The Ford F-150 wasn't looking even remotely old, but Ford has used the 2017 Detroit Auto Show to release an updated version of the best-selling truck in America. Although it looks similar to the current model, the new F-150 is a much smarter animal under the skin. Not content with one truck, Ford also announced the return of Bronco, which will be arriving alongside a new Ranger.
From the outside, you'd be hard pressed to tell the new truck from its predecessor. Ford says the new look is "even tougher," we say the designers slapped on a new grille, wheels and bumpers. Still, there was nothing wrong with the old one, so maybe an evolutionary approach is a good thing.
The real changes have been wrought under the skin, where a range of car-like driver assist systems have been fitted to make life easier for the driver. Thanks to new radar sensors and cameras, the car now has stop/go adaptive cruise control and pre-collision assist, which is able to detect pedestrians and attempt to minimize the impact of collisions by applying the brakes.
A new 4G LTE modem means passengers can access Wi-Fi on the move, with support for up to 10 devices. Considering the car only seats five, and one of the five is the driver, we'd be seriously impressed if you could hit the limit. Along with these new options, the existing range of add-ons including lane-keeping assist, blind-spot warning and a surround camera are still available.
Under the hood, the new F-150 comes as standard with a new direct-injection 3.3-liter V6. Although it gives up 300 cc to the unit it replaces, Ford says the new engine produces the same 282 hp (210 kW) and 253 lb.ft (343 Nm). It will be hooked up to a new 10-speed auto gearbox, as will the 2.7-liter EcoBoost. Those in need of a V8 are also catered for with a mildly more powerful 5.0-liter, paired with the same automatic gearbox as the rest of the range. Finally, 2018 will herald the arrival of a new type of F-150, with the addition of a 3.0-liter PowerStroke diesel.
Unfortunately, that still won't be enough to keep some people happy. Even though America is the land of the free and home of the truck, the Ranger hasn't been available at US dealers since 2012. It'll be back in the United States come 2019. What's more, the Bronco will also be making a comeback in 2020, with the same no-nonsense off-road focus as the original. Both will be built in Michigan.
The new F-150 will be available in Q3 of 2017. It was released at the Detroit Auto Show, where New Atlas is on the ground covering all the action.