Project P552, the new F-150, is crucial to Ford’s US sales. F-Series registrations for last month were 63,410 units compared to 63,803 during the same month of 2013. For the year to date, F-Series sales are 620,447 (623,309). This includes heavy duty versions as well as the F-150 and the recent dip is due to the main production plant being down for the whole of September for the shift to the new 2015MY F-150. FCA in particular took advantage of this, with the Ram 1500 having a big sales month in October.
For those keen on statistics, it’s interesting to note that F-Series production in North America is almost equal to 70 percent of total Australian passenger car sales.
Five primary trims will be offered for the 2015MY F-150: XL, XLT, Lariat, Platinum and King Ranch. Chrome appearance packages will be available with XL, XLT, Lariat and King Ranch. Monochromatic sport appearance packages will be available for XL, XLT and Lariat.
Aluminium is used for the body-in-white, pickup bed and most exterior panels, though the frame is steel. The bed is aluminium for all F-150s but will be steel for the next range of Super Duty trucks. Ford claims 27kg has been saved in the frame and an average 320kg in the vehicle overall, compared to the outgoing 2014MY F-150.
There are four engine choices: a new 325hp 2.7-litre EcoBoost V6 with standard start-stop, a 283hp 3.5-litre V6 with twin independent variable camshaft timing, a 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 and a 5.0-litre Ti-VCT V8. F-150s equipped with EcoBoost engines have standard Active Grille Shutters. These stay open when extra engine cooling is needed, such as during low-speed stop-and-go driving or while working in hot weather. They automatically close to reduce aerodynamic drag at cruising speed.