Press Preview: 2015 Ford F-150 Pickup

Odometer (Legend):  529,467

529467

Odometer (ILX):  78,930

78930

builtfordtough

These 3 words are a big part of my childhood.  As long as I can remember, my dad had a Ford pickup truck in the garage.  I even learned to drive a stick shift in a teal green 1994 Ford Ranger.

Here was our F-150 at Lake Mead, Nevada where we frequently vacationed with our watercraft during the summer.  My youngest brother Payton (pictured at left there, and now 26 years old) must’ve been digging in the dirt.

payton_with_f150

At some point we also had this bright red F-250.  With its extended cab and long bed, it felt like driving a school bus.  Forget about trying to park anywhere.  And need I mention the fuel economy?  This particular 1994 model year 3/4-ton Ford was powered by a 460-cubic-inch V8.  I’d be surprised if my dad was getting anything north of 10 mpg around town.

f250_snow

What I did love the most about that truck, though, wasn’t just the fact that my dad had camouflage seat covers.  It was the 5-speed manual transmission.  Rare, I think.  And man, it was fun to drive.

f250_interior

It’s now time for a whole new chapter in Ford pickups.  Ford representative Brandt Coultas flew in from Dearborn, Michigan to share a presentation with the Phoenix Automotive Press Association (PAPA) on Tuesday evening about the all-new 2015 F-150. I attended the media presentation in Tempe, Arizona and learned a lot about F-150’s, past, present, and future.  Did you know that this truck has been America’s best-selling pickup for 37 years and counting?  Chances are, you’ve owned one – or at least known someone who has.  A new F-150 is sold every 41 seconds on average.  That’s 763,000 per year!

poster

One of the hottest topics about this Ford is its all-aluminum construction.  Much like the first generation Acura NSX, the F-150 will be made entirely of aluminum.  This means that designers have helped the pickup shed over 700 pounds.

tyson_kyle

Brandt hit a button on the key fob and the tailgate dropped down smoothly.  We are talking about a whole new level of technology and refinement.  No “slam the tailgate down, make a running start, and hop up inside” here.  The tailgate has a step-ladder built in.  And, in all seriousness: a pole that extends to form a grab handle.  Why, I never.

f150_right_rear

LED headlights pierce the nighttime darkness with ease – we received a demo of that later on.  The glass moonroof in this truck covers nearly the entire roof.

f150_front_right

Part of Brandt’s conversation centered around the durability testing that the prototype vehicles have undergone.  The state of Arizona plays a key role in that process:  Davis Dam, located in the western part of the state, is a 13-mile steep grade that Ford’s test vehicles must climb — in the heat of the summer, towing a full load, with the A/C on full blast.  In all, Ford subjected its test vehicles to over 10 million miles of evaluation before giving this new model the green light.

brandt_truck_bed

Despite the fact that Ford is going for a “rugged” buyer, this truck will still have some luxury amenities.  There are LED lights casting a light glow around the interior door handles:  green when the door is shut; red when the door is ajar.  Safety-minded or just for “wow” factor?  You decide.  Here, Joe Sage (Editor, Arizona Driver Magazine) gives that moonroof a look.

kyle_joe_in_f150

Thanks, Brandt for the preview!  We all look forward to getting some seat-time in the new F-150 later this year.

tyson_brandt

Just for fun, a little more of my dad’s Ford pickup history, in chronological order.

1979 F-150 (circa 1983)

dad_f150_3

1989 F-250 (circa 1992)

dad_f250_2

1992 F-250 (circa 1994)

dad_f250

1994 F-150 (circa 1997)

dad_f150_2

2004 F-150 (circa 2007)

dad_f150

Now, how long before he buys a 2015 F-150 and puts camouflage seat covers on it?

9 Responses to “Press Preview: 2015 Ford F-150 Pickup”

  1. does that all aluminum body come with an renewable annual PDR upgrade?

    • Josh, believe it or not, we were assured during Tuesday’s conference that the new truck body is in fact MORE dent and ding resistant than steel would have been. Due to being so much lighter than steel, the aluminum panels were able to be made much THICKER than the steel.

      I even read in some of the background paperwork that there were repeated tests done (like dropping a huge drum barrel into the truck bed over and over again, on its edge to inflict maximum impact) and the truck never sustained a level of damage that was considered outside allowable limits. The Ford rep also told us that they are working to prepare dealerships to be able to perform body work on aluminum. Remains to be seen how this will all play out.

  2. Ron Peterson Says:

    Tyson: All well and good about the new F150 and I have just one question/comment. I am still driving the 1977 Fi50 short bed 4×4 that I bought new in ’77 for $5500. Has 143K on the clock and looks a little ratty, but is mechanically sound and dependable. Probably gets 500 miles a year on it these days. If you manage to get to Eugene, Oregon, the offer of you behind the wheel of ‘Ruby’ my 1930 Packard Phaeton for a nice day trip around the valley still stands. So here is my question. When my Dad bought the Packard in 1967, it was in Akron, Ohio. Dad found an open trailer that was designed to haul a small asphalt roller for sale for $600. It weighs 4000 pounds and he needed a pickup to haul the Packard home to Idaho. He special ordered a Plain Jane 2WD, 352 V8, manual 4 speed, long bed pickup with towing package. That is, heavier suspension with bigger, better tires, and the heavy bumper. This truck had no radio, painted bumpers, cloth seats and a heater. Solid, heavy hauler, pulling #8,000 pounds behind it with no problem. Here is the kicker, that truck, picked up at the factory gate, cost $1892. A year later, for my 18th birthday, in a totally unexpected and unprecedented move my folks bought me a 1968 VW Beetle, a leftover when the 69’s were out for $1865. Is it possible, from any manufacturer to buy that equivalent pickup, to do that job, for the same price as the equivalent beetle of today? 37 years later, is an automatic tail gate with steps and a protruding handle, that has had pipe dropped on it and all the rest of that goosepoop as my Dad called it, still going to work or be repairable? We sold the 1968 pickup a couple of months later to the the Concrete Placing Company as a work truck and it served them for 18 years. Surely there must be a market for a simple, strong, reliable afFORDable, manual transmission farm/work truck. Maybe not, maybe we have gotten to the point where heated leather seats in a pickup are to be expected. I don’t think a manual transmission is even offered any more. Let me know when you get to Oregon to drive the Packard, I MIGHT even let you drive the kidney pounding ’77 pickup. As an aside, A friend of mine that bought a 1968 Ford Camper Special new and kept it, recently did a nice cosmetic restoration on a nicely kept up truck and spliced one of those 1994 five speed manual transmissions in it. He likes it. The 1990 Accord DX has 454,000 on the clock plus the 10,000 or so from when the speedo drive was out for awhile. Just had the fifth timing belt put in. Had my mechanic do a compression test on the engine. #’s 1, 2, and 4 are at 210. I am concerned about #3, it was only 195. My ‘drive to five’ will slow down in mid June, as I retiring from 21 years as the shop teacher at Yoncalla. 86 mile round trip daily commute, all but three months in that same Accord

    • Hi Ron, I’ll gladly take you up on a short test-drive of any of the diverse vehicles in the Peterson fleet if you’ll allow me. That’s awesome you’ve kept the kidney-pounding ’77 pickup for so many years. Glad to hear the Accord is still ticking along, too. Keep up the momentum.

      In response to some of your other comments, I think the days of a “simple / bare bones” vehicle are nearly gone. Even the base Toyota Corolla has LED headlights. I don’t know if any automaker has manual roll-up windows anymore. And, as you noted, manual transmissions are going bye bye too. I find it kind of saddening – I like simplicity and ease of repair. Will the Acura MDX’s gigantic touch-screens fare as well over the next 20 years as my 1994 Legend’s switches and dials have? We just don’t know yet.

      Happy cruising and I hope to get up to Oregon soon!

  3. We like our Fords here also. Mustang, Bronco and expedition.

    I like the look of the new 150, now let’s hope ford does a retro bronco!

    • That would be sweet to see a retro Bronco! I knew you’d appreciate this post. Can’t wait for the day when you restore that 60’s Mustang to its showroom glory. Your Bronco is already a showstopper.

  4. Love the 79 your father had. I almost bought a similar one a long time ago. I think it was a 78 with factory lift kit, tow package etc. 351 modified Cleveland. It was a beast.

    • I wish he would’ve kept that old ’79! Great bodystyle. We also owned a couple other Fords that I forgot to post about, including a 1986 Bronco XLT. We loved taking that thing to empty parking lots in the wintertime and spinning donuts in the snow.

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