Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition)

New Ford F150 revealed. Could it influence a Ranger facelift?

- JASON WOOSEY jason.woosey@inl.co.za

THE Ford F-150 is about as star spangled as they come, having been the best-selling vehicle in the USA for more than 40 years.

Its blocky styling has become almost iconic in the world of pick-up trucks, and in more recent times it has also influenced the company's smaller Ranger, which is one of South Africa's top selling vehicles.

While we don't get the F-150 in South Africa, the newly facelifted model, revealed at the Detroit Auto Show this week, does show us how Ford's bakkie styling philosophy is evolving.

And while a facelifted Ranger is likely still years away, it will likely be influenced by this new F-150 that you see here.

So what's new in the F-150 for 2024?

Apart from a raft of innovative new technologi­es, which we'll get to in a bit, the full sized pick-up truck gets a front-end facelift, which is not uniform across the line-up.

As before, there are numerous headlight and grille design combinatio­ns, which differ according to the spec level, but the grille designs look cleaner and less slabby than before, while integratin­g more elegantly with the C-shaped vertical headlights.

Moving to the rear end the big talking point is the innovative new Pro Access Tailgate, which is optional on certain models.

While it still opens downward like all bakkie tailgates before it, there's also a central section that opens sideways to allow easier access to cargo. Not only that, but it can also open in stages, from 37 to 100 degrees, allowing owners to squeeze in when there's a bulky trailer behind.

The Pro Access Tailgate works in tandem with the many available bed accessorie­s, including dividers and tonneau covers to provide a “fully functional trunk” for the vehicle. There's also a small storage box located in the rear section of the bed for storing smaller tools and things like tie down

straps and bungee cords.

A 2kW inverter is also available on petrol models, capable of powering anything from TVs to speakers, mini fridges and electric heaters.

The new F-150 is the most technologi­cally advanced and connected Ford bakkie to date, and comes standard with 10 driver-assist systems, including Pre-Collision Assist and Blind Spot Informatio­n System with Cross-Traffic Alert.

Some smart towing assist features are available too, including the Pro Trailer Backup Assist feature, which allows the camera to track the trailer position while the driver backs up and guides the trailer, rotating the knob left or right in the direction the trailer needs to go, and the system controls the steering wheel.

On the powertrain front there's a new 2.7-litre turbopetro­l V6 base engine, which replaces the previous normally aspirated 3.3 V6 while upping the ante to 242kW. Ford is also aiming to increase the market share of its 3.5 V6 turbo hybrid model, which boasts an output of 320kW, by giving it price parity with the non-hybrid 3.5 V6 model.

There's also a 5.0-litre V8 option that carries over unchanged for 2024, while the upgraded supercharg­ed 5.2 V8 in the Raptor R is said to offer more than 522kW.

“We're making hybrid more accessible to our customers, giving them the power of choice by offering it at the same price as the 3.5-litre EcoBoost,” said Andrew Frick, vice president, Sales and Trucks.

“This is the latest example of Ford democratis­ing technology for all truck customers. We did it with EcoBoost engines and with high-strength, military-grade aluminium alloy bodies for greater capability, and now we're doing it with PowerBoost Hybrid.”

 ?? ?? WHILE a facelifted Ranger is likely still years away, it will likely be influenced by this new F-150 that you see here.
WHILE a facelifted Ranger is likely still years away, it will likely be influenced by this new F-150 that you see here.

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