If you've ever seen lava flow, you know it usually starts out pretty fast but then slows to a painfully creep the farther down the hill it gets. And no matter how many times you see lava flow, you can't take your eyes off its methodical, painfully slow march, usually toward the ocean. That's the image that keeps coming back to me as Ford masterfully releases its 2013 F-150 lineup ... one trim package at a time.
So far, we've seen the XLT, Lariat, FX4, and now we're getting into Ford's more highly profitable lineup with the 2013 Limited (all-new) and SVT Raptor. Both trucks are obviously interesting and likely to be hugely successful for Ford in the coming year, but this has to be, without a doubt, the most methodical and overly planned release of a model lineup in the history of new-truck introductions.
Hey Ford, we get it: Your trucks are so special that each trim package is deserving of another press conference, press release and special event.
Of course, we know you guys are pretty smart. The longer you draw out the information, the more likely we are to do another story on your Ford trucks, and that means one less story for the competition. Well done. You got us. But here's some free advice: Sometimes, it's OK to let your products speak for themselves and not tie them to a press event or hyped release.
The truth is, sometimes, when you make so much effort, jumping up and down (and don't get us wrong, sometimes we think that's exactly what could be appropriate), making a big noise about all the shiny bits and pieces and unique features you have over here, it makes us think what is it over there you don't want us to look at.
Clearly, every trim package is unique and has some very special features certain customers are going to enjoy. But are we to expect the King Ranch at the State Fair of Texas, the Platinum on Rodeo Drive, and the next Harley F-150 (if there is one) at Sturgis? At some point, we're going to call uncle, but until we reach that point, we'll continue covering important trucks.
With that said, here are the highlights from the two newest F-150s for 2013.
2013 Ford F-150 Limited
Unless you've been living under a rock, you knew this was coming. With all the attention and solid sales numbers behind the premium trim packages in both the half-ton and heavy-duty segments, Ford now has a new level of luxury: the sepreme. The Limited package will be above the King Ranch, Platinum and Harley-Davidson F-150 trims, and you can expect the price to reflect that when it's announced closer to the actual on-sale date later this year.
“The F-150 Limited signifies the highest levels of design refinement, luxury and technology that we’ve ever offered in a Built Ford Tough pickup truck,” said Raj Nair, Ford's group vice president for product development. “The F-150 Limited reflects a growing trend – more and more customers today have high expectations for luxury and convenience, yet their needs call for a truly capable truck.”
Limited models will be available in three monochromatic colors (Ruby Red, Tuxedo Black Metallicand Platinum White Metallic), have high-intensity-discharge headlights, include all the towing options you could want (including the new electric PowerFold mirrors), a moonroof, the new MyFord Touch and Sync, as well as a unique gauge cluster. Other high-end luxury touches include heated and cooled front seats (rear seats are just heated), special black or red leather, aluminum trim accents and panels, and ambient mood lighting. The rear window features a power slider.
All Limited models will be powered by the EcoBoost V-6, offered only in SuperCrew, and sport a set of specially tuned shocks. The model can be ordered in 4x4 or 4x2 configurations.
2013 Ford SVT Raptor
If there's a bigger success story than Ford's SVT Raptor in the factory-truck world, we haven't heard about it. Ford Raptor sales are up 20 percent over 2011, but under Ford's mantra of continuous improvement, the 2013 is packed with several interesting and cool features.
“Ford F-150 SVT Raptor’s popularity continues to grow based on its proven reputation,” said Ford SVT Chief Engineer Jamal Hameedi. “It’s the ultimate high-performance off-road pickup, so it’s critical that we continue to push the boundaries of off-road capability. New available beadlock wheels help to improve Raptor’s performance in soft sand and other challenging conditions, enabling our customers to go further.”
The new Raptors will get the same improved interior center console that includes a new 4.2-inch center information screen on base models, as as the available new center stack layout, with the new 8-inch LCD screen when equipped with the MyFord Touch multimedia and navigation system, when equipped with the upgraded option. 2013 Raptors will also get the new HID headlight option that will allow for much whiter and brighter headlights when exploroing remote terrain.
Additionally, and for the first time on any factory-available vehicle, 2013 Raptors will offer a forged wheel that can be upgraded (converted really) to true beadlock rims. Converting to beadlocks simply requires customers to buy the kit from Ford Racing and remount the tires. This system allows users to run at very low tire pressures (something many extreme trail enthusiasts like to do) without the worry of a tire coming off the rim. Once back on pavement, airing the tires is all that needs to be done for safe pavement driving.
All 2013 Raptors will continue to offer unique performance seating, a contrasting blue-black interior and padded, leather-trimmed steering wheel. Finally, Raptor gets a new desert-terrain-inspired color called Terrain. (Yes, it's tan.)
All Raptors will continue to use the 6.2-liter V-8 and offer the Torsen front differential, six-speed Select-Shift transmission, and front and rear cameras. Expect pricing to be announced later this fall.