Trucks at Work

“Refinement” defines the new F-150

Considering that Ford Motor Co. completely overhauled its F-150 pickup truck line about a year and a half ago, it’s no surprise that only a series of “refinements,” for lack of a better term, are occurring to the 2013 model year – some of the significant, of course, but in no way comparable to the new engines and steering system rolled out by the OEM in September 2010.

The most noteworthy changes to the 2013 iteration of the F-150 include a new front-end design, advanced technology “packages” such as the MyFord Touchsystem with voice-activated driver controls, and optional high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps.

Raj Sarkar, Ford’s marketing manager for the F-150, provides an overview of those features as well as some others in the video below:

One neat new feature for the 2013 model F-150 are power-telescoping and power-folding trailer-tow side-view mirrors that add flexibility and convenience when operating in tight quarters, according to the automaker – aomething exceedingly helpful; for work crewes operating in tight urban quarters, I expect.

Ford is also adding is SYNC voice-activated communications and entertainment system with 911 Assistand Vehicle Health Report as standard equipment in the 2013 F-150 XLT series and above, to enable – among other things – hands-free, voice-activated control of enabled mobile devices (a fancy way of saying hands-free cell phone use).

The company pointed out that a wide array of optional services can be activated via its SYNC system, including traffic information updates, turn-by-turn directions, plus weather updates.

The 2013 model F-150 also introduces SYNC paired with a new 4.2-inch LCD [liquid crystal display] center-stack screen that provides enhanced displays of audio and climate-control functions. In addition, the instrument cluster contains a 4.2-inch driver-configurable LCD productivity screen including menus for gauge setup, trip computer, and fuel economy readings, along with towing and off-road applications.

Off course, Ford still highlights fuel efficiency as the hallmark of its F-150 lineup today – fuel efficiency driven by its 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine platform, rolled out several years ago. This engine – capable of generating 365 hp and 420 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,500 rpm on regular fuel, providing 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway – is becoming far and away the model of choice among F-150 buyers, as it powers nearly 60% of all F-150s ordered now.

“The 2013 Ford F-150 adds more style and technology that sets a benchmark for capability and efficiency in light-duty pickups,” noted Ford’s Sarkar. “We continue to focus on the no-compromise solution for our customers, giving them all of the conveniences and technologies they want with the capability they need and the fuel efficiency to go further.”

That of course is the key to selling light trucks these days.  

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