New Ford F-150 gets hybrid option
Ford has revealed its 14th generation F-150, the latest in a model line that stretches back to 1948. It’s also the world’s best selling vehicle, thanks to America’s love affair with pick-ups.
It’s enough to make a greenie actually green with rage, though Ford is introducing a new hybrid version to the range in 2020. However, the EV F Series that it is working on is still a few years away.
Ford has added features to its new F-150 ‘to increase customer productivity’ and there are more connected vehicle innovations allowing things like over-the-air updates.
But it’s still a truck, built on a frame chassis and Ford has stuck with the F-150’s aluminium body, though stresses it uses ‘high-strength, military-grade’ alloy. Though the look remains similar, Ford says every panel has been redesigned. The headlamps are new, so too the ‘power dome’ bonnet and wrap-around bumpers. The track width has increased while the standard wheel and tyre packages are also all enlarged.
There are 11 different grilles across the range and new tailgate appliqués. Full-length extended power running boards are optional, making access to the tray from the side easier.
To tame its hunger for gas, it has new aero features like active grille shutters, a deployable active air dam and a reprofiled cab. No fuel consumption figures have been issued yet.
The interior has been given a major overhaul. Ford says there is more storage, better materials are used and a 12-inch display features on upper-tier models. With split screen functionality, it can control multiple functions simultaneously. Top variants also get a 12-inch digital gauge cluster.
A new optional Interior Work Surface means the cab can be converted into an office with the gear lever able to be stowed and the centre armrest unfolded to create a desk space of sorts.
Some models also get Max Recline Seats, folding flat to nearly 180 degrees allowing a little roadside shut-eye.
For the contractors, the F-150 has new cleats mounted to the sides of the tailgate to act as tie-down locations for extra-long items in the bed. New clamp pockets are built into the tailgate so customers can hold materials down for precision work. An available flat Tailgate Work Surface also includes integrated rulers, a mobile device holder, cupholder and pencil holder.
And for those that can’t do it themselves, the F-150 again offers Pro Trailer Backup Assist.
Ford is saying its new hybrid, dubbed the ‘PowerBoost’, will deliver the most torque and horsepower of any light-duty full-size pick-up. It’s an option on every F-150 model which Ford says ‘adds instant electric torque to Ford's 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6’. The only figures given include a range of up to 1100km on a single tank, and max tow of 5400kg.
The hybrid uses a 10-speed auto with a 35-kilowatt electric motor integrated into the transmission. It’s fed by a 1.5-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery positioned underneath the truck.
It’s the most connected F-150 ever, offering over-the-air updates and features the new SYNC 4 infotainment system. More of Ford’s active safety features are now standard on the base truck, while the top models gain all the goodies, including active cruise which offers extended ‘hands off the steering wheel’ driving ability on freeways.