Sunday, October 26, 2014


2015 Ford F-150 pickup first drive


By on 6:15 PM

THE ALUMINUM F-150 COULD BE THE START OF SOMETHING BIG

What is it?

This is the new 2015 Ford F-150. It’s just a replacement for North America’s best-selling vehicle the last 32 years -- one widely believed to be the most profitable model the Detroit Three make. A radical overhaul for the F-150 leaves Ford Motor Co.’s prosperity hanging in the balance.

2015 Ford F-150 pickup first drive
Much has been made of the 2015 F-150’s aluminum construction, and rightly so. Yet aluminum is only one element of what’s new in the F-150, and focus on the body almost shortchanges the rest.

This truck is offered with the smallest engine in the F-Series pickups’ 67 years. Its hauling and towing capabilities increase substantially across the range, and fuel efficiency should, too. It offers safety and convenience features almost unimaginable in a pickup a decade ago. The 13th full F-Series redo has generated more than 100 Ford patents or patents pending -- more than any truck in the company’s 112-year history. It’s a landmark as surely as the 10th-gen F-150 in 1997; that truck marked the end of Ford’s 32-year-old Twin I-Beam front suspension and introduced things like overhead cams, an aero smooth shape and a third cab door.
The new F-150 could prove to be the “segment changer” Ford promises, but in some ways it’s a conventional pickup. It’s conservatively styled, compared to ’97, and retains its tried and true ladder frame and leaf-spring, solid-axle rear suspension. GM has introduced variable displacement, and Chrysler a coil-spring rear suspension under its Ram. Both automakers have put eight speeds in their pickup transmissions to meet government (and customer) demand for better mileage. Out of the box, Ford has spent the most F-150 dollars on drastic weight savings as a foundation for further possibilities, including even smaller engines, alternative power and more gear ratios.

How radical is the lightweight body? Chief engineer Pete Reyes says 18 months into the 2015 F-150’s development, Ford management was still debating steel vs. aluminum. It’s a safe bet the F-150’s first-year production surpasses the volume of all aluminum-intensive cars and light trucks built to date, including military Humvees.

The body and underlying structure are almost entirely 5000/6000 series alloy, heat-treated with proprietary technology Ford developed to increase bend resistance. The cab’s structural cage is hydroformed and joints and seams are riveted and glued rather than welded. There’s more structural reinforcement between the inner and outer box and weight loss allowed Ford to up-gauge panel thickness as much as 65 percent. What’s left is a harder, more dent and rust resistant shell; on average it’s 500 pounds lighter than a 2014 F-150 body-in-white, depending on configuration.
Aluminum Ford F150 frame design photo
The aluminum bolts to a steel frame evolving from the previous generation. The biggest change: Inverting the ratio of conventional and high-strength steel, with high-tensile varieties up to 70,000 psi resistance increasing from 23 percent to 78 percent of the total. The box section of the longitudinal rails is bigger, but are stamped in two halves and welded together, rather than hydroformed as before. This allowed engineers to thin out the inner half, where strength is less an issue, and further reduce weight. The 2015 model has an additional crossmember for eight total; five are cut through the box rails and welded twice. The 2015 frame is 70 pounds lighter than the 2014, but Ford says stiffness improves at least 5 percent by any measure.

Mating steel and aluminum brings potential for contact or galvanic corrosion. To minimize that, body and frame attachment points -- six or eight for the cab, four for the box -- are treated with special primers and coatings, and fitted with appropriate washers.

There are other, less obvious weight reductions. Laminated glass allows thinner panels without increasing cab noise. Engines, including the F-150’s new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 are lighter and there are small savings throughout. Wheels are optimized to reduce mass in low-stress areas, trimming weight 2.5 pounds on average per wheel. A new tire-jack attachment trimmed another 2.2 pounds.

The net result is an “up too 700-pound” weight reduction from ’14 to ’15, according to Ford -- again depending on cab/box configuration. The value should be obvious. At the typical 1500-class Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 7,000-7,200 pounds, 700 pounds less in the vehicle means 700 pounds more payload. Or a crew of four and the same bed load. Conversely, it takes less energy to move the unladen truck at a given rate.
New 2015 Ford F150 2.7 liter Ecoboost engine
Four engines are available. The base V6 drops from 3.7 to 3.5 liters displacement and horsepower and torque (283/255) drop 6 and 8 percent, respectively. The 3.5-liter, turbocharged EcoBoost V6 is carryover, with the same 365 hp and 420 lb-ft. Horsepower in the 5.0-liter V8 increases 25 to 385 and torque 7 lb-ft to 387. The 6.2-liter V8, offered only in the Raptor, disappears with its host vehicle in 2015.

The big news is the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, with exactly the same displacement as the base four-cylinder in the compact Toyota Tacoma. The Ford V6 is turbocharged, of course, with twin turbos attached to exhaust manifolds cast into its aluminum cylinder heads. Its block is cast from compacted graphite iron -- previously used only in diesel blocks. CGI is heavier than aluminum, but also denser, allowing thinner, more-compact castings and requiring no bore liners. Overall the 2.7 weighs about 10 pounds less than the 3.5 EcoBoost. With direct injection, variable cam timing and 17-18 pounds of boost, the 2.7 EcoBoost delivers 325 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque. F-150s equipped with the 2.7 have a 2,200-pound max payload and a tow rating up to 8,500 pounds.

The rest of the powertrain is carryover: an updated six-speed automatic, fulltime or on-demand all-wheel-drive, and four different axle ratios ranging from 3.15 to 3.73.

Like the frame, the F-150 suspension represents evolution from the previous generation. Upper wishbones for the coil-over-shock front suspension are now stamped (like the lower) rather than forged, to trim weight. The knuckles are aluminum and attachment points and bushings have been revised. The rear shocks are now splayed in opposite directions at each end of the rear axle for more stability.

The cab is 2 inches wider with substantially more hip room, legroom front and rear and more headroom in back. The dashboard and every trim panel is new and there is more of just about everything -- more electronic screens, more speakers, more stuff. Megabuck luxury sedans have nothing on the new F-150 when it comes to stuff. If a technology or feature exists in the automotive milieu, it’s probably available here -- including park assist. We were truly disappointed by not finding an opportunity to auto-park a long-wheelbase F-150.

Trukania.com
Judul: 2015 Ford F-150 pickup first drive
Review oleh: Tukang Coding |
Update pada: 6:15 PM | Rating: 4.5

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