Look up “truck” in the dictionary.
There’s not much at stake with the launch of the new Ford F-series, except one-third of Ford’s annual profit, tens of thousands of jobs, tens of millions in executive bonuses, and possibly the fate of western civilization. Consider: Ford sold more F-series trucks in 2013 than the number of minutes in 2013, plus the number of minutes in the first five months of 2012. All by itself, the F-series business would be a Fortune 500 company.
The Ford is all-new and rides on a high-strength steel frame with an aluminum cab and bed. Ford says it shaves up to 700 pounds by going nonferrous in the body, which should significantly boost performance and fuel economy. And the F-series had some tonnage to lose: At 5800 pounds, the last EcoBoost V-6 F-150 we tested was 200 pounds heavier than a V-8–powered Chevy Silverado.
A 3.5-liter V-6 replaces last year’s 3.7-liter base engine. The optional 5.0-liter V-8 is improved in as-yet-unspecified ways. But the big engine news is a twin-turbo 2.7-liter V-6 that joins the stout but thirsty 3.5-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo V-6. All engines will bolt to a six-speed automatic.
Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra, Ram 1500, Toyota Tundra, Audi A8-camino.
Judging by the number of times Ford describes the truck’s aluminum body as “military grade” and “rugged,” we’re guessing the company fears some buyers might be scared off by a truck not made entirely of recycled anvils.
With five trim levels and various bed and cab configurations, as well as four engine choices and the option of rear- or four-wheel drive, the price range will be wide, as usual. Expect it to mirror the entries from Chevy and Ram when it goes on sale late this year.