By now, all the currently available information has been disseminated regarding Ford ’s latest and greatest F-150 . The news of its new aluminum skin, stronger frame and a new engines are leading headlines; along with its host of whiz-bang gadgetry designed to make the F-150 knock out the competition.
We’ve already covered the nitty-gritty details in our review of the 2015 F-150 , but now we present the top-10 things you need to know about the 2015 truck. Call it the “Reader’s Digest” version. We cover the exterior design and interior details; explore the handy new features found in the bed; touch on the truck’s development; and speculate about horsepower, torque, and how much the whole thing will cost.
Click past the jump for an overview of the 2015 Ford F-150
Gallery Ford F-150
1. All-New Design
With the F-150’s pedigree, Ford couldn’t risk going too bold or outlandish, yet needed to push the design envelope to further the F-150 march into the future. Much of the new F-150’s design can be linked to the much-loved Atlas concept truck that debuted at last year’s Detroit Auto Show . The truck was a major hit, so Ford knew the design was appealing.
The biggest difference can be seen in the new front grille and rear tailgate. The grille has a bolder, more upright stance with a dinner-plate-sized Ford emblem affixed front and center. The hood meets the grille at a straighter angle than before, lacking the slopped look. Two bulges travel from the A-pillars forward giving the otherwise flat hood some brawny detail. Down low, the bumper’s center section seems rather familiar while its end caps are all new and house the square fog lights.
Out back, the tailgate has a flatter, more aerodynamic spoiler integrated in. It’s also where the redesigned foldable step is stored. Gone are the horizontal creases running between the taillights, replaced by a more decorative panel. The rear bumper is also more stylized with a new shape.
Up top, the F-150 now enjoys a class-exclusive optional panorama glass roof with an integrated moonroof. The feature is sure to catch on with other manufacturers as overall look is rather slick. (Now if we can just get a full-width roll-down rear window like the Toyota Tundra !)
2. New Stronger, Lighter Materials
Some of the biggest news surrounding the 2015 F-150 is its aluminum body and high-strength steel frame. The new body panels knock some 700 pounds off the curb weight, while providing more dent and ding resistance. The reduced weight is projected to dramatically improve fuel efficiency, especially when combined with the all-new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6. The new frame is made of high-strength steel that Ford says, is rated up to 70,000 psi and stronger than some of the competition’s heavy-duty truck frames.
While the new aluminum body has its long list of benefits, we can’t help but consider the possible downsides. How will it affect the overall price? Will the truck cost more to insure due to higher repair costs? And will magnetic signs cling to the aluminum-alloy?
3. All-New Cabin
The interior for 2015 has grown evermore accommodating. The materials, fit and finish, and detailing surpass anything Ford has put in a truck to date. The overall design is more car-like, yet still has plenty of chunky, squared-off grab handles and tough-looking pieces to remind occupants they’re riding high in a truck.
The new steering wheel has plenty of redundant controls laid out in a thoughtful manner. The center stack still has a clean look without an overload of switches and operating them with gloves or without taking your eyes off the road should be pretty easy. Rear passengers in the SuperCrew models are still treated to the miles of legroom the F-150 is known for, while those sitting in the second row of the SuperCab enjoy a new wider-opening suicide door.
4. 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6
The big new under the 2015 F-150’s hood is the all-new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6. This engine is slotted above the base 3.5-liter, naturally aspirated V-6 and below the naturally-aspirated 5.0-liter V-8. Of course Ford is slotting their now-ubiquitous 3.5-liter, twin-turbo, EcoBoost V-6 as the top-dog engine.
The 2.7-liter EcoBoost comes with Ford’s new Auto Start-Stop system designed to save every ounce of dino juice. The system shuts the engine completely off while the truck is stopped, then restarts the engine within milliseconds of the brakes being released. The system can be manually turned off and is automatically defeated when the truck is in tow/haul mode or four-wheel-drive. The engine is constructed from lightweight materials and has a tidy, compact design to maximize efficiency.
Ford has yet to give specific number on horsepower or torque ratings, but we can speculate. The current 3.7-liter V-6 serving as the F-150’s base engine delivers 302 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque, while the 5.0-liter V-8 lays down a respectable 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. With the new 2.7-liter slotted between those two, we’d suspect the new EcoBoost to produce around 330 horsepower and 360 pound-feet of torque.
5. New 3.5-liter Naturally-Aspirated V-6
The new 3.5-liter V-6 replaces the outgoing 3.7-liter V-6 shared with the Mustang. The new 3.5-liter features twin independent variable camshaft timing and flex fuel capabilities. The result should increased power and efficiency, plus the ability to burn “greener” fuels.
Like the new EcoBoost, Ford is quite on specific output numbers, but considering the outgoing 3.7-liter made 302 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque, we’d guess the new 3.5-liter will make close to 310 horses and 285 pound-feet.
6. Carryover Engines and Transmission
Two engines are carrying over from 2014: the 5.0-liter V-8 and the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6. Both engines will likely be backed by the carryover six-speed automatic as they currently are. Ford may update the transmission with a few more gears within the next model year or so, but for now the returning six-speed handles the task.
Ford is likely to increase power outputs for both engines, but until they announce anything, here’s the current figures:
|5.0-liter Naturally-Aspirated V-8||3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6|
|Torque||380 LB-FT||420 LB-FT|
7. Innovative Truck Tech
Ford knows people use their F-150s for work, so it’s updated the cargo box with some pretty innovative features. Starting with the tailgate, the integrated folding step has been revised so the grab handle folds from within the tailgate along side the step, freeing up the tailgate’s load surface.
Integrated cargo ramps are also new. The ramps themselves telescope for easier storage within the bed and are capable of supporting ATVs, motorcycles, riding lawnmowers, and the like. They fit securely in integrated carriers bolted to the inside bedrails when not in use.
Helping out when your hands are busy is an electronic push-button release and operation of the tailgate while LED lights now illuminate the bed for easier use.
8. Infotainment and User Interfaces
The F-150 has an eight-inch LCD “productivity screen” residing between the analog instrument cluster gauges. It has updated apps that help the driver keep track of fuel economy and engine status while even offering towing tips. The system builds off the successful system in the outgoing truck. The latest versions of Sync and MyFord Touch are present, along with Hill start assist, MyKey, a rearview camera, and an integrated trailer brake controller.
A new 360-degree camera system makes close-quarters maneuvering a simple task and a new screen view makes connecting a trailer even easier with projected path guidelines. Speaking of trailers, the F-150 boasts some sort of magical electronics system that alerts the driver of burnt light bulbs or wiring harness issues with the connected trailer. This will surely pay for itself in avoided tickets from a missing taillight.
9. Testing Toughness
Ford is no stranger to running its trucks in the Baja 1000. However this year, the grueling desert race was weeks before the F-150’s official launch in Detroit. To get around this issue, Ford built an F-150 with 2015 technology and materials, but stamped its sheetmetal to look like a 2014. The clever disguise hit the brand new truck in plain sight.
The truck gave Ford the opportunity to subject the new 2.7-liter EcoBoost to the horrors of Baja racing. Engineers wanted to keep the truck as stock as possible, only swapping out the shocks and springs for OEM Raptor equipment, installing prototype BF Goodrich tires, welding up a full roll cage, and adding the regulation-specified fuel cell in the bed. They even left the stock air filter in place.
The Ford team finished the relentless race with no mechanical issues.
10. Pricing and Availability
Educated guessing guides us through this section. The only solid info Ford has released is the truck will still be manufactured in its Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Mich., and the Kansas City assembly plant in Claycomo, Mo.
Pricing is likely to stay close to the 2014 F-150’s current asking price of $24,445. Ford’s consumer website says even with the new aluminum body, the price will not shoot up. The trucks should show up on dealer lots beginning this fall.