The F-150 goes under the knife again, gets new looks and diesel power

Only three years after the 2015 F-150’s debut, Ford is already preparing a mid-cycle refresh for the full-size pickup, reportedly scheduled for the 2018 model year. Spy photographers working for TruckTrend captured a camouflaged regular cab, short bed F-150 roaming the track at Ford’s Dearborn testing facility. It’s clear both the front and rear of the truck are receiving updates. Speculation also swirls regarding a new diesel engine for the F-150, enforced by photos of a Venturi-style tailpipe protruding from under the truck.

Regarding the redesign, Ford has to keep the F-150 current, so minor changes to the grille, headlights, bumpers, taillights, and tailgate are all on the horizon. This comes after General Motors updated its Silverado and Sierra for 2016 and ahead of Ram’s eventual update on the 1500 pickup.

There’s no word on what changes will be made to the exterior, but count on a new crop of grille designs for the various trim levels. The new design won’t likely be groundbreaking, but it will be drastic enough to distinguish the 2018 F-150 from earlier iterations.

On the diesel front, TruckTrend’s photographer captured photos of two telltale signs of a compression-ignition engine lurking under the hood. First, a Venturi-style tailpipe is seen protruding from under the cargo bed. This style exhaust is part of modern and complex diesel after-treatment systems designed to reduce emissions. The other clue is less obvious yet perhaps more telling. A sticker on the rear window contains a alphanumeric code, that when broken down, specifies a 3.0-liter displacement for the engine – or at least so speculates our friends at TruckTrend.

The 3.0-liter displacement makes sense, though, as Ford could outsource the diesel from Jaguar Land Rover. The British automaker currently produces a 3.0-liter turbodiesel called. The engine is already on American soil in the Range Rover Td6. In that application, the V-6 makes 254 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque. That outclasses the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, though Ford is likely to bump output even more for truck duty. What’s more, Ford has mentioned the possibility of a hybrid powertrain being used, though no confirmation or other information has been released. The hybrid could potentially be paired with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6.

We expect the 2018 F-150 to makes its debut in early 2017 before it arrives in dealerships towards the end of the year. For more information, check out TruckTrend’s full report in the link below.

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Why It Matters

The F-150 is Ford’s biggest product by far, so ensuring it continues to sell well is paramount. Ford has sunk hundreds of million of dollars into the current truck, developing the first mass-produced all-aluminum body, twin-turbocharged V-6 engines, and high-tech features like the 360-degree camera system and the Pro Trailer Backup Assist. All this shows just how important the F-150 is to Ford.

As such, Ford isn’t going to let the truck become stale. This mid-cycle refresh will it compete with the Silverado and Sierra, the soon-to-be-updated Ram 1500, and the Nissan Titan. Expect a huge advertising campaign to follow, hawking the truck’s capabilities and features.

Because the F-150 accounts for a large majority of Ford’s sales, the truck has to be fuel efficient to help Ford meet the looming CAFÉ standards. The EcoBoost, diesel, and potential hybrid system will hopefully help the truck achieve impressive fuel economy ratings.

Source: TruckTrend

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