Every engine updated, more in-dash tech, and upgraded active safety, too

Ford has finally pulled the covers off its revamped 2018 F-150 pickup. This mid-cycle refresh brings a new set of front grilles, new headlights, new taillights, and upgraded powertrain options, including a 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel. Yep, the F-150 is now an oil-burner!

Though Ford was very coy with details regarding the powertrain improvements, it has revealed that all but the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 is getting big improvements for 2018. This includes an all-new 3.3-liter gasoline V-6 that replaces the base 3.5-liter V-6; an updated 2.7-liter EcoBoost and 5.0-liter V-8, and the addition of the 3.0-liter Power Stroke V-6. Don’t think Ford’s premier gasoline engine is getting the shaft – the 3.5-liter EcoBoost entered its second generation in 2017, making it just under a year old.

Ford did not provide horsepower, torque, fuel economy ratings, or pricing for these new engines, but the base 3.3-liter is expected to make the same 282 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque as the outgoing 3.5-liter. We expect fuel economy is the main change here. Every engine besides the base 3.3-liter now comes with Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission. Nothing was mentioned about the previously announced hybrid powertrain, however.

Technology wise, the 2018 F-150 is now available with the segment’s first adaptive cruise control with full stop-and-go functionality and an available Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection. Ford catches up with General Motors by offering 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot for the first time, and there’s also a new, high-end B&O PLAY audio system available. Ford’s SYNC and SYNC 3 now offers FordPass with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The F-150 continues to offer its 360-degree camera system, line-keep assist, and blind-spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert. Added to the system from the 2017 Super Duty is Ford’s trailer tow technology, which allows the system to monitor the blind spots of a trailer up to 33 feet in length.

As for aesthetics, the F-150’s new grille is larger and statelier. Several design deviations bring different looks to the various trim levels. The Sport Appearance Package on the Lariat trim, for example, brings that slick monochromatic theme. The interior, on the other hand, does not receive changes for 2018.

We will bring all the details in a full review after the Detroit Auto Show, but for now, continue reading for more information.

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Why It Matters

It would be a gross understatement to say the F-150 is an important vehicle for Ford. In fact, 2018 marks the F-Series’ 40th year as the best-selling pickup in American and its 35th year as the best-selling overall vehicle in America. [That’s pretty darn impressive.

These improvements should keep the Ford ahead of the competition, despite Ford being late to the game in some regards. Ram, for example, has had its V-6 turbodiesel in its Ram 1500 for several years now and GM has offered4G LTE Wi-Fi in its trucks since 2014. However, those are about the only areas Ford has to play catch-up. Even without the 2018 refresh, the F-150 would still be the newest truck in the segment, it would still offer the most powertrain choices, offer the best fuel economy in a gasoline engine, and have the latest in-dash and active safety technology. Nevertheless, Ford’s endless pursuit for dominance pushes the bar even further. Now GM and Ram (not to mention Toyota) have lots of ground to make up.

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"Even without the 2018 refresh, the F-150 would still be the newest truck in the segment, it would still offer the most powertrain choices, offer the best fuel economy in a gasoline engine, and have the latest in-dash and active safety technology."

As far as the new 3.0-liter Power Stroke V-6 turbodiesel, Ford’s zipped lips only work so well. See, Ford supplies Jaguar Land Rover with its larger-displacement turbodiesel engines thanks to a relationship that dates back decades with Ford’s ownership of both brands. Tata’s purchase of JLR during the Great Recession hasn’t kept Ford out of the development loop, though. Ford already supplies JLR with a 3.0-liter turbodiesel.

In the Range Rover, the 3.0-liter Td6 V-6 makes 254 horsepower at 3,500 rpm and an impressive 440 pound-feet of torque at only 1,750 rpm. And even in the porky 5,500-pound Range Rover with its eight-speed automatic, the V-6 still nets an EPA-estimated 22 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. Considering the Range Rover only comes with a full-time 4WD system, we can expect a RWD F-150 with its lighter curb weight and 10-speed automatic to at least achieve the magic 30 mpg highway. That would beat out the Ram 1500 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6’s claim of 29 mpg highway. Speculation aside, rest assured the F-150 Power Stroke will achieve at least 30 mpg highway. Ford has to claim that title in order to solidify respect for is new oil burner.

We will bring you more information as Ford releases it in the coming days, weeks, and months. The 2018 F-150 should be on dealer lots by mid-2017, so expect the full spec sheet to be unclassified by then.

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Press Release

Ford, America’s truck leader, introduces the new 2018 Ford F-150 – now even tougher, even smarter and even more capable than ever.

Three years after first introducing the high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy-bodied Ford F-150, the new F-150 arrives with bold new front and rear styling, advanced technologies – including available Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection – and improved engines. The new engines include an all-new 3.0-liter Power Stroke® V6 turbo diesel and enhanced V6 and V8 gas engines.

“Truck customers are constantly looking to improve their productivity, for work and for play,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford President, The Americas. “Since 1977, we’ve been America’s favorite truck, and we’ve never taken that leadership for granted. This new F-150 is our latest example of Ford’s commitment to going further for our customers through continuous innovation.”

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The 2018 F-150 is part of the Ford F-Series truck lineup, America’s best-selling truck for 40 consecutive years and America’s best-selling vehicle for 35 years.

Ford is previewing the new truck today during the FOX NFL Wildcard Pregame Show, which airs starting at 4 p.m. today. Ford is the Official Truck of the NFL. The truck will be revealed on Monday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

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Even tougher
The new F-150 delivers on its Built Ford Tough promise through a segment-exclusive combination of advanced materials that are durable and inhibit corrosion.

A high-strength steel fully boxed ladder frame and high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy body save weight and add capability, helping F-150 tow heavier trailers than ever and deliver best-in-class payload ratings.

The 2018 F-150 lineup is new with even tougher looks. From XL to top-of-the-line Limited, all Ford F-150 models receive new grilles, headlamps and bumpers that create a visually wider and more planted stance and maximum differentiation between the series. On the Sport Package-equipped Lariat F-150, the signature twin bars are painted body color for a custom athletic appearance.

Further enhancing its “milled from a block of high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy” look, the F-150 features six all-new wheel designs, ranging from 17 inches to 22 inches in diameter.

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A new sculpted tailgate with deeper accent form and stamped “F-150” are flanked by new tail lamp designs. For further style differentiation, a tailgate applique adds a horizontal element to King Ranch, Platinum and Limited versions.

F-150 also brings two new seating trim colors – Dark Marsala for F-150 Platinum, while top-of-the-line F-150 Limited offers a Navy Pier environment. New trim offerings including carbon fiber appearance appliques on F-150 XLT Sport and Lariat Sport models, while the famed F-150 King Ranch features new Kingsville Appointed seats.

Even smarter
Ford F-150 advances the light-duty pickup truck segment again with segment-first and class-exclusive technologies that improve productivity, efficiency and driver confidence, while keeping occupants connected to the world around them.

New enhanced segment-first available adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality allows drivers to set a cruising speed. They then use radar and camera technology to monitor traffic ahead to maintain a set distance between vehicles – even following a vehicle down to a complete stop.

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New, segment-first available Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection helps the driver avoid or mitigate collisions with vehicles and pedestrians.

With a new available embedded 4G LTE modem for a Wi-Fi hot spot, customers can connect up to 10 mobile devices at one time, virtually anywhere.

New B&O PLAY available audio system takes advantage of high-end speakers, sound and tuning to deliver a richer, more engaging listening experience.

These technologies join existing segment-exclusive driver assist and convenience features that include:

Available SYNC® and SYNC 3 with FordPass enables compatibility of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – plus mobility services to help customers move more efficiently

Available 360-degree camera technology helps improve driver confidence when parking and can help reduce stress when connecting a trailer – allowing customers to see more so they can focus on specific tasks such as lining up a hitch

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Available lane-keeping system is designed to help reduce unintentional drifting of the vehicle outside the intended lane

Available Blind Spot Information System with trailer tow technology is optimized for F-150 to include the length of a trailer up to 33 feet; BLIS® uses radar sensors in the taillamps to monitor areas that may not be visible to the driver

Even more capable
Ford builds on its performance leadership by offering the most advanced F-150 engine lineup ever, plus the best towing capability of any F-150 ever.

The new F-150 introduces an all-new, standard 3.3-liter V6 engine, with direct-injection for increased efficiency. The 3.3-liter V6 is expected to offer the same 282 horsepower and 253 lb.-ft. of torque as the previous model’s standard 3.5-liter V6.

An all-new second-generation 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine features advanced dual port and direct injection technology, reduced internal friction and improved robustness – all for improved levels of output, efficiency, quality and durability. Like the 3.5-liter EcoBoost, the 2.7-liter EcoBoost will be paired to the segment-exclusive 10-speed automatic transmission for 2018.

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The 5.0-liter V8 also sees improvements in 2018, as the naturally aspirated engine features significant upgrades for increased power and torque. It’s also paired with the 10-speed automatic transmission for the first time.

The 2018 F-150 also adds an available all-new 3.0-liter Power Stroke diesel engine, designed, engineered and tested in-house and paired with the 10-speed automatic transmission. It’s the first-ever diesel engine offered for F-150.

In addition to the segment-first 10-speed automatic, the Ford F-150 is now the first full-size pickup truck to add automatic start/stop as standard equipment across all models and engines.

The new 2018 F-150 goes on sale this fall. It will be built at Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Michigan, and Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri.

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