The 2015 F-150 looks as incredibly new, high-tech and desirable in the flesh as it did on the auto show stands!
It is set up to be a major sales disruption in a market segment it already owns with a 2:1 sales advantage over any other brand. The new F-150 is not a sure thing, but it appears to have it all via such a perfect storm of new equipment, new efficiency, new comfort and new style.
Why upset a market that already earns, we reported in January, a cool $14-billion in revenue every single year based on slice/dicing of Ford’s 2012 Annual Report?
There is always incremental opportunity. A jump from 800,000 units a year to 900,000 is looking very feasible in calendar 2015 as the wider roll-out goes into effect.
HOW MUCH, and HOW SOON?
Prices will go up by at least $750 across the board. That is all that is known so far.
You can be sure that the F-150 Platinum will be the coolest pickup truck ever made when sales begin later this year. Ford has not said exactly when the new trucks will arrive beyond the “later” estimate, which gives them wiggle room until the end of 2014, technically.
Our guess on first deliveries? September 15th or there-abouts – with the initial deliveries likely to be pretty posh models like this Platinum, which is likely to be a ~$52,000 machine.
BEST TIME FOR BARGAIN 2014 MODEL?
Alternatively, if the current model speaks to your needs — I would seek a giant discount in July and have the salesman call back at either the end of Q2 (July 31) or Q3 (Sept 30), when all sales-based organizations are desperate for a little extra sweetener and are willing to cut huge deals. In fact, we should write this four-magic-days idea into another article altogether… Andy Stella, any interest?
Be sure to check out the other F-150 (and Expedition) coverage here on Car-Revs-Daily.com, if it is not ‘recommended’ anywhere else 3X on this page already. =]
2015 F-150 Article Links
COLORS – XLT
TECH GALLERY (Stay Tuned for Upcoming Article…)
Latest 2015 F-150 Videos from Ford
FROM ACID BATHS TO POWER HOP HILL, 10 WAYS FORD TORTURE-TESTED THE 2015 F-150
Ford to increase durability testing to 10 million cumulative miles for 2015 F-150
Extensive testing proves this all-new F-150 lives up to Built Ford Tough standards
Ford went to new extremes – from mountaintops to frozen lakes – to put the truck through its paces
The all-new 2015 Ford F-150 has already scaled the highest points of the Continental Divide and experienced the most extreme weather conditions as Ford has set out to engineer its toughest truck yet.
Before the first 2015 F-150 rolls off the assembly line, it will have been subjected to 10 million miles of combined real-world and simulated durability testing.
“We wanted to build the toughest, most capable F-150, while making it as much as 700 pounds lighter,” said Pete Reyes, Ford F-150 chief engineer. “We challenged the team to torture the truck harder than any F-150 before it.”
The new F-150 towed trailers over mountain passes in temperatures above 120 degrees, withstood frame-punishing terrain on an off-road course and conquered a frozen lake at minus 40 degrees. It endured high-humidity chambers, salt vats and riverbeds. The F-150 towed heavy loads up grueling, steep roads. Robots slammed its doors and tailgates, and dropped heavy objects onto the bed of the truck. It persevered through twisting and shaking from multiple directions.
Some Ford tests are so extreme that a five-day period equals 10 years or 150,000 miles of abuse by the roughest customers. Reyes is quick to remind customers that the extreme tests Ford runs are conducted in controlled settings. “I discourage anyone from trying to create their own top 10 list,” he said. “Leave the testing to us.”
The all-new F-150 has been through hundreds of torture tests.
Here are the 10 toughest:
Seven-channel input: Ford built a special torture rack that violently twists and shakes the truck seven ways – simultaneously – for five days, simulating the equivalent of 225,000 miles. This testing isn’t random. After running a fully instrumented truck through durability courses, engineers recorded the forces the road surface put on various vehicle components. Those forces are replicated in seven channels – four up and down, two side to side and one lengthwise down the center. The frame and body are stressed to see how well the truck performs in situations that might bend the frame.
YouTube link: http://youtu.be/3sm6ytOZ1dk
Silver Creek: The famous Silver Creek durability course in Romeo, Mich., combines two extremely rough roads. One section of the route has 15 distinct types of chuckholes, while the other is made from broken pieces of concrete. Test drivers beg off this route after one pass because the pounding and speed is so intense. Imagine hitting a crater-sized pothole every five feet for miles – going 20 mph. With this road surface, 500 miles is equal to 20,000 miles on the country’s roughest roads.
YouTube link: http://youtu.be/4N7a2NS-gsE
Power Hop Hill: This washboard Ford test track in Romeo was created to replicate a steep, off-road dirt trail in the Hualapai Mountains of northwest Arizona. The severe 11 percent grade – steeper than the final section of most ski jump ramps – stresses engine and transmission components when the wheels lose contact and then return to the surface.
YouTube link: http://youtu.be/G-ny7zptCHU
Drum drop: Ford engineers dropped 55-gallon drums into the bed of the truck on an angle, making sure all of the force came down on the sharp rim of the drum. Engineers in Dearborn, Mich., then measure the impact and make adjustments until the cargo box floor is suitably tough.
YouTube link: http://youtu.be/ekNwEKVvCOA
Corrosion bath: The 2015 F-150 is the first high-volume vehicle with a high-strength steel frame, and body panels made of high-strength, aluminum alloy – the same material used to make armor-plated tanks and navy warships. An advantage aluminum has over steel is that it doesn’t produce red rust. So Ford had to go beyond the usual tests that include driving vehicles through countless salt baths and soaking them in high-humidity chambers. The company developed a modified corrosion test using an acidified spray to be more aggressive on the high-strength, aluminum alloy. After simulating 10 years of exposure, the aluminum material showed virtually no signs of degradation.
YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSo7Fv9WchA
Davis Dam: Run a half-marathon at Olympic-sprinter speed while carrying a 600-pound duffel bag in 120-degree temperatures, all up a 6 percent grade. Then do it 250 more times. That’s the Davis Dam durability route that stretches from just outside Bullhead City, Ariz., to the top of Union Pass. The F-150 climbed for 13 miles at posted speeds (varying from 35 mph to 65 mph) while pulling maximum trailer loads and running the air conditioning full blast in the heat of an Arizona summer.
YouTube link: http://youtu.be/XpK6A6ONp9Q
Stone Peck Alley: There’s a special place in Romeo where paint jobs come to prove their mettle while testers work to protect the metal. To test paint for the all-new F-150, engineers drove the truck 150 miles over gravel roads, then another 150 miles over pellets of extremely jagged scrap iron that is first passed through a blast furnace. Oversized tires spray the stones and scrap iron at every surface of the truck.
YouTube link: http://youtu.be/2vkzIyZoCo4
Engine thermal shock: F-150 engines are first placed in a special cell and hooked to equipment, called a dynamometer, which simulates pulling a heavy trailer at full throttle up a steep grade. Next, thermal shock testing takes engines from the coldest polar vortex to extreme heat in just seconds. The engine coolant and oil are quick-cooled to minus 20 degrees in as little as 20 seconds, then the engine runs at maximum power while coolant and oil temperatures stabilize, first at 230 degrees and then at 270 degrees, before being chilled again. This process is run 350 times over more than 400 hours to prove the durability of the engine block, seals, gaskets, cylinder heads and liners.
YouTube link: http://youtu.be/PKp8swEPI8Q
Rock and stop: Serious off-roaders navigate difficult terrain using the same drive/reverse/drive technique many drivers use to get unstuck from snow. Ford performs 500 aggressive starts on a stand specially designed to torture rear axles. The stand creates impacts at nearly 2,000 lb.-ft. of torque. This is more torque than the truck is capable of making – 130 percent more and then some – just to be certain the rear axle and all of its parts can withstand the abuse.
YouTube link: http://youtu.be/c6XQSGnlTz4
Twist ditch: F-150 customers need to trust their trucks in off-road terrain. The twist ditch is a set of parallel dirt mounds built to create a situation in which one front wheel hangs in the air while the opposing rear wheel leaves the ground repeatedly. Only two small patches of rubber are left to make contact with a slippery surface and maintain traction. These ditches can put incredible stress on the truck’s body and frame. YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnAiDyc0iv8
On sale late this year
When it goes on sale late this year, the all-new Ford F-150 will continue the tradition of offering the broadest selection of trim levels in the full-size pickup segment. Five primary trims are available: XL, XLT, Lariat, Platinum and King Ranch. Chrome appearance packages are available with XL, XLT, Lariat and King Ranch. Monochromatic sport appearance packages are available with XL, XLT and Lariat.
The FX4 off-road package can be added to most four-wheel-drive models, improving trail capability with an electronic locking rear axle, skid plates and off-road-tuned shocks.
Both the exterior and interior design of Ford F-150 reflect decades of listening to customers and understanding their occupational and recreational needs. The exterior is characterized by a new shape that suggests capability, with a wider Built Ford Tough stance, prominent wheel arches and chiseled grille.
Comfort, utility and refinement define the truck’s interior. Ergonomically optimized seating for the front row positions enhances comfort, while extending legroom for rear passengers. Buttons and controls are optimized so they can be operated while wearing work gloves.
Storage options include laptop stowage in the center console, as well as quick storage solutions for cellphones, drinks, pens and business cards.
“Once again, the Ford F-150 establishes new standards in durability, capability, technology and efficiency to help F-150 owners be more productive 24/7 – whether for work or weekend fun,” said Nair.
The F-150 will continue to be manufactured at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Mich., and Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Mo.
Specifications are preliminary and subject to change
2015 FORD F-150 TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
2015 FORD F-150 – Trim levels
— XL: The workhorse of the Ford F-150 lineup, the F-150 XL still provides style, technology and comfort. The XL is available in 12 cab/box/drive configurations from a 4×2 Regular Cab with an eight-foot box to the SuperCrew 4×4 with a six-and-a-half-foot box. New engines for the XL are the 2.7-liter EcoBoost® with Auto Start-Stop and 3.5-liter Ti-VCT V6 with flex-fuel capability.
The 3.5-liter EcoBoost and 5.0-liter V8 engines are available as well. New interior features include a 2.3-inch message center in the instrument panel and a 4.2-inch audio and climate control screen in the center stack.
A cloth 40/20/40 split-bench front seat is standard. Customers can choose between chrome, sport and FX4 off-road packages. A variety of trailer tow packages are available as well.
— XLT: Ford F-150 XLT shares available configurations and powertrains with XL while adding chrome bumpers and grille, and 17-inch machined aluminum wheels. XLT customers also receive SYNC® AppLink™, which provides voice-activated communication and entertainment including control of some smartphone applications. Available features include trailer hitch assist, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with cross-traffic alert and inflatable rear safety belts.
— Lariat: Lariat offers upscale features with outstanding capability – ideal for getaway trips with a boat or travel trailer in tow. Depending on cab/box/drive configuration, either the all-new 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine or 5.0-liter V8 is standard along with 18-inch machined-aluminum wheels.
Pickup box LED lighting and rear backup camera with trailer hitch assist add to the list of convenience features. SYNC with MyFord Touch® and an all-new 8-inch customizable productivity screen are part of the many available technologies.
— King Ranch: The updated Ford F-150 King Ranch edition reflects the feel of southwestern luxury. The exterior features front and rear chrome bumpers, a unique chrome grille with accent-color mesh insert, running boards and two-tone paint.
High-intensity LED puddle lamps and exterior LED spotlights are integrated into the outside mirrors while the all-new remote tailgate release is another industry first. King Ranch-specific leather trims the front and rear seats; the front seats are heated and cooled, the rear seats are heated.
King Ranch also features a heated steering wheel. The entertainment system includes a Sony® 10-speaker system with HD Radio™. The 5.0-liter V8 with flex-fuel capability is the standard engine.
— Platinum: The Platinum edition is for customers looking for the ultra-premium truck that isn’t afraid to do work. Offered only in a SuperCrew cab, Platinum is powered by a 5.0-liter V8 with flex-fuel capability. Bright body-side moldings and a satin finish grille complement chrome front and rear bumpers.
The Platinum rolls on 20-inch polished aluminum wheels and features power-deployable running boards, high-intensity LED headlamps and taillamps. Genuine wood accents highlight the interior along with leather seating, unique multi-contour front bucket seats, a unique instrument cluster face and Sony sound system with subwoofer.
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Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.