2015 Ford F-150
By G.R. Whale
On Sale: Fall 2014
Expected Pricing: $27,000 to $60,000
One year after the Atlas concept truck that portended it was shown in Detroit, Ford introduced the 2015 F-150 in Crew Cab form at the North American International Auto Show.
The all-new 2015 Ford F-150 will continue to use a steel frame but the cab and body structures are comprised almost entirely of aluminum or aluminum alloys (though some of the firewall remains steel). The switch is said to take 700 pounds off the largest version, a Crew Cab long-bed, though we'll wait to scale our own since some other steel-to-aluminum conversions have been mildly optimistic.
Three cabs will remain the same style: 2-door Regular Cab, 2+2 clamshell door SuperCab, and 4-door Crew Cab. Each will be offered with two bed sizes. That works out to three bed lengths and five wheelbases total. Trim levels have been pared to XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum. However, we don't anticipate a simple one-page order sheet.
Two of the four engine choices are new for 2015. The standard 3.5-liter V6 is nominally smaller and likely less powerful, no issue for the weight loss. The 5-liter V8 continues, perhaps with some updates to bump power to the 375-380 hp range. A new turbocharged 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 should offer at least 300 hp and 300 lb-ft, and good mileage when not using all that power. Top engine will be the 3.5-liter turbo V6.
All 2015 F-150 models will use a 6-speed automatic transmission; four-wheel drive is available in most permutations. Ethanol E85 is approved for the non-turbo engines.
Ford did not announce at the January 2014 Detroit show any of the numbers pickup buyers crave: power, fuel economy, load capacity, price or tow ratings, or say whether tow ratings would be industry-standard as only Toyota does at this time.
The 2015 Ford F-150 will feature a new frame composed of more high-strength steel, wider and taller than last year's. Independent coil front and leaf-sprung solid axle rear suspension, electric rack-and-pinion steering and all-disc brakes employ the same design basics as the predecessor but all have been thoroughly revised and updated for 2015.
Styling is clearly F-series, a smaller smoothed off Super Duty grille leading the way. Unlike many new pickups, there remains a clear line between the grille/lights and the front bumper. Available LED lighting includes headlights, side work lights on the mirrors, bed lights and running lights. Other notable bits include a new BoxLink cargo management system with ATV/motorcycle ramps stowable over the wheelwells, all-around cameras and a remote-opening tailgate.
Electronics and safety systems have advanced too, with inflatable rear seatbelts, blind-spot/cross-traffic warnings with rear light sensors less vulnerable than the bumper, lane keeping assist, auto parallel park, dynamic hitch assist, trailer wiring that checks trailer lights/connections, 400-watt/110-vac outlets, MyFord Touch SYNC system with 8-inch screen, 8-inch instrument LCD flanked by analog primary gauges, and up to 19 buttons on the steering wheel.