The Ford F-150 has been the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. the past 32 years. The all-new 2015 model seeks to continue that trend.
Considering the F-150’s continual sales dominance, many would forgive Ford for playing it safe and only making minor changes to its newest model. However, the 2015 F-150 has been called “revolutionary” and is anything but a safe play.
The source of the 2015 F-150’s controversy is its skin – specifically, what it’s made of. Instead of using traditional steel for the cab and bed, Ford used aluminum. Ford claims this makes the new model 700 pounds lighter than the outgoing one.
Fans of the F-150 need not worry, as Ford guarantees that their “Built Ford Tough” motto still applies. The frame is still made using steel, and actually boasts a higher percentage of high-strength steel (77% vs. 23%). This increases rigidity while saving weight.
So the bones are stronger and the skin is lighter, but the new F-150 still looks like a Red, White and Blue-blooded pickup truck. Ford gave it a bold, blocky face, and an angular rear. The tailgate step has been integrated better and the tailgate itself is damped and can be controlled hands-free via remote.
Ford carries the theme of intelligent strength over to the four available engines as well. The optional 3.5-litre EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 and 5.0-litre Ti-VCT V8 are the proven carryovers, but are joined by a new standard 3.5-litre V6 with twin independent variable camshaft timing and a 2.7-litre EcoBoost with Auto Start-Stop.
Ford has tuned its Auto Start-Stop technology specifically for truck applications. When the vehicle is stopped, the engine shuts off to save fuel – unless you are towing or in four-wheel drive. Once the brake is released, the engine restarts within milliseconds.
F-150’s with the EcoBoost engines also receive Active Grille Shutters. This feature closes the grille while at cruising speeds to reduce aerodynamic drag, but re-opens the shutters when extra cooling is needed.
The F-150 will still be available in both two-wheel and four-wheel drive. An FX4 off-road package is also available and adds an electronic locking rear axle, skid plates and off-road-tuned shocks.
After three decades of being the sales leader, Ford designers had a lot of customer feedback to work with, and it’s apparent they listened when in the cabin of the 2015 F-150. The interior has been refined and ergonomically optimized to enhance the comfort of front passengers, yet increase the legroom for rear passengers. All buttons and controls were made to be easily operated while wearing gloves.
A number of new productivity features available in the F-150 make it much easier to work with. The eight-inch LCD screen can display a 360-degree view to help you maneuver in tight spaces, or a rearview trailer hitch assist feature that aids in hooking up a trailer without a spotter or having to get out.
“F-150 is well-known for being Built Ford Tough,” said Mark Fields, Ford Motor Company chief operating officer. “Now, it is both tough and smart. The all-new F-150 redefines the future of trucks, and it is yet another example of our One Ford plan to produce vehicles that serve customers with a commitment to the very best quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design and value.”
Tell us what you think about the 2015 Ford F-150. Will it continue to be America’s best-selling vehicle?