A New F-150 Could Be Just the Beginning for Ford

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Yes, it sounds like the hugely important and highly profitable all-new Ford F-150 will debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and it will create ripples that will be felt, no doubt, across the industry for years to come. To say this truck is important to Ford is almost laughable. And, you can bet, since other truck makers have significantly revised or completely redesigned their own pickups to better compete with half-ton Fords in the last several years, they will be watching very closely.

Add to the mix of this very important debut the fact that Ford is also bringing out a new Mustang for the 2015 model year, and you can see why there is so much interest both inside and outside the auto industry.

A next-generation F-150 that attacks the more challenging, staggered EPA fuel economy standards that come online in 2016, and then get bumped up again for 2025, will likely cost more to produce and certainly have a host of segment-leading technology and problem-solving features. We saw the Atlas concept earlier this year and, as much as Ford representatives want to deny it, from the interior and exterior spy shots we've seen so far, it looks like this new Ford will be more advanced than anything we've seen in the segment. No doubt this truck has taken a lot of money to develop, and could cost a big chunk of change more to produce. Those costs could be driven by the possible use of more expensive (but lightweight) materials.

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It wouldn't surprise us one bit if Ford is hedging a few bets and spreading out this hefty development cost onto another, potentially smaller, pickup platform. Perhaps it would be adapted to North American tastes and requirements, remaking the global Ford Ranger that's so popular in Asia and Australia. It wouldn't take much for a clever and efficient small pickup to gobble up market share. Clearly, that's what GM is hoping much sooner in the timeline with the Colorado and Canyon. We thought it might be interesting to see what a new Ranger might look like (Can you see any Mustang in there?) and offer it for your enjoyment. 

We've also included some sketches that Ford provided to us of some of the designs it was entertaining in the early stages of Atlas design, and this image of the tailgate storage box caught our eye. We were one of the few people who liked the Ford Explorer Sport Trac for its composite bed-hidden storage cubbies, but always thought the small bed storage drawer at the back of the bed was annoyingly inconvenient. This design makes more sense and is infinitely more practical than the Ram 1500 Sun Chaser's tailgate bench seat.

We'll see exactly what Ford has to offer us early on Jan. 13 during its press conference reveal, and we'll be right here delivering all we know and find out. More to come.

Ford Bullet

Ford bullet train II

Ford Atlas tailgate

Atlas Toolbox II

Ford Locomotive

Ford locomotive II



I'm liking the Ford Locomotive!! Wow...let's go FORD!!

My preference is Locomotive.

I don't care for any of the artists renderings. Ford will most likely stay true to form and make the next F150 with new technology/metals but keep it looking similar to the current F150.
The old adage "The more things change, the more they stay the same" will be the next F150.

Can ford make a vehicle that doesn't spontaneously combust?

Enough with the donked-out inner city ghetto trucks! Why does every "concept" vehicle ever imagined need blinged out 24-inch rims and ultra low-pro tires? It's ridiculous...especially on something required to do work or go offroad (i.e. a truck).

I like the breakdown kit built in to the tailgate.
With F.O.R.D.S. you really need that.

Give me that Locomotive with a 6.7!

Isn't pic #2 just a copy of the Ridgeline? Way to "innovate" ;)

Either way, I'll be watching what the F150 actually looks like in Jan. But I won't be holding my breath for a smaller truck.... seems unlikely at this point.

@CDN Mark - if anything, it will be dimensionally larger to take advantage of CAFE "footprint" laws.

I can't see Ford adding a "trunk" like the Ridgeline since the compartment in picture #2 would have the frame running through it. That is also the space where the spare tire sits. Trucks look "cleaner" with the under body spare but it is a sh!tty spot if you drive in any climate other than arid.

@JOE - If you want to appear to have a valid and/or intelligent opinion here are some things to consider:

1. Do not use caps lock.
2. Spell correctly.
3. Use proper grammar and punctuation.
4. Say something relevant.
5. Make your post look like you are old enough to actually drive a motor-vehicle.

Hey that Ford Locomotive looks sweet! I am for that going into production!

The Bullet looks like the Toyota A-BAT...

The green F-150 is a cross between the Tundra and Tacoma, WTF?

Honda Ridgeline concepts also?

While the tailgate looks wise to store emergency gear, just another means for theft!

Got my Diesel Power Magazine in the mail today(Yes I like diesels, in I have several older diesel trucks in addition to my Hemi Ram). Anyways anyone who follows the HD pickup trucks should see the front cover of the new "February" issue. It says and I quote "Do GM's Trucks Even Matter Now?" For those of you who may not be in the loop with HD trucks they are referring to the forthcoming F450 and recently released Ram 3500 in comparison with the current/future GM HD trucks. Most of you should know that their expected max towing capacity will be way less than either the Ram 3500 or F450, both of the latter being on the same playing field.

The reason that I mention this is because with the pending release of the new F150, if the styling is a positive improvement, the Super duty trucks could follow suit with an updated styling of their own. All in all I am amazed at what's happening in the HD segment and it's the one place in the truck market where the competition is about to step up to a whole new level.

@HemiMonster - you raise a valid point. I like the 2014 Sierra/Silverado 1/2 tons but GMC didn't even match the current crop of trucks in outright performance let alone features or innovation.
Sure they claim 12K towing but we've all seen the magic spring dust race get blow away in a real shootout.

@Mark Wiliams,
" Ford Ranger that's so popular in Asia and Australia."
That is bit of an exaggeration to say the least. I would say
Hilux, Navara, Triton and Dmax are the category leaders in Australia and New Zealand.


Some others:

If this site is dying, it is due to the web site being so pro ford that is has become way too bias. They post up some of the ugliest renderings in the history of trucks, and talk how great ford is!
Yea, Ram, and GM updated to try to keep up with ford. GET REAL! That is a blatant lie!

All three trucks have their good and bad! Not one of them is any better then the others!
The super duty came out in January 1998 as a 1999 model, other then a ridiculously huge grill, and 4? 5? diesel engines, what has really changed? The doors will interchange, and you'd never know the difference from the outside. That's 16 years of not much change, and the ford fan boys act like the truck came from GOD himself!

the crap in the tailgate could go under the rear seat, but I do like the storage spacein the rear floor. also get rid of the 2 spark plugs so not needed.

Wheel openings on the Locomotive look a little squareish.
Some things already have assists built in to help lift the tailgate, now you want to compartmentalize it and load it with tools?
Where are you going with this, Ford?

How secure will the tailgate be and how much will it weigh? Tailgates are thugged already and adding equipment inside the tailgate may make it a higher theft problem. Regardless, Ford needs to improve the truck to last, they are light years behind GM in longevity. I hope they don't re engineer it like the Ram, I've seen several 2013 Rams getting ate up by rust already.

@ HEMI V8 ... Chrysler trucks certainly have their own fire and STEERING issues!!

I keep seeing people post about this site being biased, but they must not read much about vehicles. The things they say about Ford on this website are typical of any automotive journalism. YES there is more positive news about Ford, but there is a reason for it. Ford generally has the best reviews for their trucks on this site and most other auto websites. Ford right now is generally regarded in the automotive industry as the truck leader. Ford has undoubtedly been the most successful the last few years. It's not a pickuptrucks.com thing. It's not a Mark Williams thing, or a Mike Levine thing. It's a regular thing throughout the industry. GET OVER IT.

I think I will be keeping my 2008 F-150 SuperCrew for another 20 years so I don't care what they do! LOL

Wow they have a emergency kit in the tale gate and a slow vehicle sign perfect for a ford pickup:))

I don't know where those sketches came from but the next f150 isnt going to look anything like any of that.

Aerodynamics is absolutely needed for future trucks. You really need to get over that boxy square-faced look and accept that if you want to improve economy you need to improve airflow around the nose and body. You may not LIKE the Fusion grill, but the overall shape could improve gas mileage by 20% or better.

@Vulpine - the open box is the biggest "drag" on aerodynamics. It is similar to aerodynamics on a motorcycle. You do a reasonable job keeping aesthetics in mind but you can't contol what goes in it on it.

@Vulpine - I forgot to add, the bestvway to improve aerodynamics is to enclose the box or on a bike enclose the rider....... but if you do that, it is no longer a pickup or a bike ( at least one that most would buy).

@Robert: For all that a pickup truck is meant to carry things, there's a lot of wasted space in them that could be put to better use. Prior to the torsion springs to help lift the tailgate, they needed to be hollow to make them easier to lift while still offering an inner surface that could absorb the typical sliding-load dings so they don't bang out the bodywork. (How many of you remember the '50s trucks that just had a single sheet of steel for bed sides and tailgate? How many of those always looked banged up from use?)

That said, composite panels would add rigidity and strength while flexing to impacts and returning. You could go back to single-wall construction for lighter weight. However, since there is all of that otherwise-wasted space, why NOT put it to use? For all that some of you hate the bed rail toolboxes on RAM, they are a very good idea--as long as you don't use some sort of tonneau cover or bed cap. Accessible storage either on the inside or outside of the bed walls and tailgate could offer security for smaller items you're now forced to carry inside the cab.

Personally, I have to carry tools and tie-down gear behind the seat of a standard-cab and quite honestly I don't like it. Bottles tumble, bars get tangled with cordage, etc. It's simply a hassle. And installing an across-the-bed toolbox is essentially overkill that now prevents me from installing a tonneau of any type if I went that way. Different lockable nooks and crannies in otherwise unused areas would simply make using the truck more efficient while keeping it looking neat.

You raise a good point. A lot of people are quick to criticize the Rambox, because they say it makes the bed narrower. For people who need secure storage, besides stowing items in the cab, the only other viable options to the Rambox is a shell or tonneau cover. In my mind either of those options limits the usefulness of the bed much more than the Rambox does.

@Vulpine--I actually don't mind the Fusion grill, but I can see where people could get tired of it if it is used on all Ford products. As for composite beds, that is a positive. That is one of the things I like about Tacoma. As for aerodynamics I cannot see how trucks can increase fuel economy without using more aerodynamics. People will have to get use to more streamlined trucks.

Tonneau cover can roll up out of the way for taller objects. It can also be removed if needed. A rambox is permanent and cuts a foot of storage out of the bed - NFG.

I'd rather have a system of modular box components. That way a person can modify or change the box as they see fit. I like light canopies(caps) because they can easily be removed and allow more storage space than a tonneau cover. Same can be said for over the cab cargo/boat racks, tool boxes, sled decks etc. It all adds versatility to the pickup box without being permanently stuck with one configuration.

I think that the Ram box is an okay idea if you do not want or need any over the box rail accessories.

I like the idea of sled decks with retractable sides since it can be left on without the excess width. I can winch my boat onto it, load 2 quads side by side and have lockable storage underneath.

I am all for a "in bed trunk" for the spare! I went 6 yrs before I got a flat and needed to lower the spare down from under the bed. Needless to say it was near impossible to get it out to use.
It would be so much easier. Corrosion would never be a problem then.

Southern IL Man, good idea to lower the spare at least once a year in the salt belt to at least check the pressure and also I always lube the chain assembly.

I keep saying someone should build a modular truck meaning the truck bed can fold or slide into a different size, or the bed can transform into extra seating or weather-proof storage. Also I would love to see a pickup with a full folding open front end similar how a semi truck hood opens. Something that that would excite me. Ford should be very careful cause they already have success on what they have now and by changing it, doing too much might knock them off the top.

Does anybody think that Ford is reading all of these comments (I think all are great comments) ? My thoughts is all the truck makers build a truck to impress all the other truck makers instead of impressing the consumer, truck makes compete against each other, copy from each other, they don't give us what the public wants they just want to out-do the competition. The pickup truck is quickly transforming into a car with a truck bed where in my opinion is the wrong way to go.

Module box components, what a great idea! I agree Tom, I hope that Ford is reading these comments and that their competitors are as well The roll back tonneau cover is another great idea.

@ Henry
Your right about that. It's a out of sight out of mind type deal that got me in trouble their.

@Lou_BC: While I agree that an open box is somewhat of a drag on aerodynamics, dropping the tailgate is worse. It has already been empirically proven that on a full tank of gas, two identical trucks saw 35 miles difference in distance travelled--equivalent of two full gallons of gas--about 4 years ago. Hydrodynamic modeling gave visual evidence that at speed, air circulating in the bed generated a vortex that became a 'virtual fastback', smoothing the airflow. As such, the MAIN drag on a pickup truck is its boxy, very square nose area and steeply inclined windshield. This is one reason why modern trucks are gradually taking on more sloping forms.

@others: A hard-shell tonneau cover cannot be 'rolled up' to allow an opening for an outsized load. Sure, some of them can be folded either side-to-side or in thirds fore-and-aft, but the majority are one-piece covers that give you less carrying space than the typical station wagon or SUV of 20 to 30 years' vintage.
Add to this that the crew cab models typically have about 5.5 feet of space in that bed front-wall to tailgate and you really don't have any more storage capacity than most CUVs running with their back seats folded down. Even my old Saturn Vue, as small as it was, let me carry an eight-foot ladder inside with the tailgate closed. An extended cab with a 6.5 foot bed is a better choice. Of course, I was once quite happy with a truck whose total length was little over 12' long WITH a 6' bed.

Oh, those shell-type covers? Hey, they're great for letting you carry a load in the dry and certainly help keep that bed from rusting out--but now you're little more than an old full-sized Explorer or Suburban.

My choice? A roll-back type of cover something like a roll-up garage door. Sure, it's not the prettiest, but it provides a decent cover for when the bed's not being used (or you want to protect a load) while getting mostly out of the way when you need to carry something unusually large.

My Isuzu has the soft tonneau cover that rolls back but it seals on the side and back like Tuperware which is ok when it is warm but when it is cold it is difficult. It says Colorado on the cover and my mudflaps have the Chevy logo on them, which confuses people and leads to some interesting conversations.

The open box isn't really that much of a drag especially if you keep the tailgate up. Put a tonneau on your truck and you might get like 5% in fuel economy with is like 1/2 mile per gallon on most trucks and thats on the highway.

To all the frightened souls on here who drive Ford competitors.
My condolences.

[Click here for a tissue]

The new F-150 looks sick. I can't wait to get mine next summer.

I think I'll go with either the caribou or the green. Crew cab XLT or FX4.

Pictures of the new F-150 up at http://lordmoney.weebly.com/stocks-to-watch.html#/

Some folks need to learn about aerodynamics. The open box has only had a small impact on drag for many years. The front-end/cab design has made it where the bed fills with air while driving (after a couple of seconds) and then has VERY little impact on drag after that. It's why I laugh at people who drive with the tailgate down, it DROPS fuel efficiency! As to the "Fusion like" front end, you can keep the "boxy" look for trucks and improve fuel economy so please do not make it look car like! The use of the dead space for lockable storage is a great idea! Just what owners have been wanting. Look at all of the trucks with "truck boxes" which mess up the aerodynamics. The composite bed is awesome on a rust/weight stand point but I question it's durability in extremely cold climates. For the wheels, if you go over an 18" wheel (rim) it's not an off-road vehicle anymore. I would like to see some development of independent rear axles which can still carry high payloads while improving on/off-road drivability. The last thing I'd like to see is the cooled/vented seats option brought down to all of the trim levels. There is nothing better to help cool you off after working hard than having some cool air at you back vs sticking to the seat.

The new 2015 F150 certainly doesn't disappoint. While I'm a bit concerned about the new aluminum bed, I trust that Ford has put the same amount of time, effort, and energy into this truck that they've put into all the old models.

I'm also really excited to see what these trucks can do when they're 500lbs+ lighter...that's a lot of weight. Better fuel economy, faster performance, etc. It's going to be a rocket ship!

For those if you who've never owned a new Ford truck, and think Chevy will outlast a Ford: my current ride is the 2001 Super Duty 250 I bought new. It has almost 275,000 miles. Put in a clutch at 200,000, right tie rod end at 150,000. Brakes, oil changes, routine. I never touched the rear brakes until 175,000 miles. Still goes between oil changes without adding a drop of oil. Runs like a haint, with the flowmaster exhaust and aftermarket intake that I've run since it was 3 months old. Two wheel drive 5 speed I get close to 20 mpg if I just keep my foot out of it. VIN begins with a '3' which means it was made in Mexico City.
Before that I bought a '93 Ranger, 4 cyl 5 speed. Ran it out of oil once, coolant once, and last I heard it had 350,000 on it, but it did have some engine noise by then. Never owned a Chevy, would never buy a Dodge. Don't see any reason to change.

Need to make the locomotive

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