2015 Ford F-150 Unveiled – What You Need to Know
With blaring music and all the pizzazz of a Hollywood movie premier, Ford unveiled it’s much anticipated Ford F-150. Here is what you need to know and a very interested observer’s take on it.The all-new Ford F-150 borrows a lot from the Atlas concept while cutting the weight by 700 lbs. Also, of special note, is a new 2.7-L Ecoboost option for the truck. All of these innovations equal Ford’s main goal – lead the segment in fuel economy while keeping it “Ford Tough.” For the record, Ford highlights the truck with the following bullet points:
- Tougher: All-new high-strength steel frame, high-strength aluminum-alloy body, more than 10 million miles of testing and Baja 1000-proven 2.7-liter EcoBoost® engine
- Smarter: 11 new class-exclusive features, including 360-degree camera view, integrated loading ramps stowed in the pickup bed, 400-watt power outlets inside the cab, LED headlights and sideview mirror spotlights, and remote tailgate release
- More capable: Up to 700 pounds less weight plus four engine choices for an impressive combination of power, capability and efficiency
Other signature “class-leading” features will include:
- 360-degree camera view, using exterior cameras to create a bird’s-eye view of the truck to help the driver park, maneuver in tight spots and navigate down narrow roads and trails
- Integrated loading ramps, which enable easy loading of ATVs, motorcycles and mowers
- BoxLink™, which is a combination of metal brackets and custom cleats used to secure a variety of accessories in the cargo box, from ramps to storage bins to bed dividers
- LED headlamps and taillamps, which provide excellent nighttime visibility
- Trailer hitch assist, a new rear view camera feature that adds a dynamic line based on steering wheel angle in the display to help customers line up truck and trailer without requiring a spotter or having to get out of the vehicle
- Smart trailer tow module, using an all-new smart trailer tow wiring harness that helps identify and inform the driver of potential trailer connectivity issues, burned or unlit trailer marker lamps, and brake light and trailer battery faults
- Remote tailgate, allowing for the tailgate to be locked, unlocked and released with the key fob – eliminating manual locking and increasing convenience and security. The tailgate also is damped, dropping down, hands-free, to a flat position when opened
- High-wattage power outlets (400 watts, 110 volts) in the cab, allowing drivers to easily charge corded tools, battery chargers or mobile devices on-site or while driving
- LED spotlights on sideview mirrors, which provide powerful, durable and bright lighting around the truck exterior
- Latest EcoBoost® technology in an all-new, even more efficient 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine that features extremely high output and lightweight design
- Next-generation tailgate step, which is now fully integrated inside the tailgate and virtually invisible when not in use
What does Toyota think of the truck? Funny you ask. I happened to be standing at the Toyota press conference and guess who I ran into – Chief Engineer Mike Sweers. He shared his thoughts on the truck less than 30 minutes after he saw it.
(Editor’s note: It was incredibly loud where we were, here is my synopsis of what he said.)
Sweers said he was a bit surprised it wasn’t more innovative in its styling. While the aluminum might be OK on the large sheets of the door panels and beds, it is really where the metal is crimped that will show it’s durability the most. Also, his big question is in the aluminum bed. He pointed out that one of the issues with aluminum is in the stamping. If you get a little bit of dust on the stamp, it can screw up the mold. This will probably be most evident in the truck bed itself since it is a big piece to stamp.On the weight loss, he thought it would be more than 700 lbs. His reasoning is that with GM nipping at Ford’s heel, Ford really needed to step up the bar. He pointed out that the 700 lb weight loss would make the truck weigh about the same as GM’s new trucks.
Also of interest is the 2.7-L Ecoboost. Sweers shared a story where they took the larger V-6 Ecoboost to the Davis Dam. He said they averaged about 12.5 mpg with the truck. With a large truck powered by the tiny engine, how could it get better fuel economy. He also pointed out that truck customers buy trucks for utility. With the small motor, how does it fit the Ford work truck advertising.
Ultimately, he said the big question is how Ford can keep their low price point using the more expensive to produce aluminum. Actually, I overheard many different executives talking about this at various press conferences.
In the end, I think Toyota was pretty unimpressed by the unveil and it left more questions than answers. It remains to be seen how Ford plans to pull this one off. If they do though, it will be a game changer.
What do you think?
Filed Under: Auto News