F-150 design aids fuel economy

Ford Vehicles Cheat the Wind, Helping Drivers to Beat the Pump

DEARBORN, Mich., April 5, 2011 – Fuel economy improvements can result from reducing friction and drag – not only within engines and transmissions, but as air flows over and around the vehicle as it efficiently skims through the atmosphere at cruising speeds.  

“Aerodynamic development has yielded significant improvements in fuel efficiency across the full line of Ford vehicles,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president of Global Product Development.

“Full-size trucks, family-friendly utilities, and cars in each segment add fuel economy from careful attention to aerodynamic details.”

For example,  2011 Ford  F-Series pickups achieve class-leading fuel economy, aided by careful aerodynamic development. F-150 trucks feature a chamfered shape to the rear of the cab that helps direct aerodynamic wake over the pickup box in an efficient manner.

The top of the tailgate angles outward to create a lip, which in turn does its part to direct airflow over the cargo box. The front bumper valance and spoiler have been configured to properly manage airflow beneath the truck, with no compromise to off-road capability.

The all-new Ford Explorer SUV, 2011 North American Truck of the Year, and the stylish Ford Flex crossover also enjoy improved fuel efficiency from painstaking detail work by designers and aerodynamicists collaborating in the wind tunnel.

Explorer delivers class-leading fuel economy of 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway, when equipped with front-wheel drive and the standard 290-horsepower V6 engine.

Carefully balancing aerodynamic details such as the front air dam, sideview mirrors and rear liftgate spoiler adds nearly 1 mpg as Explorer quietly cruises the highway.

Ford’s distinctively styled Flex crossover has a boxy shape that turns heads on the street, yet it requires only 8.90 horsepower to maintain a 55 mph cruising speed; its crossover competitors GMC Acadia and Toyota Highlander require 9.30 horsepower to move at the same velocity. Using less power to carve through the atmosphere saves fuel, lowering the cost of ownership for Flex drivers.