During the past decades pickup trucks were regarded just as work machines that did not warrant regular upgrades. In fact, it was common for a truck to last almost a decade without an upgrade to its design. That is all in the past as pickup trucks have now become so important in people daily lives, particularly for Americans. Pickup trucks are in fact outpacing passenger cars in terms of sales with the Ford F-150 leading the way. In 2016, the F-150 sold 896,764 units which outpaced sales of the Toyota Camry, the top-selling passenger automobile. To keep its “cash cow” fresh and interesting to buyers, the automaker has hooked it up with a diesel engine (more of this in a while); this is huge news considering it’s the first time ever in its 70-year history.
According to Ford, the new mill will help the 2018 Ford F-150 diesel achieve a fuel economy rating of 30 mpg on highway drives which is pretty outstanding. The American automaker expects the diesel-powered models to make up around 5% of the F-150 sales. The truck will be on show at Detroit; if you live near the area you can head up to the show to check out the new, diesel-powered F-150.
Exterior and Interior design
Private buyers will choose between Lariat, King Ranch, as well as Platinum trims but fleet buyers, will get the diesel engine on the XL and XLT trims. Ford decided to keep this engine on higher trim levels because it is targeted at owners who tow much stuff. The engine will be offered to both extended as well as double-cab body styles with a 6.5-foot bed for extended cabs and 5.5-foot or 6.5-footbeds for double-cabs. Models with this engine will be identical to gasoline-powered models in terms of exterior and interior designs.
Overall, Ford has added a few exterior upgrades to the 2018 Ford F-150 lineup compared to the current model. The new changes include a new grille and headlights which make the model look almost similar to the Super Duty trucks. On the Lariat trim with Sport package, the twin grille bars now have a body-color finish. At the rear, the model features new taillights which flank a sculpted tailgate that has the F-150 logo at the center. The top King Ranch, Platinum as well as Limited trims feature a horizontal appliqué on their tailgates to set them apart from the lower trims. There are 6 new wheel designs to choose from for the 2018 Ford F-150.
Inside, the 2018 F-150 trucks feature new trim colors for their seats. King Ranch trim gets unique seats dubbed Kingsville. There are also several new technologies and infotainment options. Safety has also been enhanced; new safety features and upgrades include a new pre-collision-assist system with pedestrian detection and an upgraded adaptive cruise control system. A 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot is optional (it can allow connection of up to 10 devices). A Bang & Olufsen sound system is also optional. Other optional features include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a 360-degree view camera system, lane-keep assist and blind-spot monitoring system.
2018 Ford F-150 Diesel Engine and performance
As said earlier, the 2018 Ford F-150 is the first ever F-150 truck to have a diesel powertrain. This means F-150 buyers will now have up to 6 engine options to choose from. The diesel unit given this honor is the turbocharged 3.0 L, Power Stroke V-6. The Power Stroke is largely associated with the Super Duty brand of Ford’s heavy-duty pickup trucks. The engine that powers the F-150 is developed by the same team that develops diesel mills for Super Duty trucks. The engine produces 250 hp and a humongous 440 lb-ft of torque. Ford estimates that the engine will be very fuel economical returning around 30 mpg on highway drives. The engine has a towing capacity of 11,400 lbs and a payload capacity of 2,020 lbs.
To achieve the excellent fuel economy ratings and continuous torque delivery, the design team used a variable-geometry turbocharger as well as compacted-graphite iron block. The designers also used dual radiator shutters and a mechanical engine-driven fan to ensure the engine maintains its high level of performance even in high-altitude and high-temperature environments. In moderate environments, the engine’s control system reduces the fan’s load via a viscous coupler; the system also closes two shutters on the radiator to enhance aerodynamic efficiency and reduce parasitic engine loss.
All Power Stroke F-150 models will use a newly developed 10-speed automatic gearbox exclusively developed for this truck. It is paired with either 2-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The transmission’s gear ratio and shift points are maximized to optimize power, efficiency and low-rpm torque. Auto Start-Stop technology on city driving is standard for all models to further enhance the truck’s fuel efficiency.
Price and release date
Ford is already taking orders for the diesel-powered F-150; first deliveries will commence in the spring. In terms of prices, for the Lariat trim, models with the diesel V-6 carry a $4,000 premium over those powered by the turbocharged 2.7 L, V-6 and $3,000 over the King Ranch powered by the naturally aspirated 5.0 L, V-8.