Ford F-150 | Best of What's New | Popular Science

Ford F-150

An American icon, remade

The Ford F-150 has been America’s best-selling vehicle for 32 years. So when the company swapped steel for military-grade aluminum in several non-load-bearing parts—a first for any pickup truck—drivers were concerned. They needn’t have been. The alloy performs just as well as steel, and in some cases better, and it reduces the truck’s weight by as much as 700 pounds. (Typically, engineers would cheer the loss of only a few ounces.) Less weight means the F-150 can haul and tow more than it ever could, while accelerating and stopping faster. It also means the truck gets up to 20 percent better fuel efficiency. That’s good for drivers, of course, but when applied to 763,000 new trucks a year, the savings are also good for the planet. $25,420 Ford