Ford is pushing new updates out to it’s bread and butter truck and celebrating its 40 years of sales leadership with more power, a new look and a 10-speed automatic paired with all but the base engines. The best way to identify the 2018 models is with the two bars stretching across the entire span of the grille. Every trim features a different grille finish to further identify them and the top trims are more luxurious than ever. We don’t have final power figures but Ford did announce that a diesel is joining the lineup, albeit not until mid-2018. For now we will have to be content that the blue oval continues to refine their best seller.
Ford Performance saw a golden opportunity with the introduction of the aluminum bodied F-150. If the outgoing Raptor was a good thing, certainly a 500 lb. lighter model would be an irresistible follow up. Emblazoned with its trademark F-O-R-D lettering spanning the width of the grille, flared fenders and curious running lights in the grille, this Raptor looks poised to continue to win the praise of the off-roading crowd. The 2016 Raptor is powered by an all-new high output 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 that Ford claims will better the current 6.2-liter V8’s 411 horsepower and 434 lb. ft. of torque while burning less fuel. All this power is transferred via an all-new 10 speed automatic transmission which can be manually shifted using paddles. Featuring FOX Racing Shox and increased suspension travel, Ford assures that the Raptor is ready to combat the toughest terrain. The flared body panels are a full six inches wider than the standard F-150. No fewer than six drive modes are selectable for driving on all sorts of terrain including normal, street, weather, mud, baja and rock. For those who want a truck that can do more than simply shuttle lumber home from the hardware store, the Raptor looks to continue to please. Unfortunately, you’ll be waiting until the fall of 2016 to drive one home.
The big guns don’t get any bigger than the F-150. Just consider that it’s been the best selling vehicle in America for decades and represents a majority of Ford’s profits through the years and you’ll understand why it’s absolutely critical that Ford deliver an outstanding lineup that will last 6-8 years against relentless competition. Ford has done just that by pushing the boundaries of manufacturing to make nearly all of the F-150’s body out of aluminum contributing to a massive 700 pound weight reduction compared to the outgoing model. With more high strength steel in the chassis Ford will deliver a more efficient truck that offers even greater capacity for hauling and towing. Powertrain engineers were also hard at work developing a new 2.7-liter Ecoboost V6 to slot in as a mid-range engine above the naturally aspirated base V6. Although power output was not announced, Ford assures us it will compete favorably with competitor’s small V8s while returning far better mileage. The interior hasn’t been overlooked either with improved materials, helpful new apps on the infotainment system to aide in towing and off-roading, and an enormous glass roof to bring an open, airy feel to the crew cab interior. With handsome new looks derived from last year’s Atlas Concept we expect Ford’s big gun to keep firing with all barrels.