Like the 2015 F-150, the next-generation 2018 Ford Expedition will have an aluminum body-in-white and panels over a “redesigned high-strength steel frame,” Ford announced Tuesday.
The full-size SUV weighs 300 pounds less than the existing Expedition, which sold 59,835 units last year — up 44.4 percent.
“In addition, an all-new high-strength, aluminum-alloy body and redesigned high-strength steel frame form the foundation for Expedition’s rugged off-road and strong towing capabilities,” Ford wrote in a news release. “Thanks to the use of advanced materials, the all-new Expedition saves up to 300 pounds, and the team reinvested that weight savings everywhere it counts to give customers more technology and convenience features than ever before.”
Few other details were provided about the Expedition or its metallurgy — though thankfully, Ford does not refer to anything as “military-grade” this time. Ford SUV spokeswoman Becky Sanch wrote in an email that the OEM wasn’t yet sharing more information about the high-strength steel it used, such as how much of it was ultra-high-strength steel above 780 megapascals.
Collision repairers certified by Ford for aluminum repair on the F-150 will see their credentials carry over to the Expedition, Ford and certification partner Assured Performance both confirmed Tuesday. Certification also carried over when Ford expanded its aluminum truck offerings from aluminum 2015 F-150s to aluminum 2017 F-Series Super Duties.
“No new equipment will be needed,” Sanch wrote in an email Tuesday. “They will be certified to repair Expedition.” Ford aluminum equipment specifications can be found here on Ford’s Rotunda site; see all of the certification requirements here on Assured Performance’s website.
“The Ford certification continues to apply for all Ford vehicles,” Assured Performance CEO Scott Biggs agreed.
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