All-new aluminium-intensive Ford F-150 to be available here next year
Ford’s revolutionary new F-150 will become available in Australia in about six months.
The all-new 13th-generation pick-up, which made its global debut at the Detroit motor show in January, enters US production in October.
The MY15 F-150 breaks new ground by being the first to incorporate an aluminium body that rides on a steel ladder chassis, reducing weight by up to 320kg.
Ford claims the lighter F-150 delivers greater fuel efficiency, driving dynamics and braking ability, plus increased payload and towing capability, while the high-strength aluminium tray is said to better resist dents and corrosion.
Once again, the F-150 will be available in single-cab, extended super-cab and four-door crew-cab body styles, with a variety of wheelbases, tray lengths, (4×2 and 4×4) drivetrains, V6 and V8 engines, and equipment grades, including XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum, with high-performance SVT and Raptor models to again follow.
The F-150 is the most popular model within Ford top-selling F-Series range, which has attracted more than 34 million customers since 1948, averaging a buyer every 41 seconds.
Last year alone, Ford sold more than 1.9 million F-Series pick-ups, accounting for about a quarter of its entire sales, making it North America’s top-selling truck for 37 consecutive years and the USA’s most popular new vehicle – bar none – for the last 28 years.
Ford says the weight reduction allowed it to maintain the F-150’s status as a full-size pick-up, positioned above the Australian designed and engineered Ranger but below its larger Super Duty models, starting with the F-250.
From MY17, Ford’s big Super Duty trucks will also employ the same advanced aluminium construction as the MY15 F-150.
Last week, Performax International — Australia’s largest importer of new American vehicles — became the latest RHD converter to make Ford’s latest Super Duty models available in Australia with full-volume federal government approval, starting with the F-250 at $105,000.
The Gympie, Queensland-based converter hopes to build up to 500 F-250, F-350 and F-450 Super Duty trucks next year (plus a range of Chevrolet Silverado, Dodge RAM and Toyota Tundra trucks), for sale via outlets in most capital cities.
But Performax has no plans to import the smaller new F-150 because it would require local crash testing and sub-3500kg versions would attract luxury car tax, making them prohibitively expensive.
In contrast, VDC says it will offer all MY15 F-trucks both directly from its Broadmeadows base near Ford HQ, and via its exclusive resellers Harrison F-Trucks in Melton (Victoria) and Maroochydore (Queensland), and the Barbagallo Motoring Group in Perth.
Unlike Performax, VDC deals exclusively with Ford vehicles and has imported and converted more than 1000 F-Series models, including for the Victorian ambulance service, since 1982 – well before Ford Australia officially sold the 10th-generation F-250 here between 2001 and 2007.
VDC, which buys its vehicles directly from Ford in the US, is also recognised by Ford as a ‘Quality Vehicle Manufacturer’ and its F-trucks meet Ford’s internal Silver compliance standards. It also has a factory in Detroit, which converts F-Series trucks to RHD for export markets.
However, F-Series models converted here by both Performax and VDC all meet the same high-volume Australian Design Rule compliance regulations and all come with the same level of original Ford safety equipment, including electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, hill start assist, hill descent control, roll stability, trailer sway control, six airbags and five three-point seatbelts.
But while Harrison’s new-vehicle warranty is three years/100,000km, Performax offers a more generous four-year/120,000km warranty.
VDC says it will offer the 2015 F-150 with full-volume ADR compliance, but pricing is yet to be confirmed and could increase from the circa-$100,000 starting price of the outgoing F-150.
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