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Ford F150 Limited (Super Crew): Techno Truck

By Ghaith Madadha - Apr 22,2019 - Last updated at Apr 22,2019

Photo courtesy of Ford

America’s best selling truck with a history going back to 1948, the Ford F150 has also been the most advanced pick-up in its segment since the thirteenth generation was launched in 2015 with a lightweight aluminium body.

A staple work truck that popularly doubles as personal transport in the US and Middle East, the F150 model range has in recent years been expanding to include ever more luxurious, technologically advanced and well-equipped versions for comfort, convenience and pleasure, the latest face-lifted models now even feature a 10-speed automatic gearbox.

 

New twist, enduring recipe

 

Introduced last year and winner of this year’s Middle East Car Of the Year awards’ Best Truck category, the F150 update also includes new a flashier and more assertively bold exterior re-design, updated infotainment system and the new gearbox. With engines options carrying over mostly unchanged, the F150 range gains a new 3-litre turbo-diesel for select trim versions and a wider availability of the most powerful Raptor performance model’s 450BHP twin-turbo V6 petrol engine, which from 2019 will also be optionally available for the Limited trim model, alongside the 375BHP version featured here. 

A rugged workhorse that looks the part, the F150 features traditional body on frame construction, tough leaf spring and solid axle rear suspension, but is notable for being the only truck in its class to use military-grade aluminium body construction for a weight saving of up to 317kg, which in turn translates to improved efficiency, capability, handling and performance. A functional design, the F150, however, includes an aerodynamically honed cargo bed for improved airflow and reduced turbulence. Meanwhile, its big glasshouse and low waistline provides good road visibility for a vehicle of this vast size.

 

Rugged and responsive

 

An aggressive and evolutionary design highlighting a rugged persona with big Tonka truck chunkiness but without the clunky, clumsy and cartoonish aesthetic of some competitors, the F150 sits with a confident stance and has lots of presence, but nonetheless features a sense of dynamic tension. Featuring a ridged and stepped bonnet minimises the sheet metal from the top of the bonnet to the wheel-arch to reduce visual heft, the face-lifted F150’s chrome fascia is meanwhile dominated by a vast bonnet, while now features a huge horizontal bar that extends to partially bisect its similarly huge C-shaped headlight unit.

Advanced not just for its aluminium body in the truck segment, the F150’s availability of an advanced, downsized and prodigious direct injection twin-turbo 3.5-litre V6 ecoboost engine is just as forward thinking. Standard to the Limited specification model tested, the F150’s Ecoboost engine develops similar power and more torque than the model line’s more traditional 5-litre V8 Coyote engine. Producing 375BHP at a comparatively low 5,000rpm and a massive 470lb/ft torque at 2,500rpm, the F150 Limited is estimated to cover the 0-100km/h dash in around 6-seconds despite a hefty weight estimated at around 2,225kg.

 

Smooth and seamless

 

A gutsy engine with responsive quick-spooling turbos and little noticeable lag from idling, the F150’s Ecoboost delivers a broad and muscular mid-range sweet spot where overtaking is flexibly quick and effortlessly confident. Building to a potent top end, the F150 Limited’s power build up is underwritten by a wave of seemingly tireless and deep reservoir of torque. Driving all four wheels through a new 10-speed automatic gearbox in place of a 6-speed unit, the revised F150 is smoother, seemingly quicker and more versatile, with its broad and closely spaced ratios better utilising available output for enhanced response, performance, refinement, efficiency.

Better suited to hauling the F150’s not inconsiderable mass with greater ease and response, the combination of Ecoboost engine and 10-speed gearbox also provide a smooth shifts and a more seamless fluency of delivery. With one able to choose to drive in rear- or rear-biased 4WD Auto mode where power is sent to the front wheels when needed, the F150 deliver reassuring road-holding and seems well balanced through corners. Additionally, 4H mode locks four-wheel-drive for moderate off-roading, while 4L engages low ratios for more demanding routes, heavy towing, steep inclines and low traction surfaces.

 

Capable, convenient 

and comfortable

 

Refined, and stable at speed, the F150 rides comfortably and smoothly, and felt settled over imperfections and rebound for a truck with leaf spring rear suspension. With double wishbone front suspension and the lighter Ecoboost engine, not to mention lighter aluminium body, the F150 turns in with a tidier and more agile manner than expected. Leaning somewhat through corners, it nevertheless had good in class body control, and felt balanced and predictable, with slight easy managed oversteer if too much power is applied too early on exiting a corner. Meanwhile, steering was light and more intuitive than many similarly sized trucks and SUVs.

A capable truck with 238mm ground clearance, good off-road angles and optional electronically locking rear differential for off-road driving, the F150 can also haul a payload of 921kg in its 1,495-litre cargo bed, and tow up to 5,352kg. Spacious every which way inside with easy accessibility to its four-door Super Crew cabin, the F150 Limited features and automatically lowering running boards, the F150 also features intuitive layouts, and good quality leather upholstery, trim and dashboard textures.

Extensively equipped with huge levels of convenience, infotainment and safety features, the Limited specification includes standard lane-keeping assistance, 360 degree camera, Pro Trailer Backup Assist, while available equipment includes adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning, cross-traffic alert and pre-collision assistance including a pedestrian detection system. Limited specification also includes huge 22-inch wheels that proved smooth on Dubai roads, but one would expect that other available smaller wheels and higher tyre sidewalls would better suitable for Jordanian roads.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

 

Engine: 3.5-litre, all-aluminium, twin-turbo, in-line V6-cylinders

Bore x stroke: 92.5 x 86.7mm

Compression ratio: 10:1

Valve-train: 24-valve, DOHC, variable valve timing

Gearbox: 10-speed automatic, four-wheel-drive, low ratio transfer case, optional locking rear differential

Power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 375 (380) [280] @5,000rpm

Specific power: 107.2BHP/litre

Power-to-weight: 168.5BHP/tonne (approximately)

Torque, lb/ft (Nm): 470 (637) @2,500rpm

Specific torque: 182.2Nm/litre

Torque-to-weight: 286.3Nm/tonne

0-100km/h: approximately 6-seconds (estimate)

Top speed: 170km/h (electronically governed)

Minimum fuel requirement: 91RON

Length: 5,889mm

Width: 2,030mm

Height: 1,962mm

Wheelbase: 3,683mm

Track: 1,717mm 

Seating: 5

Cargo bed height, length, width: 543, 1,705, 1,285-1,656mm 

Cargo volume: 1,495-litres

Fuel capacity, standard/optional: 87-/125-litres

Payload: 921kg

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 3,175kg (estimate)

Towing maximum: 4,854-5,352kg (depending on axle ratio)

Steering: Electric-assisted rack & pinion

Turning circle: 15.57-metres

Suspension, F/R: Double wishbones, coil springs/live axle, leaf springs

Brakes, F/R: Disc, 350 x 34mm/drum, 335 x 22mm

Brake callipers, F/R: twin/single

Tyres: 275/45R22

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