NAIAS: Ford gambles on aluminum F-150, pays homage to Mustang – Dearborn Press and Guide

Posted: Tuesday, January 21, 2014

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DETROIT — The nation’s best-selling vehicle is getting a makeover and could save buyers a few bucks at the gas pump.

Ford Motor Co. introduced its new line of F-Series pickups Monday morning during the media preview of the 2014 North American International Auto Show at Cobo Center.

The pickups, assembled at Ford’s nearby Rouge Assembly Plant, tout fuel economy as much as durability.

The new F-Series line will offer four engines, including a 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 that Ford claims offers the same power as its standard V-8. The automaker did not release gas mileage estimates.

An aluminum alloy body and steel frame takes about 700 pounds off the weight of the trucks and new creature comforts, including a 360-degree camera, will be available as options.

To prove the F-150’s aluminum body’s strength, Ford took the new model through rigorous tests, including cross-country hauls through desert valleys and over high-altitude mountain passes and in climates of 20 degrees below zero and 120 degrees above.

Customers using the F-150 for construction, mining and utilities have tested and helped prove its high-strength aluminum-alloy cargo box, according to a Ford press release.

A disguised F-150 even raced in the Baja 1000, where it earned the distinction of completing the 883-mile race while some other purpose-built race vehicles could not.

The F-150 also has updated technology throughout.

“F-150 is well-known for being Built Ford Tough. Now, it is both tough and smart,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s chief operating officer. Continued…


The new model has a host of tech features.

A new smart trailer tow module, using a tow wiring harness, helps identify and inform the driver of potential trailer connectivity issues, burned or unlit trailer marker lamps, and brake light and trailer battery faults.

Curve control automatically provides more aggressive four-wheel braking when the truck is going into a corner too quickly.

Ford also added adaptive cruise control, a lane-keeping system and a blind spot information system — assets that are becoming new technology standards for many automotive companies.

Ford sold 763,402 F-Series pickups in 2013, an 18 percent increase over the previous year. It’s been the best-selling pickup for 37 straight years and the best-selling vehicle for 32.

It will go on sale later this year, according to Ford.

Elsewhere

Ford is celebrating the iconic Mustang’s 50th year with a special display at the auto show of the first concept and production model and the 2015 iteration.

The automaker unveiled the 2015 Mustang in December, but the Detroit auto show is its first public appearance.

While it bears a strong resemblance to the 2004 retro redesign, there are plenty of new features and a slightly new look for the 50-year-old classic. Continued…


DETROIT — The nation’s best-selling vehicle is getting a makeover and could save buyers a few bucks at the gas pump.

Ford Motor Co. introduced its new line of F-Series pickups Monday morning during the media preview of the 2014 North American International Auto Show at Cobo Center.

The pickups, assembled at Ford’s nearby Rouge Assembly Plant, tout fuel economy as much as durability.

The new F-Series line will offer four engines, including a 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 that Ford claims offers the same power as its standard V-8. The automaker did not release gas mileage estimates.

An aluminum alloy body and steel frame takes about 700 pounds off the weight of the trucks and new creature comforts, including a 360-degree camera, will be available as options.

To prove the F-150’s aluminum body’s strength, Ford took the new model through rigorous tests, including cross-country hauls through desert valleys and over high-altitude mountain passes and in climates of 20 degrees below zero and 120 degrees above.

Customers using the F-150 for construction, mining and utilities have tested and helped prove its high-strength aluminum-alloy cargo box, according to a Ford press release.

A disguised F-150 even raced in the Baja 1000, where it earned the distinction of completing the 883-mile race while some other purpose-built race vehicles could not.

The F-150 also has updated technology throughout.

“F-150 is well-known for being Built Ford Tough. Now, it is both tough and smart,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s chief operating officer.

The new model has a host of tech features.

A new smart trailer tow module, using a tow wiring harness, helps identify and inform the driver of potential trailer connectivity issues, burned or unlit trailer marker lamps, and brake light and trailer battery faults.

Curve control automatically provides more aggressive four-wheel braking when the truck is going into a corner too quickly.

Ford also added adaptive cruise control, a lane-keeping system and a blind spot information system — assets that are becoming new technology standards for many automotive companies.

Ford sold 763,402 F-Series pickups in 2013, an 18 percent increase over the previous year. It’s been the best-selling pickup for 37 straight years and the best-selling vehicle for 32.

It will go on sale later this year, according to Ford.

Elsewhere

Ford is celebrating the iconic Mustang’s 50th year with a special display at the auto show of the first concept and production model and the 2015 iteration.

The automaker unveiled the 2015 Mustang in December, but the Detroit auto show is its first public appearance.

While it bears a strong resemblance to the 2004 retro redesign, there are plenty of new features and a slightly new look for the 50-year-old classic.

The new model does away with the blunt-nose face of previous years and has many more curves than recent models. The roofline also has a pronounced slope, giving the Mustang more of the “fastback” look of its late ’60s ancestors.

While it sits lower than earlier models, the new Mustang is slightly wider in the rear end.

The most pronounced change is under the hood, where a new 2.3-liter V4 EcoBoost engine delivers more than 305 horsepower thanks to a turbocharger.

The car still will offer a standard 3.7-liter V-6 and an optional 5.0-liter V-8 powerplant.

The 2015 Mustang will be available in dealerships this fall.

Ford brought more than just cars this year to the NAIAS, though.

With a sprawling section of show floor at Cobo Center, it is evident Ford wants its fans to have some fun.

Ford took full advantage of having the most space at Cobo with the ST Racing Challenge, a simulator that pits two drivers against each other on Germany’s famed Nurburgring









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