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.
2015 Ford F-150
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.