Ford continues to spruik the virtues of its ‘full-size’ utility cum pick-up F-150 due
around the middle of next year.
But you have to wonder whether Australia needs another hulking American pick-up
on its roads, indeed whether it would be better off without any of its ilk?
GMC’s Silverado and the Ram range of full-size trucks are already here and have
been for some time.
In fact, the F-150 itself is already, privately imported and converted to right-hand
drive by Victoria’s Harrison F-Trucks as well as Queensland-based Performax
Performax incidentally is the largest importer of American vehicles in this country.
These large vehicles take up a lot of real estate and use quite a bit of fuel, but Ford
is not offering the electric (Lightning) or hybrid versions of the F-150.
It’s going with the tried-and-true EcoBoost twin turbo 3.5-litre petrol V6 which delivers
298kW of power and 678Nm of torque.
This could be more about keeping a lid on the price which will be well in excess of
F-150 will be offered in five-seat Crew Cab form and is able to tow a 4500kg braked
trailer. And while it is happy to tell you how popular this model is and how much
power and torque the engine produces, it has not revealed how much fuel it uses.
Figures suggest it should be around 11.8 litres per 100km — and that’s on a good
Australia is predominantly a diesel market for utes and SUVs and buyers generally
want nothing to do with petrol engines.
But more than 8000 Australians have registered an interest in the F-150, with
thousands of prospective orders already placed with dealers.
Ford says more US customers choose the EcoBoost V6 than any other F-150 engine
and this powertrain will make F-150 one of the most powerful, and most capable, full-
size pick-ups available in Australia.
F-150 will be offered in XLT and Lariat grades with the top-selling 3.5-litre EcoBoost
V6 engine, 10-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive.
Both versions will be available in SWB (3683mm wheelbase, 1676mm load box) and
LWB (3988mm wheelbase, 1981mm load box) configurations.
Durability tests in Australia have seen F-150 clock up more than 135,000km, the
equivalent of lapping Australia nine times.
Some of the world’s most punishing roads were also replicated in the laboratory at
Ford Australia’s You Yangs Proving Ground with F-150’s driveline, steering, wheels
and suspension punished on a Kinematic and Compliance (K&C) rig.
Overseas it has also been put through its paces hundreds of times on Ford’s
torturous Silver Creek Road durability track in Arizona.