As expected, the big news is that the 2015 F-150 is up to 700 pounds lighter than the outgoing model thanks to the use of military-grade aluminum throughout the body. Although more complicated to work with than steel, aluminum helps protect body panels from dings and dents and drastically improves the truck's efficiency. The lightweight body rides on a fully-boxed frame partially fashioned out of high-strength steel.
Visually, the F-150's new skin is heavily inspired by the Atlas concept that was presented at last year's edition of the Detroit show. The front end adopts a more rugged look thanks to a tall, three-slat radiator grille reminiscent of the one found on Ford's Super Duty pickups, sharp headlights and a chiseled hood. Out back, the truck gains a tailgate with a flat top for improved aerodynamics and multi-faceted tail lamps.
Buyers will be able to order a segment-first 360-degree camera, integrated loading ramps, a panoramic sunroof, LED lighting in the bed, LED headlights and a remote tail gate.
The chunky, chiseled design seen on the outside of the truck carries over to the cabin with rectangular surfaces on the steering wheel, the dash and the door panels. A screen located on the center stack runs Ford's MyFord Touch infotainment system (if equipped) and a high-definition LCD screen integrated into the instrument cluster is available at an extra cost.
Ford is keeping technical details under wraps but it promises the pickup will be offered with a 2.7-liter EcoBoost fitted with a truck-specific start/stop system, a 3.5-liter V6, a 3.5-liter EcoBoost mill and a 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V8. Both rear- and all-wheel drive models will be offered, but the Dearborn-based has not commented on transmission options.
Ford has not confirmed this but earlier rumors indicate a version of the Duratorq 3.2-liter straight-five turbodiesel set to debut in the new Ford Transit commercial vans will find its way in the F-150's engine bay later in the production run.
On the safety front, the next F-150 packs a wide variety of airbags including second-row inflatable seat belts, a function called Curve Control that automatically slows the truck down if it enters a corner too fast, Adaptive Cruise Control, a Blind Spot Information System and a Lane Keeping System.
F-150 buyers will be asked to choose between XL, XLT, Lariat, Platinum and King Ranch trim levels. The lineup will be broken down further with chrome and monochromatic appearance packages for most trims and an off-road package called FX4.
Pricing information and fuel economy figures will be published closer to the truck's on-sale date.
Live images by Mark Elias.