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Auto blogThu, 26 Jun 2014 08:44:00 EST
Ford has already confirmed that the 2015 F-150 (pictured above) was just the beginning for its more extensive use of aluminum. CEO Alan Mulally said it himself during the 2014 Detroit Auto Show. We've even already seen the future Raptor testing with an aluminum body. But a recent discovery from an intrepid spy photographer might indicate that the lightweight metal is coming to the Blue Oval's Super Duty pickups in their upcoming generation, as well.
According to Automotive News, a spy shooter in Colorado spotted a prototype for the next-gen F-350 testing. He happened to have a magnet on hand and got close enough to check the truck out. When he held it up to the metal in the bed, it didn't stick, which signaled to him a switch from steel to aluminum.
Obviously, this claim raises some questions. Given that it was a test vehicle, one possibility is that the Blue Oval is just evaluating the feasibility of switching to aluminum for the Super Duty trucks, not necessarily committed to it yet. Ford has been testing it quite exhaustively, after all. In fact, much of the rest of the truck in question was covered in camouflage, so it's possible that the magnet failed to work along the rest of the body not because it was aluminum, but because it wasn't powerful enough to get through the disguising material. Thus, the lightweight metal's use could be far less substantial than on the new F-150. Still, it was a clever idea for the cameraman to check things out and might have given us the first hint about brand's next heavy-duty models.
When people ask us what car we would recommend for them, it's usually not easy to answer. To make a useful recommendation we must consider which of the numerous vehicle segments fits their needs best, and then choose one of the many vehicles offered in each segment. For some people, new cars don't meet their expectations of value, because they lose so much of it the moment they are purchased and driven off the dealer lot. For them, there's always the used-car market, where great deals can be found, but cars' histories of reliability and maintenance records - and perhaps that Certified Pre-Owned warranty - become ever-important factors playing into purchase choice.
To help out, Edmunds has done us the favor of assembling a list of the best used vehicles money can buy, covering model years 2006-2011, according to what it considers the most important criteria when shopping for used autos: reliability, safety, value and availability. That means unreliable, unsafe, super-expensive or limited-edition models don't appear on the list, but instead cars from each segment that are more likely to satisfy the general population.
There are some real goodies on the list, including but not limited to vehicles such as the capable Honda Fit, the cultish Honda Accord coupe (which can be had with a 240-horsepower V6 and a six-speed manual transmission some years), and the powerful Chevrolet Corvette. While Edmunds' choice of the Volvo C70 for best used convertible baffled us at first (not that it's a bad car), it redeemed itself by stating that the Mazda MX-5 still is an unofficial top choice if you don't require more than two seats.
We've already seen plenty of what the Geneva Motor Show will have in store for us in less than two weeks, but most of the confirmed debuts that were announced so far have generally been luxury or performance cars. Ford, on the other hand, will be showing off a couple of its new family-friendly models for European buyers to enjoy.
On the larger side of things, the full range of Tourneo vans (shown above) will be on display, including the introduction of the new Tourneo Courier model, but Ford will also be showing off the all-new EcoSport crossover, which is based on the automaker's Global B platform and will be positioned beneath the Kuga, better known here as the Escape. The subcompact EcoSport was originally unveiled at the Beijing Motor Show last April.