America’s biggest-selling vehicle, the Ford F-150 ‘truck’, has been given a 21st-century makeover with multiple LED lighting, digital instruments, active safety features, a new downsized turbo engine, and lighter construction that sheds up to 300 kilograms.
The 2014 Ford F-150 has been unveiled by the company on the eve of the Detroit motor show, revealing the pick-up truck’s new look and features. It was previewed at Detroit last year by the brilliant-looking Ford Atlas concept (see Photos section).
There’s little to change to size and wheelbase, but a front end comprising an even bolder version of the three-bar grille and C-shaped LED headlights clearly mark out the new version of a vehicle that has amassed more than 33 million sales since 1948.
The new Ford F-150 exterior is built from aluminium, placed over a frame made predominantly from high-strength steel.
LED headlights are among some segment first claimed by Ford, along with a semi-automatic parking system, inflatable rear seatbelts, eight-inch screen and bird’s-eye-view camera.
LED side mirror spotlights are also available as an option, and LED lights can also be found in the tray.
The tray also features a new ‘Boxlink’ setup that incorporates locakable tie-downs and stowable ramps to help load lifestyle items such as dirt bikes and lawnmowers.
The F-150’s tailgate step is now integrated into the tailgate itself.
A new ‘EcoBoost’ engine joins the range – the smallest engine offered at 2.7 litres but boosted by two turbocharges and direct fuel injection. Power and torque figures for the 2.7L have yet to be released, though it will sit above the base 3.7L V6.
An engine start-stop system will help restrict fuel use.
Other carry-over engines are a 3.5L V6 turbo and 5.0-litre V8, with all motors mated with a continuing six-speed auto.
Variants continue to be Regular, SuperCab and SuperCrew, with towing capacities set to increase as a result of the slimmed-down F-150.
Inside, the new chunkily styled dash looks suitably robust but adds pretty graphics for a new eight-inch ‘productivity’ screen that includes digital instrument read-outs and customisable screens for when towing or off-roading.
A powerful inverter with twin 110-vot, 400-watt outlets allows Ford F-150 users to recharge power tools on the move.
The Ford F-150 also brings active safety features from other passenger car models in the Blue Oval range, with the introduction of radar-controlled cruise, lane-change and blind spot warning systems, and a collision mitigation system.
The new-generation Ford F-150 truck is due to go on sale in North America in late 2014.