Prototypes that catch fire aren’t exactly good for a company’s image. Honda found that out recently when an NSX mule got smoky on the Nurburgring. And now Ford is working to deduce why one of its experimental pickups went up in flames this past week.
The incident occurred during testing in California’s Death Valley – a logical but very inconvenient place to combust – on what appears to be the next-generation of Ford’s Super Duty pickup. A statement released by Ford on Monday confirmed that the automaker is looking into the issue.
RELATED: Check out photos of the upcoming 2015 Ford Super Duty Pickup
According to an eyewitness photographer who snapped these images, the fire started near the driver’s side wheel-well before engulfing the heavily camouflaged truck body in around three minutes. Both driver and passenger exited the vehicle safely. After burning for 21 minutes, the fire finally subsided – leaving only the frame, engine block, and “blobs of melted aluminum” according to Fox News.
Ford hasn’t confirmed that the next-gen Super Duty trucks will utilize aluminum body panels like the F-150, but this incident seems to indicate the lightweight bodies might make the jump. Let’s hope so.