Ford F-150: First Impressions

2018 Ford F-150

In the looks department, the F-150 gets some tweaks to the front and rear styling with a new grille, new headlights, tail lights, and revised bumpers that combine to give the truck a wider, more planted stance. The truck will be revealed on Monday at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. At the Detroit auto show this week, I hope to speak with Ford's powertrain executives and learn more about how the decision was made to add the 3.0-liter engine to the F-150.

Ford crested the 800,000 sales bar for the first time since 2005, leading truck market sales with the F-150 and its new for 2016 F-250 Super Duty brother.

At the rear of the truck, there's a massive new F-150 logo stamped into the tailgate sheet metal on lesser trim levels, probably a nod to Toyota and Ram, which have been stamping nameplates and huge logos on tailgates for a couple years now. Along with more power and torque we can expect better fuel economy thanks to reductions in internal friction as well as the new 10-speed (this transmission is standard on all F-150s except for the base 3.3-liter V-6). There are also two new seat-trim colors for the interior, as well as some material improvements. The system uses radar and camera technology to monitor traffic and maintain a set distance between vehicles - even following a vehicle down to a complete stop.

In emergency situations, Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection is also an exclusive feature for the segment. The current gasoline 3.5-litre V6 will also be going, replaced by a 3.3-litre V6 with direct-injection and the same horsepower and torque - 282 hp and 253 lb. -ft. The 2018 model will also have an available Wi-Fi hot spot that can accommodate up to 10 devices.

New B&O PLAY available audio system takes advantage of high-end speakers, sound and tuning to deliver a richer, more engaging listening experience.

2018 Ford F-150
2018 Ford F-150

Buyers will have to wait almost a full year after the new vehicle first reaches dealers if they want to purchase an F-150 with a diesel engine.

Other available engines include an updated 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6, and an improved 5.0-liter V-8. It's the first-ever diesel engine offered for F-150.

Ford will likely tune the engine differently for the F-150, and that might have a slight effect on power output.

Instead of hard numbers, the Blue Oval is holding specifics until closer to the F-150 diesel's summer 2018 release. It will be built at Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Michigan, and Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri. With a 10-speed automatic transmission and powerful turbocharged engines across most of the lineup, it should be just as appealing to drive. General Motors also added a turbo-diesel, four-cylinder engine to the options list of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon a year ago, so Ford couldn't just stay idle, despite offering its twin-turbo, 2.7-litre gasoline V6.

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