Take a good look at the pickup in these spy photos. It might appear to be a Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 test truck out for a shakedown run, but it's not. Our spies have caught a half-dressed engineering mule of what's believed to be the 2011 Ford F-150 Lariat Limited.
The last time we saw the F-150 Lariat Limited was in 2008, when the special edition trim package debuted for the final year of production of the 2004-2008 F-150. Only 5,000 units were built.
The 2008 Lariat Limited shared several key trim pieces with the 2007 Harley-Davidson, including the lower front air dam, wheels and grille. But it's the styling cues the Lariat Limited didn't share with the Harley F-150 (past and present) that helped narrow down the identity of the truck in these pictures. They include body color skull caps on the mirrors, body color door handle bezels with chrome pulls and fixed running boards. The 2010 Harley-Davidson F-150 comes with color-matched mirrors and door handles and auto-retracting running boards.
By the time we see the production version of the 2011 Lariat Limited, we expect the lower front air dam will be body color. The wheels may change to a different style or they'll be painted with body color accents. The diamond mesh grille is likely to stay the same as shown, to differentiate it from the Harley F-150. It's identical to the 2010 Ford F-150 Lariat's grille.
What else is the Lariat Limited package likely to come with? Though the pictures show a single awkward looking exhaust tip, the side view shows it's really two pipes merged into one. Based on that and the loud exhaust note, we expect the Lariat Limited will feature Ford's all-new 6.2-liter premium V-8 engine, as Ford rolls that engine out to high-end F-150 models. The 6.2-liter is rated at 411-hp and 434 lbs.-ft. of torque in the 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor.