While the debut of the 2015 Mustang last month was a big deal to many enthusiasts, and for Ford motor company, the bigger deal, in terms of debuts is the all new F-150. This truck is not only Ford’s best selling product, but also the best selling vehicle in North America for over 30 years. That makes keeping the design fresh and offering new features highly important for Ford.
All New Truck
This new truck is anything but a re-skin. The new 2015 F-150 is an all new truck from the ground up. The platform currently in showrooms is actually a 10-year old design that goes back to 2004. With ever encroaching government CAFE standards for fuel economy, and tougher competition than ever before, the blue oval had to pull out all the stops to make this truck stand out.
Starting with an all new high-strength steel frame Ford is promising this F-150 to be the toughest one built yet. Shedding weight to help with fuel economy is an all new aluminum body. This extensive use of aluminum allows the pickup to be up to 700 pounds lighter than the model it replaces.
Two all new engines have been added to the lineup and it appears two have been removed. Gone is the old 3.7 liter, replaced by a new variable-cam-equipped 3.5 liter V6. Also not shown on the list is the 6.2 liter which had been available in the Raptor pickups. The only V8 in the engine lineup will be the newly revised Coyote 5.0. Also new to the lineup this year is a 2.7 liter EcoBoost that like the 3.5 has been tested under a variety of grueling conditions including the Baja 1000. The 3.5 EcoBoost also remains an option, though we expect it too is getting some revisions. Ford has yet to release any horsepower numbers.
Ford is also adding active grille shutters to all EcoBoost equipped models. Just like on the Fiesta and Focus models equipped with these, the shutters open at low speeds or in hot conditions to allow more fresh air in. The shutters close at high speeds to improve aerodynamics.
Additional fuel-saving tech includes a new engine start-stop feature. This would appear to only apply to EcoBoost equipped models. The system shuts the engine off when the vehicle is stopped, but starts it immediately when the brake is released. Ford says this system was designed with truck owners in mind, and that it will not engage when owners are towing, or if four-wheel drive is engaged.
Tech Owners Demand
Of course the F-150 in recent years has offered a slew of firsts in terms of tech and features. Ford isn’t holding anything back. There’s LED lighting all around, a 360-degree camera system that allows for a “birds eye” type view of the truck. A new trailer towing system that can tell if there’s a problem in the trailer harness, or with the trailer lights, is also an option. A newly revised tailgate step, as well as integrated bed loading ramps, are also available.
Ford is also offering 110- and 400-watt charging outlets in the cab for charging accessories. The tailgate also now gets remote power locking, as well as a remote release, making loading and securing that load easier than ever before.
Safer Than Ever
Safety is also a big concern to new vehicle buyers, even those purchasing pickups. With that in mind, Ford has pulled out all the stops offering up adaptive cruise control, curve control which can detect if the truck is entering a curve to quickly and apply the appropriate brakes on each individual wheel. A lane keeping system will help driver’s from swaying out of their lane, while a blind spot information system with cross traffic alert uses radar to warn of an approaching vehicle before drivers may see it.
On the outside Ford has based the design around the Atlas concept that we saw this time last year. This new truck borrows heavily from that design, in fact at first glance it looks exactly like the Atlas. The styling has a Super Duty flavor that is sure to intimidate oncoming traffic, and attract buyers to showrooms.
Ford had no problem selling F-150’s in 2013, and has plans to keep producing the old truck bringing the new truck online in plants one at a time to keep up with demand for the current model. The 2015 truck should go on sale late in 2014, with six trim levels ranging from XL to Platinum. No word yet on if SVT is cooking up a new Raptor, and no word yet on the price.