2015 Ford F-150: First Drive

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We have no doubt that every auto writer who gets a chance to slide behind the wheel of the 2015 Ford F-150 will begin by talking about what a revolution — can we say revelation? — it is for the most popular vehicle the U.S. to switch from using steel to military-grade aluminum. Yes, it is; however, if that little fact never happened, this still would be a revolutionary pickup. What makes this truck different from its competitors — and that's what's really important here — is how much technology and how many segment-first features it offers and how vastly superior this truck is compared to the one it's replacing. Sure, removing the weight from the previous heifer certainly helps, but that's only one piece to this very complex puzzle. To see our video review, click here

As near as we can tell, there isn't a single aspect to this truck that hasn't been reengineered, reimagined or redesigned. But, as odd as it might sound, is it too much? That was the question that kept coming back to us as we learned more about what this new player offers.

It's difficult to find a similar parallel in the pickup truck world but it might be when the previous-generation Ram 1500 half-ton switched to coil springs and incorporated the eight-speed rotary dial. Or maybe it was when Ford brought the smoother, more aerodynamic 1996 F-150 to market with a rounded, cushy, ballooned interior. But even those two industry milestones don't come near the type of changes and improvements the 2015 Ford F-150 is attempting.

Of course, the biggest question about this new truck is how the use of aluminum affects the design, road feel, driving dynamics and overall capabilities. No other mass-produced vehicle has used so much aluminum in such a dramatic way, building all the body panels, the cab structure and the all-important pickup bed out of the unique and relatively expensive alloy.

Key Features

Across the board there is significant weight savings on every version of the new F-150, with Ford reporting base curb weights ranging from a touch more than 4,000 pounds (4x2 regular-cab short bed) all the way up to 5,200 pounds (4x4 SuperCrew long bed). All that weight savings can go right back into the payload capacities of the truck as the chassis and suspension of the truck is still made from ultra-high-strength and high-strength steel. That means the gross vehicle weight ratings pretty much remain unchanged, ranging from 6,000 pounds up to a maximum of 7,850. Doing the math, that means payload ranges go from 1,500 pounds up to a maximum payload capacity of 3,300 (4x2 regular-cab long bed with the 5.0-liter V-8).

What impact does the new alloy have on the pickup truck? We say absolutely none, other than allowing Ford to make it feel a little more nimble, more responsive and more fuel efficient — all good things in our book. Our first drive in the F-150took us on the back roads and two-lane highways in the Hill Country just north of San Antonio. We also got the chance to do a fun loop of farm-country four-wheeling through dry washes, over rutted hill climbs and across a creek bed, as well as towing 9,000-pound enclosed trailers (with weight-distributing hitches). In all those scenarios, this new F-150 was significantly more composed and responsive; additionally, the interior upgrades clearly attempt to set the quality bar at a new level.

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The available engines at the drive event included the all-new 2.7-liter V-6 EcoBoost, the carryover 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost and the carryover Coyote 5.0-liter V-8. The only missing engine was the standard all-new all-aluminum 24-valve 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V-6. EPA fuel economy ratings will come later next month, but you can expect that downsizing the engines, light-weighting the trucks, and lowering some of the standard and available ring-and-pinion choices will likely give the new combinations some impressive numbers (Ford is saying that all the engines will get between 5 and 20 percent better ratings this time around).

The overall look of the truck is more angular and almost aggressive in some ways (the hood and larger front grille) while at the same time softer and more rounded (the roofline and wheel arches). Certain key elements, like the larger door handles and bigger door window cutouts, have practical roots, allowing the driver easier access into the truck and better visibility. Additionally, we were told the front windshield "tongue" is part of a new design language Ford is likely to continue on other models like the next-generation Super Duty and possibly the full-size SUVs.

Foundational Support

The frame itself acts as a solid platform in which everything else is attached; there isn't an aspect of the new frame that hasn't been run through thousands of computer modeling programs to calculate exactly what shapes and thicknesses are needed at exactly the right spots to save the most weight while providing the appropriate strength.

The front of the frame, called the horn, has 12 different corners for a more predictable crush cycle when smashed with forces comparable to a car accident. Ridges in the boxed frame will also absorb energy during a head-on collision in a way that limits the force from being transferred to the cab passengers.

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The frame itself has multiple thicknesses throughout its full length, depending on what wheelbase and engine option the vehicle is designed to accommodate. The frame is broken into three different sections, with the front and rear piece usually the same strength, length and size, while the middle section (typically the thickest of the fully boxed pieces) determines the exact wheelbase and overall length.

Interestingly, to help strengthen the truck's trailering capacities the back end of the frame rails taper downward to better accommodate the proper height of the tow hitch. By adding a reinforced cross-member at the end of the frame, Ford was able to meet all the class-leading tow-rating capabilities with a simpler, stronger and more elegant solution. We do not have the full range of gross combined weight ratings, so we can't comment on how they compare to the competition, but we hope to find out more soon.

The suspension strategies are essentially the same, but every component to the independent short- and long-arm front suspension and live rear axle has been scrutinized and recalculated to specific specs while making further considerations for weight. The rear springs are a touch shorter than the 2014 model, and the rear shocks have been pushed outward and staggered (one forward facing, one rearward) to better deal with the rear-end and axle-hop forces. The rear axles have been shaved and redesigned for extra strength and weight savings as well. Ford will offer four axle ratios that range from 3.15:1 (only for the 3.5-liter EcoBoost) all the way up to 3.73:1 (Max Trailer Tow Package 5.0-liter V-8 and the 2.7-liter EcoBoost). Each engine will have at least two axle ratio choices.

Exterior

As noted earlier, the complexity to the F-150 is substantial, with thousands of individual options and many unique ordering configuration possibilities. Trim levels come in five basic flavors: XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum. On top of all those levels, the FX4 Off-Road Package can be ordered to give the F-150 unique shocks, extra skid plating, upgraded transmission software, one of two transfer cases (both with a 2.64:1 low range) and the accompanying bed stickers. Add to that the possibility of further separating your truck with either a sport or chrome package and it's likely you won't see another F-150 like yours no matter where you live. Additionally, monochromatic appearance packages in which bumpers, grille, door handles and rearview mirrors are color matched are available on XL, XLT and Lariat trims.

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Interior

If you think the exterior options are difficult to grasp, you won't believe the number of interior choices you have. Between technology packages, luxury packages, seating configurations, center console choices and too many options to list, the looks and details available inside the truck are almost mind-boggling. There is even a seat massaging option on the upper trim packages. Really? Customers were asking for that?

Although the air-conditioning vents are large and blow plenty of air, they do take up a good portion of dash real estate. The 8-inch center-stack screen uses the improved MyFord Touch system — every control on the screen has a redundant knob or switch below, allowing for instant control. We counted 52 buttons within easy reach of the driver, with 12 on the steering wheel alone. This might be overkill and could be distracting for some. One consequence of this fight for dash territory is that important controls like the headlight switch and trailer-brake controller (when equipped) are relegated to spaces well below the driver's line of sight and are even a little difficult to reach.

The 8-inch color information screen available on higher trim packages sits right between the tachometer and speedometer. It provides just about every piece of engine or truck information you could want, from basic facts like tire pressure to advice when hooking up a trailer to real-time and long-haul fuel economy. The screen is divided into six different folders; some are programmable while others deliver stacks of information. It's not quite as well done as the Ram's display or graphics but it's better than before.

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In terms of the seating choices, we really liked that when you order the 40/20/40-split front bench seat, you automatically get the hidden storage box under the center seat as well as a flexible center console. We also like that most trim packages and engine combinations allow you to choose between the column or center console sport shifter. Both options offer access to Ford's exclusive select shift as well as a dual-tap controller that allows for both an aggressive Tow/Haul setting and a dedicated Sport mode. Sport mode keeps the engine rpm higher in the rev band, provides for quicker downshifts and holds a gear longer when accelerating, as well as tightening up throttle response. They may be subtle changes but they do affect the personality of the truck when behind the wheel.

How It Drives

We had the chance to drive several iterations of the new F-150 in several different trim levels. As we've already noted, the truck will have four engine choices: three V-6s (two brand new) and the carryover 5.0-liter V-8. The standard engine for the XL, XLT and Lariat will be the naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V-6 with 283 horsepower and 255 pounds-feet of torque — not huge numbers compared to other V-6s but it offers a much better power-to-weight ratio than the 3.7-liter V-6 it's replacing. All engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that carries over from the 2014 model, but the computer is clearly smarter and more capable of dealing with a wider range of variables and performance scenarios.

The engine we were most interested in testing was the all-new twin-turbo EcoBoost 2.7-liter V-6, which is rated at 325 hp and 375 pounds-feet of torque. Those are solid ratings, and we have to say that when behind the wheel of a SuperCrew 4x4 equipped with that engine, the truck felt just as powerful as any other full-size pickup with a small V-8.

During our 120-mile cruise through San Antonio's Hill Country, we averaged between 18 and 19 mpg, and we were pushing the truck a bit to get a sense of how the truck felt at the outer limits. We're guessing one of the consequences of the lighter building materials and lighter, smaller engines is that the front end doesn't plow nearly as much as it used to, but we still heard a good amount of tire squeal. During our 2013 Light-Duty Challenge autocross, a competition that the F-150 won, one of our main complaints about the truck during spirited driving was how poorly the front end tracked, brutally sliding around every corner where we tried to accelerate.

Off-Road

On the off-road course, where we were able to drive 2.7-liter EcoBoost-equipped trucks and 5.0-liter V-8-equipped FX4 packages, the available gearing (both can be ordered with 3.73:1 axle gears) and ability of the transmission to soften the throttle response in low range really helped us keep our speed and tire placement under control. You'd expect a custom-made 4x4 course to make the vehicles being driven look good and this one was no exception. However, it did give us a chance to see how quickly or comfortably this full-size pickup could shift in and out of four-wheel drive while twisting or navigating nasty hairpin corners, wheel-dropping holes or off-camber logs laid over a hill climb. Although we did have some trouble getting the transfer case to lock into 4WD Low during an exceptionally tight rutted and loose upslope, the new FX4 Hankook all-terrain tires (275/55R20) provided phenomenal grip and traction, even when exiting the stream crossing up a steep berm.

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Towing

After our off-roading adventure, we got the chance to take a well-equipped Lariat 4x4 SuperCrew out with a 9,000-pound enclosed trailer over some typical Hill Country highways that offered us a good descent into a river wash and relatively long hill climb out the other side, all on smooth two-lane tarmac. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost likes to make noise when it's working hard, and it drinks a good amount of fuel. We like that it still has plenty of power (our truck was equipped with the 3.55:1 gears — the highest available for the bigger EcoBoost), but we were most impressed to learn that Ford has built an enhanced engine noise program into all F-150s with either of the two EcoBoost engines. It delivers a throatier V-8-like sound to the passengers inside the truck. Some might call this a slight deception, but we liked hearing the low-end rumble when we put our foot onto the throttle of the EcoBoost, which is most appreciated in the smaller, higher-revving, buzzier of the two EcoBoost V-6s. You'll be glad to know the V-8 still sounds like a muscular motor.

And although only a small number of people will order it, the new F-150 offers a great, new optional towing mirror that both extends and folds just like Super Duty mirrors. They are split so you get the lower wide-angle lens as well as the good-sized upper mirror for plenty of rear vision.

The Trailer Tow Package, when equipped with the rearview camera and Technology Package, will include a trailer-hitch-assist screen that helps make hitching up a trailer a one-person operation by showing real-time, responsive guidelines to put your hitch directly under the receiver. Included in that same package, we found the 360-degree camera (which will stay on as long as you keep your speed below 15 mph) to be a huge help when looking around the truck when towing and when four wheeling.

Other Notable Features

Most F-150 configurations will have a standard 26-gallon gas tank with an optional 34-gallon tank offered across the board. The F-150 with the highest towing capacity, when paired with the Max Trailer Tow Package, is the 4x2 SuperCrew EcoBoost 3.5-liter V-6. Wheelbases effectively stay the same (ranging from 122 to 163 inches) with each cab configuration getting both a long- and short-bed option.

The last feature we're truly impressed with is the new bed setup. Not only did truck designers and engineers make the fully aluminum floor thicker to be stronger and more resistant to dents and dings, they created an all-new BoxLink system that allows buyers to personalize and reconfigure the bed in just about any way they can imagine: The system offers ladder racks, cargo tie-downs, toolboxes, motorcycle ramps, jug carriers and more. The clips sit inside the bed so they can locked away with the bed cover or come with their own key locks so nobody reaches over the rail and steals. All F-150 beds will also offer LED lighting with an on/off button right inside the bed. Unfortunately, the maximum number of tie-downs a Ford bed can have is eight and there are none on the cab wall. Among the available bed protection options, Ford will allow customers choose between a spray-in or drop-in liner.  

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Finally, Ford is offering the segment's first remote tailgate release button right on the key fob to help make loading the bed easier. Combined with the soft-drop tailgate and fob locking setup, we were sold on it the first time we saw it in action. Also incorporated into the new tailgate is the newly redesigned tailgate step that is lighter and simpler to use and store.

Summing It Up

This is only the beginning of our reporting about the technologies and features available on the 2015 Ford F-150. We have a feeling we'll be doing quite a few more stories on this truck as more of these packages make it into the marketplace. Will it be a winner? That all depends on how hung up buyers will be about this truck being made of aluminum. Our guess is that it will become one of the biggest nonissues in the truck world, at least until we see how the repair industry copes with it. Still, there is plenty of meat on this truck and a definite resetting of the bar — at least from a changes-on-paper point of view. So is this overreach or another example of trying to do too much? It certainly doesn't look like it from where we sit, and if that's behind the wheel of a 2015 F-150, you can bet there's a smile on our face. Next stop: setting up head-to-head competition.

To download the most comprehensive 2015 Ford F-150 press release, click here.

To download the most up-to-date specification sheet, click here.

Cars.com photos by Mark Williams; manufacturer images

 

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The 3.5L naturally aspirated DOHC all-aluminum V-6  --  283 hp/255 lb-ft.

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The 2.7L EcoBoost twin-turbo DOHC CG block/aluminum heads V-6 -- 325 hp/375 lb-ft.

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The 5.0L naturally aspirated DOHC all-aluminum V-8  --  385 hp/387 lb-ft.  

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The 3.5L EcoBoost twin-turbo DOHC all-aluminum V-6  --  365 hp/420 lb-ft.

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Comments

This truck is pretty dang impressive! I am amazed at how much power they are getting out of the 2.7! I have a 2001 F-150 with the 5.4 v8 and it only makes 260hp. The list of options is endless on this thing as well. Can't wait to see how the rest of the industry responds.

Looks like its going to be a hit, as long as they work the bugs out of it in the first year or so. Not a fan of the fords but the 2.7 looks like the one to get, pricing has gone up a lot, but GM raised prices as well, Ford might be able to get by with it on the cost of the Alum argument.

The only mistake I think Ford is making here is the pushing
payload/trailer bragging rights if they are at the cost of ride unloaded.

Don't worry, Ford will gradually raise the price every quarter so it doesn't make it seem like there is much difference in price.

Funny how this new truck still doesn't have fuel mileage numbers. Doesn't sound like any of the test trucks are getting leaps and bounds better mileage either.

The 2.7 Ecobust will be a come apart after about 50k miles of towing...

I like it. So their finally making a crew cab with a full 8 foot bed? Now that's what i'm talking about.

Yes the Egoboosts long term reliability is in question and its partially Ford fault for having the worst powertrain warranty.

I think that time will be the least kind to the LT reliability on the Ecoboosts, they can rack up 200k in short time and say look at this, but I wanna know what the engines are going to be like 5-10 years, here GM and RAM have the better long term reliability, no way an Ecoboost will outlast a Hemi or GM V8.

That 2.7 sounds like a promising little engine. If it gets around 26 on the highway that would be great. I can't wait for a test drive.

I was told that trucks equipped with Start/Stop technology have the A/C turn off at a stop. Is that true? That would kind of suck in 100 deg weather when stuck at long red lights.

We'll see how everybody adjusts to aluminum body, but it looks like a promising truck. Ford can't afford to slip up here. There are two other awesome trucks out there that hold their own.

What about J2807 compliance? Any word on that?

I do think maybe Ford or the author of this article should use information accurately and not talk up a product.

This comment is actually erroneous and misleading;

"it is for the most popular vehicle the U.S. to switch from using steel to military-grade aluminum"

The F-150 is built from 6000Series aluminium. This aluminium isn't 'military' grade. Most modern aircraft use 7000Series aluminium. Which is far stronger than 6000Series.

It's like stating my egg flipper uses NASA grade plastic.

Other than that once the fanfare dissolves regarding this new F-150 people will realise it's another truck and the real design and innovation is in the manufacturing side.

We will have to wait and see how good this truck really is. The bonding of panels and the new chassis might prove to be a little bit of a headache. Will the panel joins delaminate? Bonding is great, when it's done correctly and adhesive only last 'X' amount of years. Remember all adhesives have degradation. They are just chemicals.

But once the production and engineering anomalies are resolved the truck should be very good. What I do like is the 2.7 Eco Boost. It looks like a nice engine. I would like to see that engine as an option on the global Ranger.

The only issues Ford might have is the cost of this vehicle to Ford and Ford's bottom line. Also, how many will go out and buy this? Who will take the first leap of faith?

It's also odd how Ford marketing timed the release of this information, just after the Colorado/Canyon was released.

Ford is trying to take the wind out of the Colorado/Canyon. It shows that Ford is a little concerned with the new competition.

@ mr. obvious, i dropped my 2014 3.5l platinum off for service this morning. Was chatting with the shuttle driver and he was telling me the turbo's are on back order. Not sure if this was some pimple faced teenager running his mouth or if it's true but... I'm not really glad I bought the 125k mile warranty. No issues as it's still fairly new. Time will tell. I will give this motor everything it ever wanted with towing and living in Colorado. I just hope at 100k, i'm still smiling.

Ford got it right again, just as they have since 2004 with the F-150. Built tough as nails and marketed as such. Yet looks premium in nearly every trim from the base model to the Platinum. Dodge is finally getting this right with their Ram. Tough looking + Sturdy build + Premium looking SELLS.

Chevrolet is lost. Not built tough as nails and certainly not premium which is damaging to resale. Their HD line is a loss with no SFA and the junky low slung frame.

Ya know what would really suck? Trying to prove how good your Hemi V8 is and then losing to a Ford 2.7!

I have zero doubts that this is a grossly improved truck. I am sad to see some features may not be as great as initially thought however.

1. the 360 camera system should be allowed at all speeds (why is this limited....driver distraction maybe?) I could see this being useful at speeds well above 15 mph

2. the new 2.7 Ecoboost not being available in the 4x4 crew cab 6.5 foot bed (I not only emailed Ford but I have now emailed Mike Levine directly on this)

3. no updates to the 3.5 Ecoboost. I really though some changes would be in order even if they were mild. (there will still be a better power to weight ratio but a mild tune would have put the HP around 400 and torque pushing 450)

4. the modest tow ratings for the new 2.7. Even with the max-tow package we are topping out at only 900 more lbs than the base V6 despite 122 more pounds of torque over a much bigger curve?! Is the rear axle not tough enough? (seriously I expected this to be closer to 9000 lbs, it would still suit my needs it is just surprising)

Finally just a thought. I'll get flamed for it but here goes. The crew cab is too big. Yup, too big. 44 inches of rear legroom is insane. I know for some it is what is wanted but it is too much for me. The extended cab at only 33 inches is way too short however. I am thinking that an extended cab more like GM or the Ram around 35-36 inches is ideal for a family (as opposed to hauling 5 construction workers or something) and somewhere around 39 inches is plenty for a longer crew model. the extra savings could reduce the wheelbase, cost, weight and turning radius.

@LastChevyStanding

- That's what GMC is for moron!! Tough looking, sturdy, dependable, sporty, 4x4/awd AND Premium!

GMC is GM/GM'C's Ford, Dodge etc rolled into one! No Need for Chevrolet any longer!!! GMC IS GM. Chevrolet needs to close as I've said before. Nothing but cheap ugly GMC/Buick knockoffs with a damaging badge. Look at that CHEAP POS Trax on GMI!! Please. Who WOULDN'T spend 1-2 grand more for a Buick??? It's Far more premium and looks a million times better!! We'll take our GM Corvette and GM Camaro BACK as well Thank You. They are NOT Chevrolet's and do NOT have Chevrolet engines! They are GM/GMC!!! This ain't the 60's!

Not impressed! Too many changes will result in too many new problems. Sit and watch for a year or two and watch what kind of problems come up.
18-19 MPG is far from 28 MPG that everybody said the 2.7 EB would get.
I could drive a Geo Metro with a 1.3L engine and floor it everywhere I go and think its just as powerful as Jaguar.
PUTC gave a more extreme review to the Chevy Colorado than they did with the 2015 F-150, I get the impression PUTC was all excited jumping up and down about the Colorado but seem bored about the F-150. Where's the word: "Class Leading"?
PUTC? Can you look at the door glass and tell me if its tempered or laminated? If it is laminated can you ask Ford why they changed that? Does it have something to do cause of the aluminum or because the side air bags are inside the door or both?
I sense a safety issue with side impacts with this truck but I have faith Ford is doing all they can to make it as safe as possible but the unknown by keeping it secret is troubling

Ross
The twin turbos are not covered under the ESP warranty but they are covered under the 3 year-36K mile warranty.
Read the fine print on the warranty, the turbos are listed as part of the exhaust and exhaust-brakes-wiper blades are NOT covered !

They say they averaged 18 to 19 MPG so that would mean they were taking that off the on board read out and we all know those are off by about 3 MPG so in reality the new Aluminum Ford was really getting between 15 to 16 MPG if you hand calculated it.

@Big Al from Oz - The posted cargo capacities tend to prove the point that both myself and All1 were trying to make.

You drop tare weight and it allows for more cargo capacity.


Ford's 2015 trucks are rated to J2807 SAE standards.

It was 1997 F-150 it was released in early 1996.

Can't believe they're falling back like Chevy. No 3.73 gears available for the 3.5 Eco Boost. Only 3.42's in Chevy's unless you spend a lot more for Max Trailer Package. I want the choice, not told what I can or cannot have.

Ram Big Horn 1500
friend has a 2014 Ram 1500 4x4 quad with the 5.7 and he's getting 19.3 MPG and that's running it hard 2 lane roads climbing up and down steep mountains and that does impress me!
Its so simple to understand if you have to floor the eco-boost everywhere you go you'll never get any mileage, the Ram has the powerful engine with the 8 speed and just at idle speed it has all the performance anybody needs, with the Ram theres so much reserve power there that's never needed!

Woah that picture with both front tires off the ground is awesome!

That would be the configuration I would want.

I won't ever buy another turbo gas motor. My wifes Turbo Subaru Forestor blew up at 40K, Just dont' want the hassel and lower relibilty.

I like the news about the 5 litre getting an extra 25 hp and slight bump in torque. I'm really excited to drive and hopefully own one.

@Tom#3 - have you actually driven an Ecoboost 3.5 Ford?

I don't think so.

Am I the only one who thinks Ford and GM are late to the dance not offering their top of the line models with 8 speed trans?

Six speed autos have been around for almost 10 years, and Ford's top priced F150s have had six speed trans for at least 5 years; all F150s got the six speed in the 2011 models.

So whats wit dat?

Sure the six speed is delivering ample flexibility with these torquey engines, but for a price north of $45k the six speed seems lacking somehow.

@Papa Jim, I think with both Ford and GM working on the 10 speed, there is probably no reason to do an 8 speed in the interim. Though GM already has an 8 speed its using on the 6.2, I wonder why the 5.3 doesn't get it.

8 SPEED?

PAPA JIM FLASHBACK:

I wish someone would explain where this all ends. Is a six speed bad? How long until anybody with an Eight Speed feels underpowered.

There is a point of diminishing returns involved.

I'm keeping the Silverado a little longer. I'll just have to get by with only four forward gears.
Posted by: papa jim | May 9, 2014 8:04:40 AM

http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2014/05/2015-gm-pickup-trucks-to-get-more-gears.html

PS Hemi 8 speed only came out since late 2013. So they haven't been around long in trucks. Ram was late to the party with 6 speeds. Ford and GM had 6 speeds first. They decided to go with 9 and 10 speeds so there is no sense doing much more with 8 speeds than is already available.

Ford staggers their chassis/body updates and their major drivetrain updates. You'll likely see the new transmissions in a year or two.

@Tom 3: you don't have to floor the Ecoboost everywhere, with no load, good mileage, with a load, about the worst ( Mark Williams didn't understand he could take the Ram out of tow haul in the last light duty Challange, resulting in less mileage. If the GMs, the Tundra could both tow in 6th gear, the Ram can. It's a matter of not being in hilly terrain or traffic, tow in 5th with the others, watch mileage drop. However, if they were towing in hilly area, the Ram in the top gear limited tow haul would not hunt gears like the others towing in top gear. GMs in tow haul can run cylinder shutdown, Ram won't unless in drive.)

That being said, show me the reliability in Fords Ecoboosts? Some are average, others are low. Like the new Escape. There is a piece of engineering!

Turbos don't worry me much, I know if you worked one hard, such as climbing Eisenhower pass, you shouldn't just shut it down instantly. My friends 4 year old International Walmart truck is over 500,000 miles, no issues. Just not over spinning, overheating, or under oiling.

Anybody else think Tom 3 is just somebody screwing around? Something Lou would do.

Overall a very impressive rig. The only unknown is reliability and what issues may arise with all the "advanced" electrical stuff. Knowing Ford, they will do fine, even from a GM fan.

I really like turbocharged gas engines--in cars.

I am still not so sure I like them in a pickup--that I load my entire family in and travel out into BFE on crappy fire roads/trails, out of cellphone range, and miles from a parts store.

There are so many more failure points on a turbo engine due to the increased plumbing. These are not the types of parts that may not necessarily fail due to miles, but due to AGE.

I have had turbo cars that have developed boost leaks, coolant leaks, intake leaks, exhaust leaks, etc--ALL related to the turbo, not the engine in general.

Now would I like an Ecoboost Mustang? Heck yeah!

People assuming an engine won't last as long because it has a turbo makes no sense. Every one of my large tractors has a turbo. Never lost an engine before 10,000 hours, and that is running at full load probably 95 percent of the engine's life. If done right, there's no reason a turbo engine can't last a long time.

GM just announced that they will not be going all aluminum. They plan on using aluminum, steel, magnesium, and carbon fiber. I believe this strategy will be a lot better then just aluminum.

I agree with HOWAM00 that ford needs to offer a shorter crew cab. IT would be great at least as an option. I want a shorter cab that still has 4 conventional doors. It's a pain to have to open the front doors in order to open the back doors on a supercab. One of the few things I actually like better about the ram.

@Lou_BC
WTF? Was this discussion in another article?

I never disputed that.

It's well and good to have that increase. But how did it come about?

What would have been the most economical way for Ford to achieve that?

It's CAFE that made this possible. Ford didn't do this on it's own.

So, again it goes back to the comments made by the Ford Engineer. He's reading from a script. Ford isn't doing this for the consumer. Ford is for only Ford and the consumer is benefiting.

@Sierra

for Ford to be the technology leader, according to their PR, and only have a six speed in their top of the line trucks is a little out of tune.

To me having an eight speed is like having leather seats and four wheel drive. Nice to have.

Nothing about my old four speed falls short, it's just out of date. Did I miss something?

The thing that I am wonder is where the heck the FE numbers are for each of these engines?!?!?

Ford has already released HP and torque figures for each engine. Additionally tow ratings are set. That doesn't leave them much room to mess with the tune to maximize FE.

Since they are letting people drive these pre-production models, it's more or less how the truck is going to be built. If they are going to mess around with the tune significantly, that would render these test-drives much less meaningful.

Perhaps they can come up with the FE numbers they are looking for? They had the same issue with the C-max, which resulted in putting out false numbers.

It's really too late for Ford to significantly alter FE numbers now. What's done is done, and they really need to move on and focus on marketing these trucks.

I do think that Ford has worked hard to make this truck a success, but it's becoming obvious there are still some loose ends.

The issue I have with Ford using turbo charging in the F series trucks is they are using very small displacement engines which means the engines have to be run harder and that leads to reduced reliability in the long run.

Ford wants to be at the top of the hill for payload and towing yet they have been forced to go to small displacement engines at the same time.

Ford has taken the wrong road.

What is that like a four foot bed on that gray F150 crew cab in the photos?

I passed one of these trucks on the highway this evening on the way home from work. Given that I'm in San Antonio, and this truck test was done there, I think the red one I saw is the same one pictured in this article.

So now Ford has to build in fake engine sounds to mask how hard the small displacement engines have to work.

I do not want fake V-8 sounds.

@Ram Big Horn 1500
Even Ford's "real" V8 isn't a true V8. An OCH V8 is a bloated thing that is hardly useful. It's no wonder they hardly give their 5.0l a second though these days.

A true OHV V8 is tried and true and serves the important purpose of being fairly compact. 2/3 of the Big 3 use the tried and true technology of pushrod V8's. Who gets the best V8 MPG? Not Ford.

It sucks when your 5.7 gets blown away by a 2.7!

@ John who hates turbos... They are in every big rig on the road for a very long time and millions of miles. Perhaps Subaru under designed it like all the head gasket issues they've had.

Re: Ram Big Horn 1500 and the F150 On-Board MPG

If they are still using the same onboard computer as my 2013 Ecoboost, then the computer is consistently optimistic by .5-.85 miles per gallon over my hand calculation(which aint' half bad).
I always thought it would be nice if manufacturers would allow you to tune these mpg computers up or down a bit until they are extremely accurate to your specific truck.

One of the biggest reasons I bought my Ram over the other guys was the fact that it was the only one with a 6.4" bed with 4 doors.
Looks like the Ford shown above has a 5' bed. I would not consider less than 6' for a bed to haul two quads.

I think these new Fords look great. Rugged and Handsome. Call me old fashion but I want a large V8. The only Ford I would consider is the 5.0. Seems like Ford is ignoring it since it cost's less. Boost the 5.0 NOW were talking.

I can understand peoples hesitation with gas turbos. The increased cylinder pressure means more stress on internal parts. I.E. blown head gaskets, header leaks etc...

The good thing is this is an all new Ford. It was time for a major update. The bad news is this is an all new Ford. Hope this F 150 does not have the problems that other new model Fords have had. I bought my first dodge in 03. First year of the Hemi. Was not that concerned because it also came with a 7/70 warranty to give me peace of mind. I am not in the market for a 1/2 ton so Ford or Chevy does not offer a Power Wagon so it makes my decision an easy one. This Ford vehicle keeps a lot of AMERICANS busy with a good paying job so I honestly wish them the best.

@Hemi V8, I'm pretty sure the Ford F150 has been available in crew cab with 6.5' bed since 2004. As much as it's fun to brand bash when we get recall news, the reality is, every vehicle has good reliability these days.

The $61,000 question: First look at Ford's most expensive F-150 pickup.

http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-autos-ford-f150-platinum-quick-take-20141001-story.html

I would not pay over 60,000 for a 1/2 ton.

The $61,000 sticker price is a lot of money for any vehicle, and a cool $20,000 higher than what the average full-size truck buyer paid in 2013, according to Edmunds.com. It’s also quite a jump from the outgoing generation of high-end F-150s -- previously the truck maxxed out at around $56,000 if you tried hard to add every option.

OUCH!



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