Ford Explorer, Expedition next to go aluminum?Sun, 13 Apr 2014
Ford made some serious waves when it unveiled the latest F-150. Instead of making its bodywork out of steel, like just about every other truck on the market, Ford went with aluminum. And you can bet the F-150 won't be the last Ford model to go with the lightweight alloy construction, either.
Our compatriots at Edmunds report that Dearborn is considering replacing two of its most popular SUVs with aluminum versions. One candidate is the Expedition, which would make sense considering that the current model (like the two preceding generations and the fullsize Bronco before it) is based on the F-150's underpinnings. Another is the Explorer, which was traditionally based on the Ranger pickup but went with a car-like unibody chassis in its current iteration. If the Explorer does go the way of aluminum, don't expect it to be a part of its very next update, which is likely due too soon for such major changes.
It would stand to reason that, if the Expedition were to go aluminum, so would the next-generation Lincoln Navigator. Ditto the MKT together with the Explorer. But those aren't likely to be the only models in contention for aluminum construction. Like any other automaker, Ford is under pressure to steadily reduce its carbon emissions and improve its fuel economy figures, prompting it to look at a whole range of measures – including more efficient engines, lower rolling-resistance tires, active aerodynamics and lightweight construction. Expect aluminum to play a big part in that equation moving forward.
By Noah Joseph
See also: Ford Transit Skyliner Concept is a Gulfstream for the road, Chrysler called out over lackluster Ram Runner by racer who helped develop it, Reflecting on the Ford GT on its 10-year anniversary.