Ford Unveils All-New F-150 with Innovative Technology

Last night, Ford Motor Company unveiled the all-new F-150, with a fresh exterior design and an all-new interior. Now is as good a time as any, as the country opens up and returns to work! The F-150 has been in production for an impressive 43 consecutive years, and with the newest offering, Ford promises a truck that is “the toughest, most productive F-150 ever and targeted to be the most powerful light-duty full-size pickup truck on the market.”

Photos courtesy of Ford Motor Company.

“We see it as our duty to deliver not just what our customers want and need, but what they might have never thought possible,” said Craig Schmatz, Ford F-150 chief engineer. “The F-150 will be tougher than ever, and with fully connected over-the-air updates, it opens up a much wider range of potential enhancements – from system upgrades to feature offerings.”

Included in the revamp are all-new features that will help increase driver productivity, over-the-air updates to keep the new F-150 operating at the highest level, all-new standard SYNC 4, and an all-new optional 3.5-liter PowerBoost hybrid powertrain with an integrated power generator called Pro Power Onboard. Let’s break it down.

Exterior & Driver Experience

The construction of the F-150 remains very much the same – a fully boxed steel frame with a military-grade aluminum alloy body. However, every panel has been redesigned to give the truck a distinctive, rugged appearance while maintaining the signature look we all know and love. There is no doubting its Ford DNA. An updated headlamp design, power dome hood, and wrap-around bumpers separates it from the previous model year, along with higher front fenders, a tucked-in midsection, and larger-diameter tires that have been pulled out three-quarters of an inch for a more aggressive stance. Ford has increased the truck’s aerodynamics with new active grille shutters, automatic-deploying active air damn, and new cab and tailgate geometry.

The new F-150 is impressively customizable, with 11 different grille options and new tailgate appliques. Customers can opt for LED headlights and taillights, and available full-length extended power running boards with kick switch.

Tie-down locations for extra-long items are standard thanks to new standard cleats mounted to the sides of the tailgate. The tailgate also features new built-in clamp pockets for holding materials in place, as well as an available Tailgate Work Surface with integrated rulers, mobile device holder, cupholder, and pencil holder. Available Zone Lighting allows individual sections of exterior lights to be illuminated via SYNC 4 or remotely from an app.

When it’s time to tow, the new F-150 offers Trailer Reverse Guidance and Pro Trailer Backup Assist to help you hook up and back up. Ford Co-Pilot360 2.0 means more features to take advantage of, including Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Detection, rearview camera with dynamic hitch assist, auto high-beam headlamps, and auto on/off headlamps.

“Since 1948, our hardworking F-Series customers have trusted Ford to help them get the job done,” said Jim Farley, Ford’s chief operating officer. “F-150 is our flagship, it’s 100 percent assembled in America, and we hold ourselves to the highest standard to make sure our customers can get the job done and continue to make a difference in their communities.”

Ford has also released ten new driver-assist features including Active Drive Assist for hands-free driving on more than 100,000 miles of divided highways across the US and Canada. Another new available feature is Intersection Assist, which detects oncoming traffic during a left turn, and can apply the brakes to avoid. Of course, parallel parking is a breeze with Active Park Assist 2.0, which handles steering, shifting, braking, and acceleration during parking maneuvers.

A Look Inside

Inside the F-150’s cab, Ford is now offering “enhanced” materials, new color choices, and more storage. Soil resistant two-tone seats are available in the XL, as is a standard dual glovebox.A 12-inch center screen is standard on XLT high series and above, with the ability to split the screen and control multiple functions at the same time – i.e. navigation, music, and other truck features. The XL and XLT standard and mid-series trucks will be equipped with an 8-inch touchscreen.

Trying to figure out one of the F-150’s features won’t mean reaching for the owner’s manual in the glovebox anymore – it’s gone digital. The new owner’s manual will be available through the truck’s touch screen and will include how-to videos.

A new 12-inch digital guage cluster is available, featuring information on-demand, truck specific graphics and animations for the F-150’s selectable drive modes, and can also display data for on-road navigation and off-roading expeditions.

On the XLT and higher, an eight-speaker B&O Sound System by Bang & Olufsen is available, and an optional 18-speaker B&O Unleased system with speakers in headliner and front headrests is available for Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum, and standard on Limited.

Complimentary 911 Assist is included, as well as FordPass – a mobile device app allowing owners to start and unlock their vehicles from a distance.

Need to work from your truck? Ford thought of that too. An interior Work Surface is optional in both bench and captain’s chair seating configurations on XL and Limited, and is perfect for signing documents, placing a 15-inch laptop, or even eating lunch. A stowable shifter which folds into the center console with the push of a button allows for the utmost usage of the work surface. Need a nap on your lunch break? The Max Recline Seats option is available on King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited models, allowing the seats to fold flat to nearly 180 degrees. The bottom cushion rises to meet the back cushion, and the upper back support rotates forward up to 10 degrees.

No more worrying about valuables left in your truck – the new F-150 features optional, lockable, fold-flat rear storage. Simply lift the bottom cushion of the rear seat and place valuables inside to lock them away.

Pop the Hood

Ford says that the all-new 3.5-liter PowerBoost full hybrid V6 powertrain is “targeted to deliver the most torque and horsepower of any light-duty full-size pickup.” It’s available on every trim level from LX to Limited, and adds “instant electric torque to Ford’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6.” Approximately 700 miles on a single tank of gas and at least 12,000 pounds of maximum towing makes this truck the perfect road trip companion.

The EcoBoost is backed by Ford’s 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission with an integrated 47-horsepower electric motor, and specially calibrated software with several drive modes, including tow/haul mode. That electric motor uses regenerative braking energy to recharge the 1.5-kilowatt/hour lithium-ion battery, which is underneath the truck, saving valuable space.

Perhaps our favorite available option is the Pro Power Onboard option, which provides generator levels of exportable power – this will be super useful to us at the racetrack and while out adventuring. Ford explains that “the option is available with a 2.0-kilowatt output on optional gas engines, while PowerBoost-equipped F-150 comes standard with 2.4 kilowatts of output or an optional 7.2 kilowatts of output.” In-cabin outlets and up to four cargo bed-mounted 120-volt 20-amp outlets distribute the power in the standard applications, and 240-volt 30-amp outlets in the 7.2-kilowatt applications. The system even allows for charging while driving – great for those trips from job to job.

The new F-150, built in Michigan and Missouri, will be available beginning this fall!

About the author

Stephanie Davies-Bardekoff

Stephanie Davies-Bardekoff got her start in automotive media while attending Rutgers. She worked for Roush Performance for a while, before eventually landing here at Power Automedia. Her Coyote-swapped 1992 Fox-body drag car is her prized possession.
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