2009 Ford F-150
Pushing Evolution to the Fast Track

Making its long anticipated debut here in Detroit, the new F-150 is probably the most important vehicle redesign Ford's done in the last 20 years. It's safe to say that Ford's very survival is riding on the success or failure of this sales leader. To make a mistake in this segment and this time in history could spell disaster for Alan Mulally's Bring-Ford-Back plan. With all that said, it looks like Ford has pushed the half-ton pickup onto a new level of problem solving refinement. To begin with, the frame is still fully boxed but has a new front section that improves stiffness and crashworthiness by more than 10 percent. Front and rear springs have been reset for more comfort and control as well.

The new F-150 (complete with a new F-150 logo) will offer three V-8 engines, with the base engine being the carryover 4.6-liter, 2-valve V-8; the middle offering will be the better-breathing 4.6-liter three-valve V-8; the biggest engine offered will be the 5.4-liter, three-valve V-8. Diesel and EcoBoost gas turbo direct-injection engines are planned for 2010. The exterior design is more in line with the recently successful Super Duty lineup, with a bigger, more block-chiseled front grille, more angular cab lines, and a sculpted tailgate that looks as personality defining as the front grille. Inside, fitment and refinement have jumped into another universe, with living-room-quality woods and plastics that seem vaguely Range Rover-ish. In fact, the F-150 will offer a segment-leading seven different trim levels that allow buyers to choose from the basest plain-Jane to the newly introduced Platinum Edition. Other cool new features include an integrated brake controller, a hidden tailgate step and handle, and the industry-first sidebox step that allows for easier, elevated access into the front the pickup bed.

We hear the new F-150 will have its own stowable bed extender, cargo management system, SYNC capability, an exclusive capless fuel-filler system, as well as many other segment firsts. We're guessing, in this extremely competitive segment, pricing will most likely stay the same, ranging from $18,000 on up to $40,000. Look for our driving impression when we get behind the wheel later this summer.


Videos

2008 Detroit: 2009 Ford F-150 Design Video
2008 Detroit: 2009 Ford F-150 Engineering Video