If there's any vehicle Ford cannot afford to screw up, it's the F-150, not the Mustang, not the Fusion, this guy.
This is the sales champ and it's a critical high-profit product as well.
But they pushed it forward into a lot of high-tech dimensions that are going to require a little bit of accommodation, if you will, by the truck buyer.
But I like it because they're all going high-tech.
Let's take a look.
The biggest story is the technology of
They pulled some 700 pounds out of the weight of the F-150, much of it by having an aluminum body, just about everything you see on the outside of the vehicle is now aluminum.
That's a big change for the truck market.
The other third or so comes out of high-strength steel being used in the ladder frame, which is tougher, lighter, but less sort of bulky as the steel goes, but there's steel underneath this guy.
This is gonna make for a very different animal when you go to the body shop as well.
Body shops are still trying to get their heads wrapped around with the idea of aluminum repair.
And when you take 700 pounds out at your vehicle,
you get to do some interesting things with how you power it, including this headline grabber, a 2.7-liter V6 EcoBoost that means direct injection and turbocharging.
This is CNET's heresy by some in the truck world where anything below a V8 is CNET's, just not enough to move a proper truck, but this is a small displacement V6 on top of just having 2 fewer cylinders than tradition.
What we're seeing here is an engine that is yet to have its horsepower or economy specified, that will come later
as Ford gets closer to late 2014 release, but notice this guy's got standard Auto Start-Stop technology.
That's also interesting in a full size pick up, although it's defeatable readily in all-wheel drive mode or in any time, because truck demands can be so different than regular car.
And also gearing on is a 3-and-a-half liter V6 that's actually the base engine, the current engine, and a 5-liter V8, the 6.2-liter V8, bye-bye.
Inside, lots of chunky controls that's still very truck-like in here.
For the first time ever though,
offer 360 around view cameras: front, back, there's one at the tailgate there, and one underneath each mirror.
That's really nice in a truck when you are often trying to get very near things for loading, going between tight spaces in a big vehicle, things like that.
You can get LED headlights option, I think that's unique in this category.
Lots of LED lighting around the vehicle in general, and if you want it, there's a panoramic sunroof option, which is a little odd in a cabin that is not all that huge, compared to a car,
but it's there.
Now, of course as usual, the F150 will come in lots of trim levels and many of what I've shown you are actually optional technologies.
So, if you feel like a truck needs to be simple, dumb, and rugged, that will be available as well.
But it's clear the American truck market is not just about being all-American high horsepower and having big payload in towing capacity, it's about being smarter as well.
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