The biggest news in F-150 land (aka Edmonton) is the arrival of the 2018 F-150 EcoDiesel.
After years of rumors and speculation Ford finally is joining the ranks of the half-ton diesels. Ford has announced that the engine was “designed, engineered, and tested in-house.” (We previously speculated that Ford might opt for a version of the 3.0-liter Lion turbo-diesel V-6 it jointly developed with PSA Peugeot Citroën years ago, which is currently used in some Range Rovers.) Ford’s new turbocharged 3.0-liter Power Stroke diesel V-6 also will be mated to the 10-speed automatic transmission. The diesel won’t be available at launch but will appear shortly after the 2018 model goes on sale in the fall. In addition to the diesel, Ford recently announced plans for an F-150 hybrid, set to hit the market in 2020.
Remember the old days when a design was expected to carry a pickup-truck model for nearly a decade? Well, that’s ancient history. With truck sales continuing to outpace passenger vehicles, manufacturers have a vested interest in keeping trucks fresh. (Ford sold more than 820,000 F-series trucks in 2016, more than double the sales of the Toyota Camry, the top-selling passenger car.) That means shorter life cycles with numerous updates in between.
Ford isn’t taking any chances with its aluminum-bodied best-seller. Just three short years after the latest F-150 made its debut at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, the automaker has given its styling a once-over and updated the powertrains, including adding a diesel to the menu for the first time.
The F Stands for Family Values
A few key exterior styling tweaks run through the entire lineup, from the base XL to the top-trim Limited.
A new grille and headlamps evolve the look a few steps closer to the twin-bar motif of the truck’s Super Duty brothers. The twin grille bars on F-150 Lariats equipped with the Sport package receive body-color treatment. Out back, new tail lamps bracket a sculpted tailgate with a stamped F-150 logo. The King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited get a new horizontal appliqué on the tailgate for a touch of exclusivity. Six all-new wheel designs, ranging from 17 to 22 inches, also make their debut for 2018.
Interior revisions include a pair of new trim colors for the seats. The F-150 Platinum offers a Dark Marsala hue option. The top-dog Limited trim sees the arrival of a Navy Pier color theme. Sport and Lariat Sport trim buyers can specify faux-carbon-fiber appliqués. The King Ranch has “Kingsville” seats, which sound suitably kingly.
A bumper crop of tech and infotainment options join the already bountiful F-150 options list. Adaptive cruise control has been enhanced and now can bring the truck to a complete stop in heavy traffic, a new pre-collision-assist system includes pedestrian detection, an available 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot lets users connect up to 10 wireless devices, and a Bang & Olufsen audio system addresses entertainment needs. Blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, a 360-degree camera, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto all remain on the options list.