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2018 Ford F-150: Intelligence Meets Capability

The Ford F-150 pickup truck is, for all intents and purposes, the class leader in the full-size truck world, and a benchmark for what America does best: Pickup trucks. We here at Automoblog, and certainly I, do not really have a dog in this fight. I just want a truck that works, when I need a truck.

So, we are not going to get into any sort of Ford vs. Chevy vs. Ram vs. Toyota vs. everybody else sort of arguments here. If, however, you want to know the facts about the new 2018 Ford F-150, here they are.

Ford breaks down the details of the 2018 F-150 into three main areas: It’s tougher, it’s smarter, and it’s more capable.

Materials & Technology

Ford is still on the prowl with their “Built Ford Tough” slogan, mentioning it as a critical part of the 2018 F-150’s DNA. They also point out how they continue to use a “high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy body.” Yes, certain competitors try to play this as a fault, but, if you know much about materials, structural engineering, or aluminum, it is far from a fault.

Like all new cars hitting the roads from Bangor to Beijing these days, the Ford F-150 will be slathered with a whole slew of high tech goodies. Gone are the days when the only tech-oriented bit of fluff you could get was an FM radio. The upcoming F-150 gets an available, class-exclusive Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection system. It can automatically apply the brakes to help prevent a collision with another vehicle or pedestrian.

There will also be an available Wi-Fi hotspot for the truck. Sure, that might seem like a bit of unnecessary icing on the cake, but consider this: Trucks are primarily used as tools by the blue collar types of this country. Change in plans. Here’s the new drawings. Here’s the list of what you need to pick up from the second job site. Here’s the new list of parts you need to drop off at Carl’s. Here’s blah-blah-blah.

Man, when I was using a truck as part of my daily job, I would have loved to have that kind of connectivity.

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The 2018 Ford F-150 will provide an array of available connectivity features and safety technology. SYNC and SYNC 3 with FordPass enables Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus other mobility services. An available 360-degree camera helps with backing up to a trailer or maneuvering the truck through tight and congested areas. The available lane-keeping assist system will help drivers avoid unintentional drifting while the available Blind Spot Information System, with trailer tow technology, accounts for the length of a trailer up to 33 feet. The latter uses radar sensors in the taillamps to monitor areas that may not be readily visible. Photo: Ford Motor Company.

Power & Performance

Now, as far as that “more capable” stuff goes, here’s where the rubber, literally, meets the road. The 2018 F-150 features the best towing capability of any F-150 yet. No specs are given, but the clear implication from Ford is that it’s more than the outgoing model. And since the 2017 F-150 could yank your house off its foundation, let’s just say we’re not worried about the upcoming specs for towing a trailer.

Ford, when it comes to towing, emphasizes the backbone of the 2018 F-150, the fully boxed, high-strength steel ladder frame. When combined with the aluminum alloy body, the F-150 continues to save weight, transferring to heavier payloads hauled and heavier trailers towed.

All this pull comes thanks to an new, standard 3.3-liter V6 engine, with direct-injection for increased efficiency. The 3.3-liter V6 is expected to offer the same 282 horsepower and 253 lb-ft. of torque as the previous model’s standard 3.5-liter V6. In other words, it’s the same performance, but you’re spending less on gas.

The all-new, second-generation 2.7-liter EcoBoost is available, paired to the segment-exclusive 10-speed automatic transmission. The 5.0-liter V8 is available too, with significant upgrades in power and torque, and will also be paired with the 10-speed automatic transmission. And for those of you that are fans of diesel engines, Ford is adding an all-new 3.0-liter Power Stroke diesel engine option for the 2018 F-150. It was designed, engineered, and tested in-house by Ford, and will be paired with the 10-speed automatic transmission.

The Ford F-150 is also the first full-size truck to add automatic start/ stop as standard equipment across all models and engines.

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The second-generation 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine features advanced dual port and direct injection technology, reduced internal friction, and improved robustness. F-150 engineers focused heavily on things like output, efficiency, quality, and durability. Like the 3.5-liter EcoBoost, the 2.7-liter EcoBoost will be paired to the segment-exclusive 10-speed automatic transmission. Photo: Ford Motor Company.

Pricing & Availability

The 2018 Ford F-150 will hit dealerships this fall; Ford has not announced pricing at this time. The 2018 F-150 will be built at Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Michigan, and Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri.

Chevy, Dodge et al, there is your line in the sand. It should be interesting to see how others in the truck segment respond.

Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He means well, even if he has a bias towards lighter, agile cars rather than big engine muscle cars or family sedans.

Photos & Source: Ford Motor Company.