Jan 13, 2014 | Dearborn
All-New Ford F-150 Redefines the Future of Pickup Trucks
When you spend nearly four decades at the top of the pickup truck mountain, you learn some things.
You listen. You hear what truck customers want. And you learn how to meet their evolving demands.
Embarking on a complete redesign of its award-winning F-150 pickup truck, Ford knew what it needed to do – design and build a pickup for customers who want a truck that is tougher, smarter and more capable, but can still meet their growing demand for efficiency.
So Ford set out to create a new standard.
CLICK FOR VIDEO: 2015 FORD F-150
“F-150 is well-known for being Built Ford Tough,” said Mark Fields, Ford Motor Company chief operating officer. “Now, it is both tough and smart.
“The all-new F-150 redefines the future of trucks, and it is yet another example of our One Ford plan producing vehicles that serve customers with a commitment to the very best quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design and value,” he added.
From nose to tailgate, the 2015 F-150 is an entirely new truck right down to its signature feature – an all-new, fully boxed ladder frame with more high-strength steel than ever to make it stronger yet lighter. For the first time, high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloys are used throughout the F-150 body. These alloys, already used in aerospace, commercial transportation and other industries, make the new truck’s body lighter, stronger and more resistant to dents. Overall, the F-150 is up to 700 pounds lighter, helping the truck tow and haul more, accelerate and stop faster, and operate more efficiently.
Rigorous testing – it will have undergone more than 10 million miles in the harshest of conditions by the time the first truck rolls off the line – capped by a flawless performance in off-road racing’s grueling Baja 1000 proves the new F-150 carries Built Ford Tough DNA.
Changes were made under the hood as well, with four engine options that include an all-new 2.7-liter EcoBoost® with standard Auto Start-Stop technology, delivering an important combination of power and efficiency.
Bumper-to-bumper, the next-generation F-150 takes advantage of Ford’s state-of-the-art technologies to offer the smartest F-150 ever built. Features such as a 360-degree rear camera, dynamic trailer hitch assist and a host of driver-assist technologies put F-150’s truck smarts at the head of the class.
“More than ever before, customers want a truck that is a dependable partner, mobile office and a go-anywhere workshop,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “To meet the needs of our truck customers, we created smart new features and a whole new approach to using advanced materials and engines to improve capability and efficiency.”
With that “office-on-the-go” mentality, Ford engineers and designers included a long list of onboard features that offer capabilities never before realized in a full-size pickup. Included for the first time in an F-150 are a remote opening tailgate, LED headlights, LED cargo box lights, and extensive on-the-job and at-play amenities.
When it goes on sale late this year, the all-new Ford F-150 will continue the tradition of offering the broadest selection of trim levels in the full-size pickup segment. Five primary trim levels are available – XL, XLT, Lariat, Platinum and King Ranch. Chrome appearance packages are available with XL, XLT, Lariat and King Ranch. Monochromatic sport appearance packages are available with XL, XLT and Lariat.
The FX4 off-road package can be added to most four-wheel-drive models, improving trail capability with an electronic locking rear axle, skid plates and off-road-tuned shocks.
All models deliver enhanced interior and exterior designs that are the result of customer feedback collected over decades. The interior was created with comfort and utility in mind, right down to the buttons and controls that are sized so that a person wearing work gloves can operate them.
“Once again, Ford F-150 establishes new standards in durability, capability and technology to help owners be more productive 24/7 – whether for work or weekend fun,” said Nair.
How do you make America’s favorite truck better?
And then you do what you’ve always done but what nobody else has ever done before: You take what F-150 owners have told you they love most about their trucks and you make sure that defines the all-new model.
With the all-new F-150, Ford has designed and built the toughest F-150 ever.
Faces of F-150
Title: Chief Engineer, Ford F-150
Leading the engineering team behind the all-new Ford F-150 brought a host of new challenges to 27-year Ford veteran Pete Reyes.
Reyes, F-150 chief engineer, and his group were tasked with developing a next-generation version of the iconic Ford F-150. Ford F-Series remains America’s best-selling truck for 37 straight years and the country’s best-selling vehicle for 32 consecutive years.
Simply building upon the legacy of F-150 was not enough. Instead, the team created a full-size pickup truck that is the toughest, smartest and most capable F-150 ever and sets the standard for the future of trucks.
“The biggest challenge, from my perspective, was the sheer scope of the project,” said Reyes. “We have all-new cabs and boxes, five interior trim choices, a host of technologies new to the full-size pickup truck segment, an all-new engine and upgrades to existing powertrains. We also have an all-new chassis.”
Reyes brings to the group strength in leading teams from diverse backgrounds, skill sets and cultures.
“Growing up, I had the benefit of seeing the world from several ethnic and cultural perspectives,” said Reyes. “Our family was based in Flint, Mich., and my father was an accountant in the auto industry. His job took us to Caracas, Venezuela, where I attended school with students from all over the world.”
Reyes earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and an MBA from the University of Michigan.
Upon graduation, Reyes entered the Ford College Graduate program just as the vehicle body engineering group – and the auto industry as a whole – was beginning the transformation from blueprints on a drafting board to virtual images on a computer screen.
Reyes soon was recruited into Ford’s truck and commercial vehicle engineering group, and has now spent 15 years on F-Series. His two previous stints as chief engineer were for the new 2008 Super Duty lineup and the 2010 Taurus.
Title: Group Marketing Manager, Ford Trucks
Doug Scott, Ford truck group marketing manager, doesn’t consider himself a gearhead in the traditional sense. You won’t necessarily find him hunched over an open engine compartment with tools in hand, tuning his suspension or rotating his tires.
The Detroit native and 35-year Ford veteran marketer, however, always has been fascinated by the relationship between the auto industry and the public’s passion for cars and trucks. Scott’s position, which encompasses product and consumer marketing for pickups, large SUVs and commercial vehicles, allows him to experience firsthand the excitement and anticipation customers display when a new vehicle is launched.
“Engaging our customers and learning from them is the most rewarding part of my job,” said Scott, who started at Ford in 1978 just two weeks after graduating from the University of Michigan. “We know the customer better than anyone else, especially on trucks, and we have the best, most dedicated people in the business designing, engineering, manufacturing and marketing our vehicles.”
Scott has been especially busy over the last year leading the sales resurgence of America’s best-selling truck to its highest volume since 2006 and best market share in 12 years. And, of course, he has been preparing for the launch of the next-generation F-Series.
“F-Series pickups have been the best-selling full-size pickups for 37 straight years because they are the ‘and’ solution,” said Scott. “F-Series trucks consistently deliver the best combination of attributes our customers demand – a tough truck with capability, performance, efficiency and Built Ford Tough reliability.”
Scott views the all-new Ford F-150 as setting the new standard in full-size pickups, and the beginning of a new era of Built Ford Tough. “The 2015 F-150 is designed to deliver more towing and hauling capability than the previous generation, and is the strongest and most durable F-150 ever,” he said.
Title: Chief Designer, Ford F-150
Inside and out, the all-new Ford F-150 is rooted in this fundamental premise: Listen to the truck customer. And, more important, understand the truck customer.
That edict applies to everyone who touches the vehicle – including the design team.
“We really wanted to understand – from a customer perspective – how we could make the next-generation F-150 better, and what was top of mind for customers,” said Gordon Platto, chief designer for the all-new F-150. “The F-150 is tougher, smarter and more capable, and the design image and appearance needed to convey that loud and clear.”
The design of the next-generation F-150 encapsulates what the new truck is all about – a smarter, tougher truck that delivers an impressive combination of power, capability and efficiency.
“We wanted to make the new F-150 very efficient and aerodynamic but not lose that signature Built Ford Tough appearance we get with the machined cubic-style shapes,” said Platto. “We spent a lot of time in the wind tunnel developing shapes that balance the aerodynamic requirements for efficiency with the tough truck aesthetic.”
Another key part of the equation is how truck customers are demanding their vehicles support their lifestyle outside of work. The new F-150’s interior design balances function with comfort, and delivers the flexibility necessary to create a family of trucks, from the XL work truck through premium lifestyle vehicles like Platinum and King Ranch.
“F-150 customers require a fully capable work truck at the job site and a vehicle they would feel comfortable taking on a family vacation or a night out on the town,” said Platto.
This type of balance is one Platto personally knows well. He earned a business degree from Western Michigan University, and then enrolled in the transportation design program at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. His Bachelor of Fine Arts degree allowed him to pursue his passion for designing vehicles right out of school.
Platto has been with Ford for more than 20 years. In addition to F-150, he counts the Lincoln MKS, Lincoln MKR Concept and Ford Taurus SHO among his credits.
“In the end, our inspiration is our customers, and the design is based on what the customer wants,” said Platto. “We can’t build a truck and just offer it to the customer – we have to get into the minds of our customers and understand their underlying needs and wants, then interpret how those needs will look for the future.”
Title: Chief Program Manager, Ford Trucks
Prior to joining Ford 16 years ago, Jerry Farrell worked for the space systems division of General Dynamics. Now, as chief program manager for Ford trucks, he’s part of the team behind the all-new Ford F-150.
“The all-new Ford F-150 is a reinvention of America’s favorite truck, and delivers an impressive combination of power, capability and efficiency -- all of which will directly relate to how real customers use the truck,” said Farrell.
Innovations that will help truck customers be more efficient in their work and enjoy their off-hours are found throughout the all-new Ford F-150.
This includes an all-new 2.7-liter EcoBoost® engine. Other features are cargo box attachment interface plates that provide additional tie-downs and improved flexibility, and such driver-assist innovations as a 360-degree camera, which makes it easier to navigate tight corners and parking spaces. Energy-efficient interior and exterior LED lighting improves visibility day and night.
Farrell, a native of Stillwater, Minn., is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering. In his spare time, he enjoys running, hiking in remote locations and working on wood projects.
Title: Vehicle Line Director, Ford Trucks
As vehicle line director for Ford Trucks, Phil Collareno’s team leads the product development effort behind the all-new Ford F-150.
The new F-150 was designed and developed with a specific mission, one that has guided Ford F-Series to industry leadership now approaching four decades – deliver the toughest, smartest, most capable F-150 ever.
“For the all-new Ford F-150, we continue to create for our customers an impressive combination of power, capability and efficiency – all attributes our truck owners demand and expect,” said Collareno.
In addition to his work with the F-150 engineering team, Collareno regularly interacts with truck customers.
“We build our trucks to meet our customers’ high standards,” he said. “Our customers need a full-size pickup for their work and recreational needs. Downsizing to a midsize pickup or other smaller vehicle is simply not an option.
“We believe the new F-150 really sets the standard for the future of trucks,” added Collareno.
The Michigan native has spent his entire 34-year career with Ford. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering and an MBA from the University of Michigan.
Collareno also has held a variety of product development leadership positions in North America, South America and Europe.