Ford Motor Company's 2015 F-150 Is Tougher and Smarter Than Ever


Ford's 2015 F-150. Source: Ford Motor Company.

Ford's (NYSE: F  ) F-Series full-size pickup truck has dominated the sales charts in the U.S. for 37 consecutive years now, but rather than resting on its success the company plans to extend its lead over the competition with a more revolutionary approach to its 2015 F-150. Just a quick glance at some of the specifics and you'll quickly realize what Ford's up to: It has melded the "Ford Tough" image of the past with the technology of today to create the toughest and smartest truck around. It's a strategy that should work well for the company, and its customers and investors. Here are some details to chew on while the all-new F-150 is being shown off in Detroit today.

Tougher
The revolutionary part of the all-new F-150 is not so much in its appearance, but more to do with its use of military-grade aluminum-alloy that reduces the truck's weight by nearly 700 pounds.


Source: Ford Motor Company 

However, it's important to note how and where Ford has applied this aluminum. Ford engineers actually increased the use of high-strength steel in the F-150 frame from 23% to 77% to make sure that it was stronger, more durable, and structurally rigid than the current F-150. According to Ford, the lighter truck with its stronger frame has an increased towing and hauling capability with better efficiency, to boot. 

Ford is already spreading its message to make sure consumers understand that this F-150 is more bullet-proof military vehicle than aluminum coke can. "Our frame team developed exclusive, industry-first engineering techniques to create a truck foundation that is lighter without sacrificing toughness. This F-150 frame is the toughest we have ever built," said John Caris, F-150 lead frame engineer, in a press release.

Ford will use high-strength aluminum alloy, which is already used in rugged industries, throughout the F-150 body which will improve dent and ding resistance, in addition to weight reduction. For those worried that the increased use of aluminum might also lead to more rust problems, rest assured that Ford has tested the truck thoroughly. By the time the production vehicle hits the dealerships it will have undergone more than 10 million miles of testing as well as endured salt sprays and acidified sprays to test for corrosion. According to Ford, the truck exceeded expectations, although the real test will be when hundreds of thousands of consumers hit the road in the all-new F-150.

With the F-Series being the No. 1 selling truck for 37 years, obviously Ford is doing something right – expect that trend to continue with the 2015 F-150. Now, however, Ford's adding to its brand image by increasing technology features which aim to make the truck as smart as it is tough.

Smarter
More than a dozen "smart" new technologies were added to the all-new F-150 – many of the features are appearing for the first time on a pickup truck. One of the biggest points was to improve visibility with Ford's new 360-degree-camera system which will provide views, as you can guess, of all four sides of the truck to make navigating and parking easier.

Source: Ford Motor Company

Ford also added LED headlamps that provide a better quality light and consume less energy than traditional headlamps – a huge bonus is that they are designed to last the entire life of the truck. The 2015 F-150 will also offer smart driver-assist technologies on the pickup for the first time. Those features include lane-keeping assist which monitors lane markings and alerts the driver if the truck drifts beyond the lane. It offers adaptive cruise control, a collision mitigation system, and a blind-spot-information system. 

The F-150 also has integrated loading ramps for easy loading of any toys consumers might be hauling around. The truck also boasts a trailer hitch assist which uses the rear-view camera feature with a dynamic line based on steering wheel angles to help consumers line up the truck to a trailer hitch without needing a spotter.

For those craving more infotainment technology, fear not: A new eight-inch LCD productivity screen is included in the instrument panel which provides apps for fuel economy, towing tips or other additional apps you want to set on your home screen.

Bottom line
There's too many details and features to cover in one article, including specs on the all-new 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine option. However, we know one thing's for sure: The 2015 F-150 is both tough and smart. This is the latest design that proves the company plans to follow its "One Ford" plan and produce better-quality vehicles with improved fuel efficiency, safety, technology, and value – a win for consumers, investors, and the company alike. 

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Read/Post Comments (5) | Recommend This Article (8)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On January 13, 2014, at 5:39 PM, Hoptopia wrote:

    Gag they are making it look too much like the HD pickups with a giant grill for all those that need some kind of testosterone boost from their vehicle.

  • Report this Comment On January 13, 2014, at 5:40 PM, omorin34 wrote:

    That is 2.7 liter? Not 3.7, 4.7 or 5.7? Is that what that tiny ball of hoses in front of the transmission is? It will probably be rated to tow 12K lbs. I would never pull that much with it. I haven't owned a car with an engine that small in a decade.

  • Report this Comment On January 14, 2014, at 3:42 PM, chappellscott wrote:

    I have to ask what the IQ is for the author of this article.

    He writes, "For those worried that the increased use of aluminum might lead to more rust problems . . ."

    EVERYONE (at least those with half a brain) knows that aluminum cannot rust!!!! It's simple chemistry. Only iron can rust . . . no iron content, no rust.

    I also question "2.7 Liter". This has to be a misprint. Are we talking about a moped or a truck here?

  • Report this Comment On January 14, 2014, at 6:04 PM, BigRedFord wrote:

    2.7 Liter is correct. Twin Turbo, just like the Ecoboost engine available now. I haven't heard much else about it, but with the lighter truck, it will be available for full size truck owners that don't haul alot, and want the economy of the ecoboost and then some.

    So before you question the IQ of the writer, think about what information they are going off of, mroe than likely it is coming from Ford press releases.

  • Report this Comment On January 15, 2014, at 6:05 AM, TMFTwoCoins wrote:

    @Chappellscott

    Perhaps rust was a bad choice of wording on my part, however aluminum does corrode when exposed to the elements. The process just occurs at different rates based on the type of finish covering the metal has and the environment it is exposed too. Fortunately, as was pointed out, the corrosion was tested by Ford through acidic and salt sprays -- it sounds like it performed well.

    2.7-liter is not a misprint, although Ford obviously has some work to do convincing people it's a viable option in the F-150.

    Daniel

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