While we are impressed by how well the new GMC Canyon turned out, it’s the all-new 2015 Ford F-150 that is the star of the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, at least as far as trucks are concerned. Ford’s workhorse truck promises to be tougher, smarter and more capable than ever before.
Let’s get the styling out of the way first — although inspired by the Ford Atlas Concept, it is nothing revolutionary. In fact, aside from the bold new grille and distinctive headlights, I’d say the exterior looks like old one. But considering that GM, Ram and Toyota have taken a similar approach with their latest trucks, we can’t complain too much.
As for the new interior, I have a sneaking suspicion that all truck makers have colluded to offer buyers one general design direction. Attractive as the F-150’s new cabin may be, what I see is a cross between the Chevrolet Silverado (GMC Sierra) and Toyota Tundra’s interiors, or am I seeing things?
What is bound to impress, however, are the high quality materials and plethora of new technologies, such as SYNC, MyFord Touch and the new 8-inch “productivity screen” in the instrument cluster. Other tech goodies include a rear view camera, trailer brake controller and a segment-first 360-degree camera system for safer maneuvering.
Despite looking like the same ol’, the exterior and interior are nevertheless modern. But the biggest highlight of this F-150 is the weight reduction of up to 700 pounds over the outgoing model. You read right — Ford somehow managed to save nearly 1,000 pounds! That likely makes the full-size truck some 500 pounds lighter than the aforementioned mid-size Canyon, even though it is a class higher and, thus, notably larger.
The company achieved this feat by incorporating high-strength steel and military-grade aluminum alloys throughout the F-150’s body. Already used in aerospace and other industries, the alloys — particularly the aluminum, which makes up 93 percent of the body — are stronger and lighter than anything it has ever used. In addition to greatly reducing weight, they also improve dent and ding resistance.
With regards to power, buyers will have a choice of a new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, a 3.5-liter V6 and a 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V8. The 6.2-liter V8 in the old model will no longer be offered.
Performance and fuel economy figures have not been published, but a lighter body naturally entails the new F-150 can tow more, haul more, accelerate quicker, stop shorter and use less gas. According to Ford, the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, which features start/stop technology, will have the same power as some mid-range V8 engines from the competition, while delivering better fuel economy.
The 2015 Ford F-150 will be available in five primary trims — XL, XLT, Lariat, Platinum and King Ranch. It will also be offered with a chrome appearance package, a sport appearance package and an FX4 off-road package. Sales begin in the fourth quarter of 2014.