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2015 Ford F-150 Overview
Depending on whom you listen to (or read) Ford is putting the reputation of its 2015 F-150 lineup on the line with a somewhat revolutionary concept: a military-spec all-aluminum body. This most popular of full-size pickups is set to challenge the notions of strength, rust and corrosion resistance, and cost effectiveness that have heretofore been the sole realm of steel-body construction. While media folks frenziedly offer opinions, shouts of “Armageddon,” whispered support, and suspense-laden prognostications, Ford confidently assures its loyalists (and potential loyalists) that all will be well. Meantime, look for a few tweaks in this hefty hauler’s profile as well, though nothing too drastic is expected.
Be all that as it may, the next-gen F-150 is slated to return with the same plethora of cab configurations, bed sizes and trim levels as last year’s iterations. Again, look for 3-passenger Regular cab versions, 5- or 6-place SuperCab versions (still with reverse-hinged rear doors) and the 6-place SuperCrew versions boasting 4 independently opening doors. Trim levels are scheduled to again include the base XL, the STX, the XLT, the FX2 and the FX4 in lesser form, while the quasi-posh Lariat, the plusher King Ranch, the decadent Platinum and the top-shelf Limited allow this entry-level full-size truck to challenge more than a few high-end sedans in terms of comfort and convenience factors. The Lariat and higher trim levels, by the way, are offered only in SuperCab and SuperCrew versions.
And lest we forget, the all-terrain-capable Raptor is also expected back for 2015, though no word on whether this lean, mean climbing machine, available only in extended and Crew cab versions with the 5.6-foot bed, is getting the revolutionary aluminum body. Finally, rear-wheel drive (RWD) is again standard in most trims, with a 2-speed, electronic shift-on-the-fly 4-wheel-drive (4WD) system once again slated to be available lineup-wide.
Expect Regular cab and SuperCab trims to carry either the standard 6.6-foot bed or the 8.1-foot long bed, while SuperCrew iterations ought to once again be available toting either a 5.6-foot box or the ubiquitous 6.6-foot standard bed.
Somewhat lost in the uproar over an all-aluminum body, a few other tweaks are also hinted to grace this best-selling heavy hauler for 2015. A new turbocharged EcoBoost 2.7-liter powerplant is slated to debut this year, while the current base 3.7-liter V6 engine gets replaced by a more fuel efficient 3.5-liter normally aspirated motor. Furthermore, the gas-gulping (but undeniably potent) 6.2-liter V8 is dropped for 2015, leaving the more-than-adequate 5.0-liter V8 standing alone at the top of the power heap.
Additionally, a 360-degree camera setup is slated to be introduced on select trim levels this year, along with a power-locking tailgate, a 400-watt 110-volt power outlet and LED headlights and taillights. Also some trims are a tad wider this upcoming year, though Regular cab trims are expected to lose 4 inches of overall length from the storage area behind the seats.
Getting back to power sources, Ford claims its 3.5-liter V6 TI-VCT FFV replacement as the base engine will equal the old 3.7-liter mill in terms of ponies and torque (302 hp and 278 lb-ft of torque for the current engine), while the capable 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission returns from 2014. Mileage figures, meantime, are unavailable, but the folks at Ford assure us that the aluminum body will trim up to 700 pounds from the curb weight of these full-size pickups, leading to much PR that mileage should be better than the current 17 mpg city/23 highway in RWD trims, 16/23 in 4WD editions.
Alas, no power figures have yet been released by Ford for the new turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 scheduled to be unleashed in 2015 trims, but assurances have been made that this pint-size blown V6, mated with the 6-speed shiftable automatic and auto stop/start technology will put out power numbers that would make other brands' V8 engines envious and at a significant savings to the gas bill. Also look for this mighty mite to tow up to an impressive 8,000 pounds when installed in a properly equipped environment.
To set minds at ease in Fordville, the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 returns for 2015 still boasting 365 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque via the traditional 6-speed shiftable automatic. Up-to-date mileage numbers are not yet out, but mileage should once again average 18 in RWD versions and 17 in 4WD trims. This engine is also expected to return boasting an 11,300-pound towing capacity, again with the proper equipment.
Finally, the 5.0-liter “Coyote” V8 comes back flaunting 360 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque with the standard 6-speed shiftable automatic, while mileage numbers should easily equal 2014’s 15/21 in RWD garb and 14/19 in 4WD iterations.
Creature comforts and appearance features are, as mentioned, expected to be bolstered by a few new items, but should remain pretty basic in the commercially oriented XL. Look for the STX and higher versions, meanwhile, to again boast 17-, 18-, 20- or 22-inch alloy wheels, power-sliding rear windows, cloth or leather upholstery, climate control, cruise control and telescoping tilt-wheel steering (power-adjustable in the King Ranch and above levels). Heated power-adjustable front seats will of course be re-offered in 2015 for select trim levels, as will Bluetooth hands-free calling, a Sync/MyFordTouch infotainment interface (with a new 8-inch touchscreen display), heated rear seats, further power-adjustment offerings, step running boards and a Sony stereo system boasting a single-CD player, 6 speakers, satellite radio and auxiliary audio input.
The upper-level Platinum and Limited trim levels, meantime, are again scheduled to carry a standard navigation system and a power sunroof, while the Raptor should again drop a few of the luxury touches in favor of an off-road-ready suspension, front and rear tow hooks, unique badges and appliqués, all-terrain tires and a beefed-up auto-locking rear differential.
Again for 2015, lower F-150 trim levels ought to remain eligible for much of the bling that’s delivered standard in higher trims as optional equipment, while rear-seat DVD entertainment, Ford Work Solutions technology, beefier payload and towing packages, and cargo-management systems remain available as standalone options for selected trims.
Standard safety equipment above and beyond any new features already mentioned is slated to remain the usual mandated stuff, along with a post-collision safety system and Ford’s touted MyKey teen-targeted programmable speed- and audio-volume-limiting technology. Rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warnings and rear cross-traffic alerts, additionally, are all expected to return as optional equipment in certain trim levels.
Have Laptop, Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.