January 4, 2005 As we've seen before, automotive marketing often sees strange bedfellows seeking to leverage each other's brand values - from Tonka and Ford through Razor scooters and Chrysler, a marketing edge can sometimes make all the difference in the tough world of automobile manufacturing. Ford will use the Detroit (North American International Auto Show aka NAIAS) auto show next week to launch another "king of the road" by joining with another motoring giant with a view to giving performance enthusiasts a new definition of custom cool - the 2006 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150.
The limited-edition vehicle draws inspiration from more than a century of tradition at Ford and Harley-Davidson to give customers an F-150 with more attitude than any other truck on the road.
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"This truck builds on the legacy of toughness that's been the hallmark of the Ford brand," said Ford President Steve Lyons. "Now, we're giving customers more of everything they love with the boldest Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 ever - with all-wheel-drive capability, 22-inch polished aluminum wheels and an interior that will take your breath away."
The 2006 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 SuperCab is the seventh model to emerge from the alliance that was first forged in 1999. The successful collaboration between these two icons of the open road has produced four F-150 models, as well as Super Duty F-250 and F-350 offerings. This is the first Harley-Davidson edition vehicle built on the new Ford F-150 platform.
"No one understands their customers better than Ford and Harley-Davidson," said Joanne Bischmann, vice president - marketing, Harley-Davidson. "We're proud to share the spirit of Harley-Davidson authenticity in a unique interpretation of America's favorite truck, the Ford F-Series."
HOT-ROD INSPIRED CUSTOM LOOKS
For 2006, the Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 SuperCab visually communicates power, dressed in all black, oozing chrome and sporting distinctive Harley-Davidson visual cues. The Black Monotone exterior is accented with a hot-rod inspired custom scalloped red stripe outlined in electric blue running along the beltline, punctuated with the "Harley-Davidson" script. The custom stripe adds to the overall performance feel of the vehicle, creating a sense of motion and speed.
The custom appearance begins with the bold front-end design, featuring a unique chrome billet grille and blacked-out headlamps. Based on a SuperCab configuration with a 6-1/2-foot Styleside box, the new 2006 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 cuts a menacing profile. Beefy 22-in. polished forged aluminum rims - a first for any F-150 - sport a split 5-spoke design, exposed lug nuts and the distinctive Bar & Shield logo on the center cap. The massive wheels give this ride undeniable attitude.
Between the wheel wells, chrome-accented side tubes help create an integrated appearance and enhance the truck's powerful stance. The side tubes and the unique lower front valence, or chin spoiler, help create a lowered look. Heavyweight genuine zinc die-cast badges on the fenders celebrate the Ford Harley-Davidson alliance. Dark tinted smoked-out tail lamps, a blacked-out bumper and the "Harley-Davidson F-150" badge distinguish the rear. Chrome tie-down hooks and a slash-cut chrome exhaust tip add even more street-rod appeal.
RUGGED AND REFINED
Harley-Davidson heritage resonates throughout this new vehicle. Inside, the 2006 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 makes a strong statement of custom-inspired refinement, with an underlying tone of authenticity and genuineness that has been the hallmark for all Ford Harley-Davidson trucks.
"For the new Ford Harley-Davidson F-150, we've designed a cockpit that's a tribute to the open road," said Ford F-Series Chief Designer Gordon Platto. "We've introduced high-gloss Piano Black cues along the instrument panel, center stack and console to bring in a feeling of visual motion. Combine that with the rich leather and bright chrome that's been such an essential part of all our Harley trucks, and you're surrounded with styling that salutes motorcycle culture."
Rugged and supple black aniline leather seating surfaces create a distinctive, inviting interior. The Captain's Chairs are unique, sporting a die-cast HARLEY-DAVIDSON Bar & Shield logo embedded in the leather. Elegant high-gloss Piano Black surfaces on the centre stack and door panels are flanked by a Bar & Shield logo-patterned graphic treatment.
The striking instrument panel - and the overall vehicle interior - features a stunning display of chrome, including unique chrome-ringed instruments, chrome handles, vent rings, floor shifter and door pulls. Adding to the overall custom feel of the interior is a serialized nickel plate showing the vehicle's production date and number.
BUILT FOR PERFORMANCE
Enthusiast events such as South Dakota's Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and Daytona Bike Week in Florida, along with everyday customer feedback, helped shape the performance story for the new 2006 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150. Customers said they wanted bigger wheels and all-wheel drive capability. Besides boasting 22-in. wheels, this truck includes a performance sport handling suspension that's tuned to deliver a more precise driving feel.
Customers now also have the choice between 4x2 and all-wheel drive, with the capability to handle more challenging driving conditions and road surfaces - ranging from dry pavement to winter weather. The new AWD system continuously monitors the wheel speeds and throttle position to determine the appropriate amount of power to send to the front of the truck to help prevent slip. Customers also can choose to override AWD by simply selecting the locked mode.
Lurking under the hood of the 2006 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 is a 5.4-liter, 3-valve Triton V-8 featuring a specially tuned exhaust system that delivers a more powerful, throatier rumble. It turns out 300 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 365 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,750 rpm.
Ford will build up to 10,000 of the 2006 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 SuperCab limited-edition trucks for sale throughout North America beginning next fall. The vehicle will be produced in Michigan at Ford's Dearborn Truck Plant. In addition to the 2006 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150 SuperCab and other vehicles in the Ford Harley-Davidson truck lineup, the companies' alliance has produced other products such as co-branded clothing and vehicle accessories.View gallery - 3 images