The aluminum-bodied 2015 Ford F-150 is expected to be more fuel-efficient than the full-size pickup truck with a steel body that it replaces.
But that efficiency comes at a price. Riding on a traditional steel chassis, the aluminum body of the new F-150 will cut weight by 700 pounds or more, improving gas mileage ratings.
But since aluminum is also more expensive than steel, the new F-150's pricing has been the subject of nearly as much speculation as its fuel economy.
That speculation can end now, because some of the numbers are now in.
F-150 prices will increase by $395 to $3,615, depending on the model, The Detroit News reports.
The smallest increase applies to the base XL and XLT models, which will start at $26,615 and $31,890, respectively. These models represent 60 to 70 percent of current F-150 sales, Ford says.
The more luxurious Lariat model will start at $39,880--$895 more than last year--while the price of the King Ranch model will increase by $3,615, to $49,460.
As with the current version, the Platinum will be the top 2015 F-150 model. It will start at $52,155, an increase of $3,055.
While the aluminum body likely drove some of the cost increases, the truck's higher level of standard equipment should be considered as well.
The XL and XLT models, for example, get center-stack information screens, while the King Ranch and Platinum get standard LED headlights, a cargo tie-down system, and other features.
The prices of certain models undercut the added cost for aluminum of $600 per truck estimated by research firm UBS, which recently conducted a study showing that buyers are willing to pay an average premium of $3,138 for a new truck.
While buyers will benefit from fuel economy gains--especially if they choose the new 2.7-liter turbocharged EcoBoost V-6--the 2015 pickup's EPA ratings haven't been released yet.