Coming From Ford: Aluminum Pickup Trucks

By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff

The next incarnation of Ford's ( F) F-150 will be as tough as ... aluminum? By 2014 the company will be building most of the body of its signature truck out of that lightweight metal in a bid to boost its fuel economy, in what the Wall Street Journal calls "one of the biggest gambles in its 108-year history."

The aluminum body will weigh about 700 pounds less. That alone will improve efficiency, and it could pave the way for smaller, more efficient engines.

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The move comes amid gradually tightening federal fuel regulations that will ultimately force vehicles to average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. The new F-150 will keep Ford in compliance through 2020.

But aluminum is expensive, and might turn off some truck purists. "There is going to be a certain percentage of the people that will bitch and complain," one dealer says. "But they will ultimately get that vehicle."

--Written by Kevin Spak of Newser