The F-150's body is 97-percent aluminum. The lighter material reduces the 5,000-pound truck by as much as much as 700 pounds. Better fuel economy is just one benefit.
No other vehicle on the market contains this much aluminum. The frame, which does most of that work, is still made of high-strength steel, and the engine doesn't have to account for so much weight. It can also accelerate and stop more quickly. Aluminum doesn't rust, Ford says, and it's more resistant to dents. Ford is convinced truck buyers will accept the change.
Ford thinks the re-design is such a big deal, the company is unveiling the F-150 across the country. To help spread the word on the new 2015 F-150, Ford also wanted to do something in California. Volunteers pitched in to help clean up and beautify part of the Los Angeles River, giving a chance for Ford to show off its work toughness. Also helping: a $50,000 donation to the L.A. River Revitalization Corp.
The new F-150 goes on sale late this year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.