As you and the rest of the world no doubt already know, the 2015 Ford F-150 broke cover on Monday morning after years of speculation and discussing over what exactly the truck would entail. We already laid out all the details of the 2015 Ford F-150 in an earlier post, but now we have some pictures live from the showroom floor, as well as digging a little deeper into some unanswered questions that Ford left us hanging with.
First let’s rehash the basics. For 2015, Ford integrated the extensive use of aluminum and high-strength, low-weight steel to drop some 700 pounds compared to the 2014 model. Ford also introduced two new engines, a 3.5 liter naturally-aspirated V6 and a 2.7 liter EcoBoost V6. While power and torque numbers remain under wraps, a source within Ford told us that they expect the smaller EcoBoost engine to make “at least 300 horsepower” with torque “somewhere in the 350 range.”
The smaller EcoBoost V6 is meant to compete with some mid-level V8 engines, while delivering superior fuel economy, and the engine is meant to slot between the 3.5 liter V6 and the 5.0 V8, with the 3.5 liter EcoBoost remaining the top-of-the-line engine. Surprisingly, the 6.2 liter engine found in the Ford Raptor has also disappeared, and we couldn’t find anyone to go on record to explain why.
We also couldn’t get anyone to go on record to so much as talk about a future Raptor vehicle or Raptor replacement, which has started setting off alarm bells. Once we expressed concern however, our unnamed source reassured us that “something exciting” was in the works for the off-road crowd, though they couldn’t elaborate beyond that. So allow us to speculate wildly; is an EcoBoost Bronco SUV set to make a debut sometime this year? We don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up…but maybe?
Beyond an inevitable Raptor replacement though, Ford has added a ton of new technology and upgraded interior of the 2015 F-150 to bring it more in line with competitors. Among the nifty new features is a 360-degree camera linked to an 8-inch LCD touchscreen and a panoramic sunroof for those looking to let the sunlight into the cabin.
For those wanting more of a work truck than a daily cruiser, Ford has included the BoxLink system that was very popular on the Ford Atlas Concept. This system allows buyers to configure their F-150 in a variety of ways, allowing for four hard-points that allow tied-owns to be attached in more useful places. This allows for the easy hauling of oversize loads like ATVs and dirt bikes, while keeping everything nice and tightly secured.
These are big improvements all the way around, but the biggest improvement is supposed to be to fuel economy. In addition to extensive use of lightweight materials (which Ford has said is even more resistant to dents and dings than standard steel), the Blue Oval has applied a number of fuel-saving technologies such as active grille shutters, which close off the grille at highway speeds to reduce drag drastically.
Ford also deepened the front air dam and added a 6-inch plateau to the top of the tailgate to smooth airflow, further reducing drag and improving fuel economy. Just how much these features improve fuel economy, Ford isn’t saying yet, as the Blue Oval hasn’t released any MPG numbers for any of its engines. However, we heard from the same unnamed source that Ford is aiming for at least a 3 MPG improvement across the board, which would see most Ford models with a combined city and highway fuel economy of over 20 MPG.
Our source says that engineers are determined to be the fuel economy leader among full-size pickups, so the F-150 would have to offer at least 26 MPG on the highway to take the title from the Ram 1500. With new engines and fuel-saving technologies though, Ford certainly seems well on its way to overturning our notion of what a “fuel efficient” truck really is.