Ford has released preliminary specs for its upcoming, aluminum-bodied 2015 F-150, months before the vehicle will reach dealer showrooms.
In late September the company began the first of 10,000 dealer consults in 26 cities across the US. Through driving and towing exercises the company concluded the new F-150 could tow up to 12,200 pounds and haul 3,300 pounds– Ford claims it is the industry’s best towing and payload capability among full size pickups.
While GM and Chrysler will surely return fire with claims of their own industry-best capabilities, Ford hopes its use of high-strength aluminum in the body of the vehicle will offer significant customer advantages no Silverado or Ram can match.
Thanks to the use of the lightweight yet rigid material, the company says the new truck can tow up an additional 1,100lbs, haul up to an additional 530lb’s, and projects it will achieve at least five per cent and as much as 20 per cent better gas mileage than the outgoing model, depending on the configuration.
Similarly, the company says regardless of model or engine configuration, every F-150 customer “benefits from up to 700 pounds of weight savings the new truck delivers.”
Official EPA fuel economy numbers for the 2015 F-150 will be released in November.
“Once again, Ford F-150 establishes new standards in durability, capability, technology and efficiency,“ said Hinrichs, Ford President of The Americas, in a press statement. “We keep raising the bar on America’s favourite truck to help F-150 owners to be more productive 24/7– whether for work or weekend fun.”
Through October 11 to December 21 the company will also offer customers in 38 US cities a chance to test drive the vehicle before the F-150 goes on sale later in the year.
In an effort to rein in any doubts about its use of aluminum, Ford claims the F-150 will hit the market having completed more than 10 million miles of torture testing through a range of temperatures and terrains in labs and real world test-driving.
To reach customers in every corner of the segment, the company will use a range of five primary trim levels (XL, XLT, Lariat, Platinum, and King Ranch) and four engine choices (see chart below) rather than offering a midsize diesel, like the Ram EcoDiesel V6, or re-entering the compact truck segment, like GM with the forthcoming Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon.
2015 F-150 Engine Options:
2.7L EcoBoost V6 with 325hp and 375lb-ft of torque and Auto Start-Stop.
Tow Rating: 8,500lbs
3.5L V6 with 283hp and 255lb-ft of torque and twin independent variable camshaft timing.
Tow Rating: 7,600lbs
Twin-turbo 3.5L EcoBoost V6 with 365hp and 420lb-ft of torque.
Tow Rating: 12,200lbs
5.0L V8 with 385hp and 387lb-ft of torque and twin independent variable camshaft timing.
Tow Rating: 11, 100