That’s a mighty fine looking truck, pardner...
Er yes, thank you. It may not be familiar to those of you outside North America, but Ford’s F150 has been America’s best-selling full-size pickup for 30 years, the truck that has sustained the Blue Oval through some of it leanest times – and we’ve caught the all-new 2009 model fully undisguised well before its debut next January at the Detroit motor show.
The biggest news is the introduction of a diesel model - a first for Ford’s icon. Powered by a version of the 3.6-litre V8 diesel currently found in the Range Rover, but bored and stroked to a 4.4-litres, the biturbo diesel F150 is expected to pump out 330bhp and a hefty 525lb ft of torque. Plenty of blue-collar muscle for hauling boats, caravans and horseboxes.
It’s styling looks oddly familiar…
It should do. The F150 borrows heavily from the Peter Horbury-designed Super Chief concept truck that was shown at Detroit in 2006. That means an out-my-way three-bar chromed grille, heavily flared wheelarches, warp-around headlamps and a vast power-domed bonnet at the front and clean fuss-free rear end styling.
Like the current model, the F150 will spawn a bewildering array of variants including three cab choices, three loadbay lengths, two load bay styles and five unique stand-alone models: the entry-level XL, followed by the STX, XLT, FX4, and the top-end Lariat. All cabs feature four doors for easy access.
The cabin architecture also gets a mild makeover, with a new steering wheel, dial-laden instrument binnacle and a centre console tweaked for better ergonomics and build quality. As well as the diesel, the F150 will offer revised versions of its 4.2-lire V6 and 4.6-litre and 5.4-litre V8 petrol powerplants, all tweaked for enhanced economy and lower emissions levels.