all-aluminum bodied F-150 that weighed about 700 pounds less than the previous steel-bodied versions and the company’s sales leadership in pickups has solidified since then.

The 2017 two-wheel drive F-150 had an EPA mileage rating of 19 mpg in the city and 26 on the highway, and the combined rating of 22 mpg was the best of any full-size pickup on the market. Ford has not revealed a mileage rating on the 2018 model but the announcement noted that customers would be receiving “additional benefits [in the 2018 model] — including improved performance, capability, and fuel economy.”

The biggest news is a new 3.3-liter V6 gasoline engine as standard equipment in the 2018 model, replacing the current 3.5-liter version. The smaller, lighter engine is expected to offer a 5% better power-to-weight ratio compared with the 2014 steel-bodied F-150, as well as improved fuel economy. About 75% of all F-150s sold this year are equipped with V6 engines according to the company.

In addition to the changes to the F-150, Ford will begin selling an all-aluminum bodied Expedition SUV with the 3.5-liter V6 as the standard engine along with automatic start-stop technology and a 10-speed automatic transmission. Like the F-150, the new 2018 Expedition will be available in showrooms this fall.