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First announced in January, Ford has provided a few more details from its engineering team on its coming refresh of the F-150 lineup. The automaker says the new design takes cues from its Super Duty lineup, giving the half-ton truck what the automaker calls a “tougher,” “more capable” look.
Ford says customer feedback played a big role in the new F-150’s design process. The automaker’s truck design team met “multiple times” during the 2018 F-150 design process and Ford says its designers, engineers and product managers “embedded” with truck owners to figure out what they wanted in their next pickups.
The 2018 redesign signals the first major change in F-150 body styling since the 2015 model year when Ford introduced an aluminum body to the lineup. The biggest difference is the new twin-bar grille design which evokes the look of the Super Duty lineup. Ford says the grille also accentuates the width of the truck which, if we had to guess, is likely a look preference they’ve heard from customers as a response to how pleasing the 2017 F-150 Raptor is to look at. (The Raptor, however, looks wider because it is wider. Six inches wider than the F-150, to be exact.)
A Special Edition package is the only exception to this new grille design. The grille on this package actually looks a lot like the one found on the 2017 Raptor. It ditches the twin bar design for a large, tall opening that swallows the Ford’s blue oval brand badge.
The grille is complemented by C-clamp headlamps lit with LEDs. Above and to the sides are a chamfered nose and fenders. Below the grille and tailgate are frame-mounted steel bumpers for rigidity.
The profile of the truck carries over the “drop-down” front door styling, which refers to the way the window opening in the front doors slopes from the door handle to the side mirrors. Ford says designers also sought to emphasize the truck’s wheel openings and wheel and tire proportions. The 2018 F-150 will be available with six new wheel designs ranging from 17 to 22 inches.
Ford will also be offering a few different tailgate designs depending on the trim selected. Ford says “the F-150 badge on the tailgate is replaced with the stamped-in nameplate of popular XL, XLT or Lariat trim levels, while premium King Ranch, Platinum and Limited series feature a unique satin chrome appliqué.”
A few other details to note on the 2018 models, which will hit dealerships in the fall:
♦ Engine options include a 3.3-liter Ti-VCT V6, 2.7L EcoBoost V6, a 5L Ti-VCT V8 and a 3.5L EcoBoost V6. And new for this model year is a 3L Power Stroke Diesel.
♦ Auto Start-Stop Technology is now standard across the F-150 lineup. Ford says this system can help reduce fuel consumption by automatically shutting the engine off when the truck has stopped and is idling. The system then seamlessly restarts the engine when the accelerator is pressed or when the driver’s foot leaves the brake pedal.
♦ Also standard is Dynamic Hitch Assist which Ford says “provides a visible sight line on the instrument panel display, to help direct your hitch ball to the trailer receiver.”
♦ Available bed options include LED work lights, an integrated tailgate step, stowable loading ramps and a BoxLink cargo management system.