2015 Ford F-150 [w/videos]
Filed under: Truck, Ford, First Drives, Off-Road
To learn more about the all-new 2015 F-150 and get an early read on its potential hero-or-zero status, we flew to the heart of full-size pickup truck country, San Antonio, TX, to spend a day driving, to…
To learn more about the all-new 2015 F-150 and get an early read on its potential hero-or-zero status, we flew to the heart of full-size pickup truck country, San Antonio, TX, to spend a day driving, towing and playing in the mud with an assortment of Ford's innovative new trucks.
First, a caveat - while we feel we have a reasonably good handle on the new F-150 after attending this first-drive event, we are far from ready to pass definitive judgment on the success of this radically new rig. Our time in the various models was lamentably limited and we felt rushed. With so much at stake and with so much to talk about and experience, we had zero alone time with the vehicle - there were Ford folks shadowing us at every moment.
And we still don't know everything there is to know about the trucks, as Ford is withholding some of its most crucial numbers, including curb weight data and anticipated EPA fuel economy figures. We don't even have a firm on-sale date. All of this information is typically disclosed - or at least officially estimated - at the time of a new vehicle's first drive. This limits the scope of the judgments we feel comfortable making based on our first encounter.
With that disclaimer out of the way, let's get back to the elemental issue at hand: aluminum. Switching to this material is part bravery and part monumental risk. Ford's challenges stretch far beyond engineering, sourcing, manufacturing and cost control concerns to things like consumer acceptance, crash repair methodology and even insurance ramifications. The use of aluminum has never been attempted before on this scale, let alone in the hard-working pickup truck segment. There will be no bigger gamble in the auto industry this year from any manufacturer. The 2015 F-150 has the potential to be a game changer or, with a few subtle miscalculations, one of the biggest bungles in automotive history.Permalink | Email this | Comments