Spied! 2015 Ford F-150 or F-100?

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Photos by KGP Photography

We’ve just heard from one of our favorite spy shooters, and they think they’ve seen some of the early prototypes of the next-gen Ford F-150 or something just a touch smaller. We know Ford is pretty smart about doctoring up its test trucks to throw spy photographers off the scent, but our spy might have something here. Here’s what they wrote to us:

We caught a small convoy of heavily camouflaged Ford prototypes running the streets of Dearborn, Mich., possibly revealing one of two things: 1) These are the first prototypes for the 2015 Ford F-150, or 2) perhaps this is our first look at the Ford F-100, a smaller new product.

Caught in both SuperCrew and SuperCab configurations, the prototype trucks hide most of their styling details while also making it difficult to draw size and packaging conclusions. However, as these photos suggest, this truck is smaller than an F-150, pointing to the real possibility of a new, small Ford pickup. Here’s what we’re left with:

Five-Lug Pattern?

One of the prototypes was wearing wheel caps that suggest a lighter-duty, five-lug pattern instead of the F-150's six-lug specification. One prototype’s caps show there are five small protrusions, suggesting five lug nuts in a pentagon pattern.

Diesel Exhaust Set-Up?

The SuperCab prototypes had a split two-tip exhaust, similar to Ford's Power Stroke Super-Duty trucks, suggesting that this may have a smaller diesel engine — possibly the 3.2-liter turbodiesel inline five-cylinder that will be available in the 2014 Ford Transit vans.

Evidence of a Narrower Track?

Viewing the prototype trucks from the rear, it appears the camouflage adds some width, giving a false sense of the trucks’ actual size. The tires appear to sit well within the arches, suggesting a narrower track and smaller overall footprint than an F-150.

The fact that Ford's future truck programs are now moving beyond the mule stage is undeniable. These prototypes were out braving very sketchy weather and road conditions all around Dearborn. The subtle cues that suggest that these trucks are slightly smaller and a bit less robust than a full-fledged F-150 are consistent with reports that an F-100 is in the works. It’ll be around a 9-to-10 scale F-150; it’s also likely to use many new lightweight materials and offer much greater fuel economy. An all-aluminum F-100, with a lighter-duty suspension, wheels and other components, would realize significant fuel-economy gains while satisfying the needs of most truck buyers. And don’t forget a truck like this would greatly help Ford meet the stricter corporate average fuel economy standards in both 2016 and 2025.

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Can't wait to see what Ford comes out with....but those wheels are from the '90s.

lemme guess, refresh and call it new. that is the ford trend..

The wheels are off a 1997-2003 F-150 just painted black. But they do sit far inside the body, looks like thier doing testing with a hacked up combination of current and last gen trucks. I would deffinatly be interested in a 9/10th F-150 the current model has gotten to big for my likes.

Looks like a 1998 F150 with 2013 headlights on it to me.

Probably an American version of the Ranger, Ford will call it an F-100 so they can count it with F-Series sales.

How about an F-125?

Makes me wonder what kind of mileage one could get if Ram took the new VM 3.0 Diesel and 8 speed ZF transmission from the upcoming 1500 and plugged them into an all new Dakota.

How bout that dual tail pipe. MINI DIESEL?!

Notice the inboard shock mounts.

The split tailpipe looks like it's just a tip to split the single pipe for tests. Probably because they have sensors shoved inside each which would restrict a single pipe too much.

It's also the past generation's rear axle that was 5 lugs:


See the inboard shocks? Here's the current axle with the outboard:


It's definitely the current body though.

Toyota got Ford's interior, and Ford got Toyota's 5x150 lug pattern. The benefits of working togeather on hybrid trucks.

@Roger... I agree with you on the wheels. I have a 2002 F-150 Lariat SuperCrew and those 17" five spoke (5 lug) are identical to mine.

@ Johnny Doe... Looks like a 1998 F150 with 2013 headlights on it to me too. That silhouette is definitely smaller and rounder like the 1997-2002 generation.

I'm excited about the possibility of a SMALLER Ford truck coming to North America!!! I'd gladly take the T6 "global" Ranger as is, but I'd consider an F-series again with the dimensions along the lines of the new Ranger. A six foot bed would be perfect and isn't available in the new Ranger with a crew cab. This is getting interesting for sure.

I would love to see a big unveil at the New York show. Ford unveiled the new Explorer at the NY show a few years ago, maybe something big is in store for us this year too???

I agree with jonnydoe: it looks like a combo of the last gen and todays truck! but did the last gen truck have 5 lugs? I can't remember? or it could be a smaller body, on a Ranger frame, all Ford would have to do is cut a channel the curent trucks body, use tha Ranger frame, and use the new engines, they have everything they need all ready paid for!

With all the weight saving materials, this might be Ford's new body for the Hybrid engine Ford and Toyota have been working on also.

Maybe in the agreement, Toyota puts the engine in the Tacoma, and Ford puts it in a larger truck, which makes the F-100 a perfect truck for the engine.

Something to ponder on.

Oh great another DIESEL TEASE . It'll never happen.

It's definitely an f-150

Why 5 lug nuts? So they can save an extra $4 on production.

Why the twin exhaust? Because it's the trans-am, mustang redneck model that makes a lot of noise. They saw how Dodge was so successful with their noisy noisemakers.

This is the 2nd time Ive seen this posted hear. Originally last summer. Seems like no change or new information.


Although this time there is a supercrew in the photo's.

Those are the current light assemblies. Looks like a new door design though, sans the mirror dip. That would be a major change for F-150's. They've been around so long I thought they were married to those big rig style doors.

Well if this is the new F-100, then the compact pickup is truly dead. I want a truck thats about the same size as my 1988 toyota 2wd. But companies just keep making them bigger. I hate having to drop the tail gate to put stuff in the bed b/c the bed rails are to high to pick it up over. BIGGER IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER!!

Take the global Ranger, change the body a bit and call it an F-100. Everyone wins! We get a smaller truck for those that want/need one. We get a small diesel and Ford gets increased F-series sales.

I will believe an "F-100" when I see it. Think about it: Ford has said that it will not bring the global Ranger here because it is 90% the size of the F-150 and the pricing would be nearly identical. So why would Ford bring out an "F-100" that's also 90% the size of the F-150? Further, for an "F-100" to make financial sense, it would have to be built on a current truck platform, and that would be either the F-150 platform or the global Ranger platform(which goes back to the 90% size of the F-150 point). Building an "F-100" on a unique platform would be cost-prohibitive for a large number of reasons.

This is an F-150 test mule.


The new truck is in development, so it would be easy to make a smaller size while designing and building the full-size. I can't fathom why they'd go back to 5-lug wheels on the F-150, but I guess we'll see. Though it may be unlikely, I'll be the first in line to purchase a F-100/new Ranger should it become available!

It looks like these are 97-03s dressed up like 2009-13s the T6 doesnt even have shocks mounted that far in my guess is a powertrain test mule. I know they used a modified 04-08 body on the raptor prototype even though the frame is diffrent.

Well perhaps based on the Atlas looking more like a Super Duty and maybe having increased capabilities to boot, the F-150 could be moving upscale into a heavier duty vehicle, making room for a lighter truck in the line-up?

I truly hope this shrunken down version is the next generation F-150 (as a true mid-size). If people don't like the F-150's new smaller dimensions they could always move up to an F-250. The F-150 is an evolution of an F-100 which began life as a mid-sized truck (by today's standards). There is a bunch of overlap in the F-series trucks anyhow.

I also hope the "global" T6 Ranger still comes to the US (as a true compact). Look at it's dimensions and you'll see that it's very close in size to the out-going 2011 Ranger. With a 1 inch longer wheelbase and 7.5 inch overall length increase (comparing to an '11 SuperCab to '12 Ranger) I'd still consider it a compact rather than a mid-size. Again, call it a Ranger or F-100, just bring it to NA please!!!

If Ford sized these two segments (compact and mid-size) correctly, they would definitely have the ENTIRE truck market covered with regards to passenger configuration, payload and towing. Currently in North America they have nothing to offer in either of these segments.

Ford please give us SOMETHING smaller. BIGGER is not always better!!!

i guess its ok for ford to have a 9/10th n not for toyota to have a 9/10th...lol

This is definitely a 97-03 chassis and cab with current front end on it. Just look at the rear cab light on the back of the cab, identical to the 97. Rear shock mounts the same too. Must be some kind of mule for power-trains but definitely NOT the next F150!


I think this truck is the perfect size. The Ranger was to cramped inside and the F-150 way to ponderous. this truck fits right in the middle and i would buy it in a heartbeat. Ford may build a smaller truck based on the Transit Connect for those of you that want to haul very small payloads. ( I think it will be unibody construction )
After taking a closer look, this truck could also be a next generation F-150 but then an interesting feature is the inboard rear shocks, which makes me think this is something else. My guess is that its built on the T6 frame. I thinks its an F-100. On the flip side, if F-150 is coming out in 2015 where are the protoypes for that truck?

@Brian in NC
I saw the global T6 Ranger in person this Christmas break while I was in Taiwan. Just by standing next to it as it was parked on the street it appears about the same size as my '07 double cab Tacoma if not even a bit bigger, but certainly not smaller. Definitely not a compact.

There's no point in a mid-size... that experiment is over. Done. Remember the Ranger Sport Trac (Explorer badge), 2000 - 2010? Yeah, where were you girls then???

I agree the time may be right for an F-100-125, but with little compromise to leg/hip/head room or similar to full-size cab configurations. 5ft bed? compact front end? 16" wheels? sure

And bring on the Atlas, as-is, as the next F-150. For the rest of us.

We've already determined that this is a 90's body style truck, with a modern looking grille. They're probably trying to test the aerodynamics of the old vehicle, which was in fact very aerodynamic, especially in a time when all of the other trucks were square.

Looks like a 1998 F150 with 2013 headlights on it to me.

Posted by: johnny doe | Feb 28, 2013 7:19:16 AM

I am glad I'm not the only one that thinks this.

Anyone else notice the inboard mounted shocks...this is definitely not an f150. The f150 has the shocks mounted outside the leaf springs.

I am betting that Ford is cutting back on the number of lugs on their half tons. Back in the year 2000 the F150 only had five lugs. Ford is just cutting cost on building their trucks and making them weaker then the weak trucks they offer now.

To all the people who worry about the 5 lug nuts, you only need 5 if the stud diameter is larger, like Tundra and Ram. You could hold a wheel on with 1/4 inch bolts if you used a lot of them. It's not that big of deal. I haven't heard of any brand's wheel falling off.

Nice to see a possible return of a "ranger" pickup. It does look much bigger than the old Ranger which I guess is a double sided sword but probably needed. I hope the mpg's are up and the capacities are not neutered in the process. The old truck was a really great little runabout for a lot of fleets. Hopefully this will be as accomodating without being too expensive

i love it ford all the way....

Still to big for me. I need one the size of the Comanchee/Colorado/Ranger not the Tacoma, it is just to big for what I NEED....

Those are actually wheels from model years 1999 - 2000. They were chrome originally, and you can find images of these exact wheels online.
Ford is probably laughing at stories like this when someone is actually getting paid for pictures of 20 year old trucks passed off as a new model.

That will be great, F-50 or F-100 sounds great for sure, adding this to the F-Series will just increase their numbers.

Great idea, just like the GM Trolls count both Silvy/Sierra but GM Corp does not. Gotta love it!

@ Greg.. you couldn't be more wrong. I haven't lost a wheel yet on my '02 F-150 (5110 lb) SuperCrew with the exact same (5 lug) wheel as shown above. When significant weight reductions happen, you'll start to see the positive effects in other components as well. It's not that those components are weaker as much as they would be over designed and are therefore redundant. If you drop 700+ lbs of a truck weight a 5 lug hub might work as well. Same theory can be applied for sizing engine and brake components too. By reducing the weight in these other components additional weight savings occur. That bigger is better mind set does not always apply. These efficiencies are key to better MPG's Haul and tow more with a less powerful engine and perhaps even get better fuel economy as well. You can bet every manufacturer is striving for this in every line of vehicles they produce.

@ Fred the man

Funny you mention not hearing about a wheel coming off. On Car and Drivers first real test of Porsche's first gen Cayenne they took it off-roading and ended up ripping one of the rear wheels off by shearing all the lug stems. The SUV was so well balanced that they drove it all the way back to base camp with no issues. Porsche revamped the lugs prior to full release but was damn proud that their SUV performed so well.

Fat chance of most SUV's getting you to safety if they lost a wheel.

I believe that this is an F-150, not an F-100, and that the F-150 is going to be getting smaller. Ford has stated that it intends to remove 700 lbs of weight from the truck, and no amount of aluminum can do that by itself. The question is how much utility will be lost by the downsizing? Could we dare see a smaller ecoboost six or even an ecoboost 4 cyl?


The Explorer sport trac never sold because people wanted a crew cab ranger, not an explorer with a bed. Much like Chevy buyers bought the Silverado crew cab and not the avalanche which was a Tahoe with a bed. Imagine if Chevy did away with the crew cab Silverado and made the Avalanche the only crew cab option? The people would be upset and buy something else like what the Ford buyers did.

What if the entire exercise is a ruse? Just to drum up media speculation on a slow news day? Or maybe they're testing the new drive-shaft u-joints, or some silly thing?

Reduced footprint (size, not carbon), lighter weight, enhanced capacities compared to current midsize trucks. This is the next-gen work truck. Big is bad, unfortunately. Fuel costs are making the current generation half ton trucks too costly to own for many. I only drive 300 miles per month now, but last year I drove 20k in my Silverado. Gas is brutal, and diesel is worse. Smaller and lighter will be the coming attraction except for those who absolutely must have HD capacities.

I agree with Mike's FX4 and DeverMike. It is neither a F-150 or a F-100. Midsize is dead. This is a mule. I don't want to laugh about it but some of these comments on it being the next F-150 are really funny. Mike Levine is having a good laugh right now. Hardy har har har.

I doubt Ford would bring out a new "slightly smaller than fullsize" truck. There's a market for a true midsize and compact (however small it may be), but many sources cite the dismal sales of the Dakota because it got too big and was 'almost' a full size. A 9/10ths F150 would be the same result, as long as the F150 stayed in the lineup. Most buyers would opt for the bigger truck. The same would probably hold true for the T6 Ranger. They look bigger than midsize.

Probably an American version of the Ranger, Ford will call it an F-100 so they can count it with F-Series sales.

@Don, I do agree it will be an American version of the Ranger. Designations may vary between F-100 and F-150. They were F-100's for many years. Just like Chevrolet's C-10 (100). Maybe the 150 designation will add an extra leaf in the rear as an option. I look forward to this truck! If it looks anything like the Atlas, my Super Duty is heading down the road. I think the Atlas is the sharpest truck since the 1972 Chevrolet ended. Nobody ever did touch that design. The Atlas might be the one to do it.

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