Think back about seven years or so and imagine a Ford F-150 circling the track as the official pace car for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. It’s pretty easy if you imagine that truck being the SVT or supercharged Harley-Davidson model. You can’t really picture a V-6 model though, could you?
Well, thanks to Ford’s ingenious EcoBoost, a V-6 pace truck is not only plausible, but it is actually happening. A six-pot-powered 2013 Ford F-150 FX4 4x4 will be the pace car for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. Of course, said V-6 has a pair of turbochargers strapped to it, pushing its total horsepower to 365 and the torque to 434 foot-pounds. Behind the wheel of this beast is no professional driver. Nope, it’s none other than Ford’s American president, Mark Fields.
This pace truck is all decked out in a fresh-off-the-assembly-line red paint and also boasts a bold new grille, HID headlights, and a graphics package specifically for the Sprint Cup race. This also opens the door for a special edition 2013 Ford F-150 Pace Truck edition. This is especially possible, as Ford is definitely not shy with pry barring special editions into its lineup.
Chances are that we will only see this special F-150 FX4 a handful of times throughout the race, but we will likely hear about it in F-150 commercials for the next 12 months, or so. We wonder how Chevy plans to counter this one, because we all know they will somehow…
You can see the F-150 twice this year, once on June 17th at 12:00 p.m. for the Quicken Loans 400. This selection of the F-150 to pace the groups marks the third straight year that a Ford model has been the pace car for the June race in Michigan and the second straight year that Mark Fields is the driver.
Click past the jump to read Ford’s official presser.
gallery: Ford F-150
New 2013 F-150 FX4 to Serve as Pace Truck for Michigan NASCAR Sprint Cup Race
New 2013 F-150 FX4 with EcoBoost becomes third straight Ford pace vehicle at Michigan International Speedway’s June race
2013 F-150 FX4 features bold new grille with newly available HID projector headlamps, new standard hill descent control proven in the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor and standard SYNC with MyFord, a 4.2-inch multi-function information display.
Mark Fields, Ford’s President of The Americas, will serve as “celebrity” pace car driver for the second time in as many years
DEARBORN, MI – June 13, 2012 – Ford Motor Company will introduce the latest version of the F-150, part of America’s best-selling truck lineup, on Sunday when Ford’s President of The Americas Mark Fields leads the field to green for Michigan International Speedway’s NASCAR Sprint Cup series race in the new 2013 F-150.
“Like our hardworking customers, Ford is committed to continuous improvement and getting the job done right with our industry-leading trucks,” Fields said. “So many of our truck customers are race fans that it makes perfect sense to show our new 2013 F-150 FX4 model for the first time at the track.”
Fields will serve as pace car driver for the second straight June race at MIS, after leading the field to the green flag in a 2012 Focus last year.
The F-Series line of trucks has led the way as the best-selling line of pickups in America for 35 straight years, and one of those who has helped keep that streak intact is NASCAR Sprint Cup points leader Greg Biffle, who drives an F-150 as his personal vehicle.
"It is going to be really neat to see that new F-150 leading the field at MIS this year," Biffle said. "I am a huge truck guy and the F-series has never ceased to impress me over the years. I think this 2013 model continues that trend and I know NASCAR fans are going to be really impressed when they see it leading the way Sunday."
The 2013 F-150 also boasts best-in-class fuel economy and capability. From the powerful and efficient 3.5-liter EcoBoost® engine to the mighty 6.2-liter V8, the most powerful eight-cylinder engine in the segment, F-150 offers an engine to meet the needs of every customer. Each engine across the F-150 lineup is mated to a fuel-saving electronic six-speed automatic transmission with tow/haul mode.
Also available with the six-speed transmission is SelectShift™ capability, standard with FX4 and above. SelectShift™ provides progressive range select and manual shift mode, allowing customers the convenience of an automatic transmission for routine operation combined with the ability to select and lock gears.
What race fans are most likely to notice as the 2013 F-150 FX4 circles the track is the bold new grille with newly available HID projector headlamps that combines fresh design with instantly recognizable F-Series cues. Also new for the latest FX4 model is standard hill descent control proven in the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor and standard SYNC with MyFord, a 4.2-inch multi-function information display that provides enhanced displays of audio and climate-control functions.
The 2013 F-150 FX4 is also available with SYNC with MyFord Touch, which includes an all-new, large 8-inch LCD color touch screen mounted in the center stack. This package adds a media hub with two USB ports, an SD card reader and audio/video input jacks.
“We are proud to continue what is becoming a tradition of highlighting our new products to NASCAR race fans across the country,” said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. “Just like last year when we showcased Focus and two years ago with Fiesta, we’re using this Michigan race as a platform to promote another one of the outstanding products in the Ford lineup.”
Ford has been at the forefront of using its NASCAR pace car program to highlight its extensive line of new cars, trucks and sport utility vehicles. This includes being the first company to have an all-electric pace car with the Fusion Electric earlier this year in Richmond. Ford also was first to use a Hybrid pace car to start a NASCAR race when the Fusion Hybrid led the field to green for the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2008. In addition, the Taurus SHO, Mustang GT 5.0L V-8 and 2011 Explorer SUV have served as pace vehicles over the last two years.