2015 Ford F-150
Ford Atlas Concept (Ford Motor Company)

Among full-size pickup trucks on the market today, the Ford F-150 hasn't been updated as recently as its biggest rivals, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Ram 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500. That may soon change, as many news publications expect Ford to have the next generation 2015 F-150 on display at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit later this month.

Bloomberg reports that the new Ford F-150 will have a body constructed from aluminum, which will greatly reduce the truck's weight. This will in turn increase its fuel efficiency, helping Ford meet tougher fuel economy requirements and saving drivers money at the pump. Bloomberg reports that the new F-150 may approach 30 mpg on the highway. The 2014 F-150 tops out at an EPA-estimated 23 mpg highway, and the most fuel-efficient full-size truck on the market is the 2014 Ram 1500 HFE, which is rated at 25 mpg highway. The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra both get up to 24 mpg highway.

2014 Ford F-150 (Ford Motor Company)

There may be challenges associated with an aluminum-bodied pickup. Jalopnik says that Ford will have to convince buyers that aluminum body panels will be as durable as their steel counterparts. However, the site expects some of these concerns to be alleviated by the fact that Ford's aluminum supplier is Alcoa Inc., which also supplies aluminum for the military.

Ford may also be refreshing its engine offerings as well. Publications including Autoblog are reporting that the next F-150 may get a new twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 engine that could also contribute to fuel economy gains. Autoblog expects the new 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine will supplement, rather than replace, the V6, V8s or 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engines already powering the F-150.

Sources including Car and Driver hope that the next F-150 will borrow design cues from the Ford Atlas concept, which debuted last year at the Detroit Auto Show.

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