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Seriously all new: the 2015 Ford F-150

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While statements such as ‘all-new’, ‘the best ever’, ‘most capable’ and ‘toughest’ are typical exaggerations in the advertising of pickup trucks, in this case they seem genuinely true! This F-150 redefines the manufacture of full-size trucks, especially due to the all-aluminum body.

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With a crowd of automotive media, Ford dealers, members of F-150 clubs and a variety of other interested attendees, I was privileged to witness the unveiling of the 2015 F-150 at the famous Gilley’s on south Lamar Street in the so called SODA (for south Dallas) district of Dallas. It was a big day for Ford, with announcements being held and unveilings also taking place at the Detroit Auto Show, in New York, and Los Angeles.

Ford’s commitment to serving their customers’ needs and desires has resulted in a vehicle that meets or exceeds these qualifications, increasing power and capability, improving efficiency and safety, and enhancing technology to result in a smarter truck. The new F-150 fulfills the customers’ requests for a truck from which they can work or play.

The most significant change to the F-150 is the all-new high-strength aluminum-alloy body. Jake Fisher, Consumer Report’s automotive Test Director, considers the aluminum body F-150 a game changer in the industry. He suggests that it opens the door for the manufacture of additional aluminum body vehicles.

Among the benefits of this new material are increased strength and reduced weight. While Ford engineers used more high-strength steel in the frame of the F-150, the military-grade aluminum alloys used for the body improve dent and ding resistance and save weight. The F-150 can tow and haul more, can accelerate quicker and stop shorter due to the up to 700 pounds of reduced weight. The reduced weight also improves fuel economy, an important and competitive area of the automotive industry.

While the aluminum alloy body was the big news, Ford improved and added other features on the truck. A new bird’s eye view uses exterior cameras to give a 360-degree view to aid the driver on narrow roads, to maneuver in tight spots and in parking. Integrated loading ramps provide easy loading and unloading of any wheeled vehicles. BoxLink is a method of securing accessories in the cargo box. My favorites are: the remote tailgate with a key fob controlled lock, unlock and release of the tailgate with the push of a button, and the improved tailgate step which is now hidden in the tailgate and is even easier to use. Inside the cab there is a new 8-inch LCD productivity screen, rear under seat storage and second-row inflatable safety belts. Improved comfort is apparent inside, as well as enhanced utility. Knobs and controls are designed so that a person wearing gloves can easily operate them.

Technologies that assist the driver in driving safely include curve control, which automatically brakes when cornering too fast; adaptive cruise control; lane-keeping system which uses cameras that detect road lane markings; and blind spot information system which also uses cameras to detect anything entering the driver’s blind spot.

Although miles per gallon estimates have not yet been released, a number of things besides the reduced weight of the F-150 add to the fuel economy numbers. The EcoBoost engine has proven to be very fuel efficient, and with the addition of the Auto Start-Stop technology, which shuts off the engine when the vehicle is stopped, even more fuel is saved. When the brake is released the engine restarts in milliseconds! Active grille shutters provide extra engine cooling when open, but automatically close to reduce aerodynamic drag at cruising speed. So, while no official announcement has been made, guesses are that the average fuel economy for the 2015 F-150 might be around 30 miles per gallon.

The 2015 Ford F-150 is projected to go on sale fall of 2014. Pricing has not yet been announced. To be among the first to own and drive one of these wonderful trucks and learn more about Ford products visit http://corporate.ford.com.

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