Ford

Ford trucks

Building the F-150 , America’s best-selling truck for 37 consecutive years and best-selling vehicle for 32 years, is not an easy task, and Ford knows it must raise the bar with each new generation or facelift.

The Blue Oval already did that in 2014 by gifting the 2015 F-150 with an aluminum-alloy body, a benchmark in the truck industry, but lighter sheet alone won’t cut it. The new F-150 needs to remain tough and become more capable, and with the new CAFE regulations just around the corner, more efficient.

The brand-new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 might just be enough for the job, but with no official performance and consumption figures in sight, we can only speculate about its capability to take on the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel , the most fuel efficient light-duty, full-size truck you can buy nowadays.

As far as toughness is concerned, Ford invested a lot of effort and money into testing the new truck by putting it through a series of grueling trials. The 2015 F-150 endured both extremely hot and freezing temperatures, got its body and chassis twisted for days, took corrosion baths and had 55-gallon drums dropped into its bed over and over again.

While some of these tests aren’t exactly new, Ford did develop new ways to test its trucks. Among its new torture equipment there’s a special rack that twists and shakes the vehicle seven ways simultaneously, with forces stressing both the frame and the body. And that’s just one of the extreme tests the new F-150 has been subjected to, with nine more available below.

Click past the jump to view the torture tests.

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Build on an extended platform of the Explorer SUV, the Ford Explorer Sport Trac offered a perfect compromise between the dynamic performances of a genuine SUV and the utilitarian character of a full sized pickup truck.

Though, despite the innovative idea behind the concept, the Explorer Sport Trac never managed to maintain the market’s interest alive and had a pretty short life span, being sold between 2001 and 2010.

Ford tried to spice things up a little and gave the vehicle a small facelift in 2007, but it wasn’t enough to change the sad faith of its Explorer Sport Trac.

The 2007 facelift added a few exterior changes, some interior upgrades and also a new V8 engine together with a few tweaks for the old V6 unit.

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The first generation Ford Explorer Sport Trac was launched in 2001 and it was placed between the Ford Ranger and Ford F-Series.

The vehicle was based on the small Ranger pickup and was available only on the North American market. The Explorer Sport Trac was basically a crew cab midsized pickup that went head to head with models like the Honda Ridgeline and Chevrolet Avalanche.

The Explorer Sport Trac was received with opened arms by the market and after the launch the sales were booming. The vehicle was also the first body on frame sport utility truck.

The truck features GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) of 6250 lbs which is better than any other mid-sized pickup available on the market. Unfortunately, after only two generations, the model was discontinued in 2010.

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The Ford Courier is a small pickup truck sold on the South American and other emergent markets. The vehicle was designed as a compact utilitarian work horse and it’s based on the 1998 Ford Fiesta Ford Fiesta hatchback. The Ford Courier pickup has a load capacity of 1543 lb. and it’s powered by a 1.6 liter engine which develops 103 hp @ 5500 rpm.

The Ford Courier pickup competes against models like the Fiat Strada, Peugeot Hoggar and Chevrolet Montero. The truck is available only in single cab configuration and power is sent to the front wheels by means of a five speed manual gearbox.

The Courier name is also used by an Australian version of the F-150 pickup. But despite the name coincidence, the small South American Courier it’s totally different than the big Australian pickup.

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When we are talking about pickups, the word sporty is usually left out off discussion. Yet there is a special breed of trucks which have something more than only huge towing abilities and a big ground clearance.

When Ford launched its new F-150 SVT Raptor, the tag “performance truck” was on everybody’s lips. The new Raptor is considered by many the ultimate off-road production truck and there is no wonder why, as its sporty pedigree contains everything it needs to make your adrenaline levels explode.

Since 2011, the truck is offered in both extended and double cab configurations and is powered by a monstrous 6.2 liter V8 which cranks out 411 hp and 484 lb.ft of torque.

The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor comes with a 4x4 traction system and has a maximum towing capacity of 8000 lbs. Though, this nice toy doesn’t come cheap at all, as it has a starting price of $45,290.

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The previous generation Ford Falcon RTV (Rugged Terrain Vehicle) ute sold between 2003 and 2008. It was designed as a working vehicle which offers a perfect compromise between comfort and utility. The old Falcon ute was available only with 2WD configuration, but this small impediment never stop it to attack the rugged terrains with poise. To be suited for off road driving, the old Falcon RTV Ute received a high ground clearance and a full locking rear differential.

The 2003 Falcon had a starting price of $30,615 and was offered with a choice of three engines which developed 182kW, 156kW and 220kW.

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The Ford Courier was especially developed for the Australian and South African Markets and features a tough character that helped it gain a tremendous reputation among pickups.

The truck is offered with both 4WD and 2WD configurations and has a maximum towing capacity of 1800 kg.

Power comes from either a 2.5 petrol or a 2.6 turbo intercooled diesel unit. The truck’s exterior design has been refreshed in 2003 and the same year has also marked a few technical upgrades and some interior modifications.

However, the most significant change to the Courier line-up was the addition of an all-new Super Cab model fitted with reverse opening doors that can be open only together with the front doors.

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Ford ’s trucks have a very long history behind and one of the best sold models in the company’s lineup was the legendary F Series.

In its long life, the truck has received a lot of upgrades and even today it continues to keep the standards high.

The previous generations were fairly capable as well and the F Series was always considered the perfect choice for those seeking for a reliable and strong working partner.

One of the most significant upgrades made to the F Series was marked by the year 1997. Back then, the F Series received new engines, dual airbags, side impact protection, new suspensions and a new exterior design. Also new for 2007 was the introduction of a third access door for the rear compartment for all SuperCab models.

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The biggest players in the commercial van segment are part of GM and Ford teams. Everybody knows that the Ford E Series has always struggled to stay in front of its rivals and most of the time had succeeded.

The E Series is around since 1992 and since then, it received a lot of upgrades which helped it stay on top of the sales chart. However, Ford ’s E Series has its roots planted back in 1960 when it was known as the Econoline.

Ford ’s van was always considered a practical, utilitarian workhorse and every generation was stronger and more refined than the previous one.

The 2003 model received a few major upgrades and was available in a wide range of body configurations. The 2003 upgrades included new engines, a new transmission, standard rear disc brakes, four new exterior colors, standard battery saver, optional AM/FM/CD audio system and remote keyless entry on cutaway models.

The 2003 Ford E-Series gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) ranged from 6,700 lbs. to 19,000 lbs, depending on the engine.

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The Ford Falcon ute is one of the sportiest pickup from the market and it’s only real rival is the Holden SV6 ute.

The vehicle was born after Ford decided to chop off the back of its high class Falcon sedan and added a set of chassis rails with a live axle and leaf springs.

The vehicle was especially developed for the Australian market and it’s unlikely to be seen in other areas. Ford has also came up with a sportier version of its pickup, but the standard model was left to deal mostly with utilitarian purposes as it has a more serene and rugged character.

The Ford FG Falcon ute has a starting price of $27.795 and offers a generous payload of 1240kg.


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