DETROIT -- The redesigned Ford F-150 pickup has earned the government’s highest possible crash safety rating, answering worries that the truck’s all-new aluminum body would compromise crashworthiness.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave its top overall rating -- five stars -- to the SuperCab configuration, which represents roughly 25 percent of F-150 sales, Ford Motor Co. said late Wednesday. The regular cab version of the F-150, which accounts for five percent of F-150 volume, also was rated at five stars overall, according to NHTSA’s website.
Last week, the 2015 F-150 SuperCrew received an overall five-star rating, in both the two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive configurations. That’s up from the 2014 truck’s ratings of four stars overall.
The SuperCrew, SuperCab and regular cab versions of the 2015 pickup each received five stars for frontal-crash and side-crash safety, and four stars for rollover safety.
The redesigned F-150, which weighs about 700 pounds less than the 2014 version, has 31 safety-related innovations, including an advanced occupant-restraint system and a 12-corner front crush horn, which helps dissipate energy in a frontal-impact crash.
Ford relied heavily on supercomputers early in the development process to balance weight savings, durability, fuel economy and crashworthiness. It developed digital safety models with nearly 1.4 million individual elements to see how parts throughout the truck would hold up in a crash long before conducting any physical tests.
Engineers used about three times as much adhesive as in the 2014 F-150, creating greater structural strength than with traditional welds. In testing, they said the metal pulls apart before the adhesive gives way.