In this time of record-high fuel prices, the idea certainly sounds good: migrate some of the industry’s big-volume models – SUVs and pickups – from their body-on-frame architectures to the lighter, unitized body structures on which most cars are built. With a 35-mpg (6.7 L/100 km) fuel-economy mandate now on the books, everything must get lighter, and if SUVs and pickups are going to remain viable, it seems logical to try eliminating their bulky frames, a single (though multi-part) ...

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