What will the USA look like in two years’ time? Based on the current formbook, that might be a question best left unanswered. Regardless of your political persuasion or taste in toupees, there’s one thing that will always remain constant; the nation’s trailers will, as ever, be tugged hither and thither by a veritable army of Ford F-150s.
The USA’s top selling vehicle for the best part of three decades – and by a country mile at that – can put its success in no small part down to its huge array of variants. The standard F-150 and its Super Duty sub-division together cater for almost every conceivable occasion; from East coast to West, the F-150 is almost as ubiquitous a sight as the Star Spangled Banner itself.
At this year’s North American International Auto Show, the blue oval has ushered in a brand new generation of F-150 that’s set to continue its predecessors’ outright domination of the US car industry. Projected for the 2018 model year, the new incarnation features bold new front and rear styling on its hard-as-nails military-grade aluminium exterior. This means revised grilles, headlamps and bumpers for the entire range as well as a newly sculpted tailgate with the trademark “F-150” stamp at the rear. Six new wheel designs ranging from 17 to 22-inches enhance the 2018 F-150’s new wardrobe and the top-end Lariat variant gets a sport package as standard with its signature twin grille bars finished in body colour.
Visual tweaks aside, the F-150’s trademark brawn has always been its key selling point. Therefore, long-standing fans will be pleased to hear that the 2018 edition keeps up the tradition of best-in-class payload by trumping other big hitters on the US truck scene like the FCA Ram and Chevrolet Silverado. New for 2018 is a 3.3-liter V6 engine with the same 282bhp and 253 lb-ft torque as its 3.5-liter V6 predecessor. Another notable addition to the powertrain roster for 2018 is the second-generation 2.7-liter EcoBoost, with the brutish 5.0-liter V8 retaining its spot at the top of the power stakes. For the first time, the V8 is paired with the same 10-speed automatic gearbox found in the less powerful variants. Perhaps the biggest eyebrow-raiser is Ford’s inclusion of a 3.0-liter Power Stroke diesel option, the first non-petrol engine ever to power the F-150 pick-up.
Interior tweaks are minimal, with a handful of new seating trim colours available depending on the trim level. Adaptive cruise control, Pre-Collision Assist and Pedestrian Detection swell the ranks of the drive assist systems whilst the 2018 model also features an embedded 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot.
The new 2018 F-150 goes on sale in the States this autumn. See the latest generation of America’s all-conquering truck put through its paces in the video below.