Ford started building specialty trucks back in 1999 with the sporty 340hp F150 Lightning, and two luxury trucks, the ’King Ranch’ and the Harley Davidson. Since then, the Lightning production stopped in 2004, but both luxury trucks have been doing very well in sales. In fact, high end trucks are doing so well that next year Ford will bring out their all new 12th generation F150; with the luxurious ’Platinum’ trim as a part of the regular F150 line. The 2008 Harley Davidson truck is filling the gap in the meantime.
This year Ford and Harley-Davidson introduced yet another special-edition Ford F-150. The truck looks fantastic; bumpers are painted with such color as the ’Menacing Black’ or two-tone Black with ’Vintage Copper’ exteriors. The front fascia features fog lights, in the style of the defunct F150 ’Lightning’, and instead of the side steps you get body kits that accentuate the sporty look of the truck. The body kits makes the truck look lower to the ground than it really is and also helps the superb 22-inch polished forged-aluminum wheels stand out even more. This truck is definitely a show off and we love it.
It will probably take you 2 or 3 months before you stop looking back at your truck before leaving the parking lot.
On the inside, you will find wide black leather seats, with chrome HD medallion inserts, and cooper highlights. The truck has a black headliner and a ’piano black’ center console with tiny Harley Davidson logos. The pedals are brushed stainless steel. The truck also offers all the gadgets you would expect in a $50,000 truck; GPS navigation system with satellite radio, rearview camera, sunroof, automatic folding mirrors, parking sensors, and power sliding rear windows. We can only think of two details that are missing. First, you cannot bring any windows up or down with a single press on the switch. Only the driver’s side window offers the one push function, but only for bringing it down. Second, there is no possibility to lock the glove boxes, which is especially annoying since you have no trunk space to begin with. Putting that aside, the interior feels very comfortable and spacious.
Enough gawking, let’s go for a drive…
When you start the engine, you will notice a high pitch supercharger roar for a split second before it turns quiet. However, the real magic happens when you start pushing down the throttle. This makes the supercharger sing. This truck is equipped with the Saleen supercharger option. This option became available back in 2007, for the 2x4 version, for a mere $6,500 extra. This option adds an extra 150 hp to the standard engine. It also adds a gauge pod with boost and air-charge temperature gauges on the top of the center console.
. With 450hp and 500lb of torque, this is the most powerful F150 to date. The last F150 to boast near that much power was the SVT lightning equipped with 380hp in its final production year (2004). This F150 has come long way given that the first model, born in 1948, sported a modest 3.7L V8 and 95hp under its rounded hood.
The engine is so powerful that one could almost fear that the truck would behave like a wild drag racing beast, but Ford engineers did a terrific job making sure you can slam on the throttle without hesitation or tire squeals. Even the tightest on-ramps are a walk in the park for this 5600lb truck. Once you reach cruise speed, the truck becomes a quiet ride absorbing all bumps on the road. You barely hear the sound of the V8 purring, and if you completely release the throttle you almost wonder if you are not floating on top of the asphalt. The transmission and all power train parts are dead quiet. In fact, the transmission plays a big role in making this truck such an enjoyable drive. The gear shifts are so smooth that you do not feel overwhelmed by the extra power. However, this truck is missing a good stereo system. The speakers scream for mercy as soon as you pump up the volume. This is nothing that a stop at your local audio shop can’t fix, with a couple of hundreds of course, but we expected a lot more from the $2,500 optional navigation radio.
So, if you are in the market to buy a luxurious and comfortable ride and you want to make a bold statement, we have no doubt that you will enjoy the Harley Davidson F150. It looks amazing, it is comfortable and it feels “like a beast of a truck”. However, those struggling with rising gas prices will have a hard time to get more than 11MPG. Although, this isn’t so bad for a 5600lb truck with oversized tires and a 450hp V8.
need integral bed liner protection
missing one push button electric window
weak sound system
almost too flashy
Before making a decision, be aware that Ford has already announced, at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, a whole new 12th edition F150. Unfortunately, you will not be able to buy the new truck in the Harley Davidson trim for at least 2 or 3 years. As the 2008 truck is going on its last year before the facelift, you should be able to make a good deal.