2015 Ford F-150
While the list includes Audis Jaguars, Range Rovers, and Tesla Model S electric car, the number of aluminum-bodied production cars remains small.
Now it appears it may very well stay that way.
The 2015 Ford F-150 full-size pickup truck has garnered much attention for its aluminum cab and pickup bed, but Ford doesn't plan to use the lightweight metal on any upcoming cars.
That's what Ford Americas boss Joe Hinrichs said in regards to the company's future aluminum plans during the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit this week, according to The Detroit News.
The event--which took place just after press days at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show--featured leading lights of the auto industry discussing a variety of topics.
Hinrichs spoke about the launch of the 2015 F-150--which was named North American Truck of the Year at the Detroit show just days earlier.
2015 Ford F-150
Despite initial customer concerns about aluminum's cost, durability, and ease of repair, he said the launch is going "pretty well."
But he said he doesn't expect to see a dramatic increase in aluminum-bodied cars, at least, not from Ford.
He noted that there are other ways of increasing car fuel economy that wouldn't necessarily work in trucks.
That likely includes electrified powertrains, which have gained little traction in the truck world thus far.
Cars also start out lighter than trucks, and so they can be fitted with much smaller engines. (Some have questioned whether the 2.7-liter turbocharged V-6, the lowest-displacement engine in the F-150, is already too much of a stretch.)
Ford continues to make certain car parts--the hood of the new 2015 Mustang, for example--out of aluminum. It says it's experimenting with other lightweight materials like carbon fiber for efficiency gains.
2017 Ford F-150 Raptor, 2015 Detroit Auto Show
It will also use aluminum in more truck models.
At the Detroit show, Ford unveiled a new version of its Raptor performance truck based on the aluminum-bodied F-150--with a turbocharged EcoBoost V-6 and 10-speed automatic transmission--that it claims weighs 500 pounds less than the previous model.
The company is also expected to use aluminum in its F-Series Super Duty line of pickups, and the next Lincoln Navigator full-size SUV.
Even if Ford doesn't make aluminum cars, the potential fuel savings from its existing slate of aluminum vehicles will still be significant.
Improving the fuel economy of big, gas-guzzling trucks by even a small amount translates into a larger quantity of fuel saved--and pollution prevented--than continuing to seek small gains from the most-efficient hybrids.