Archive for the ‘pickup truck’ Category

Ford builds an affordable, efficient small truck: The new Maverick

June 8th, 2021

America’s love affair with the truck shows no signs of abating. The country buys millions of them each year, providing the bread and butter for domestic automakers. But not everyone is well-served by the products on offer. Some might want a truck but are turned off by their ever-increasing size, particularly hood heights that hide small pedestrians. Others are put off by the poor efficiency. Enter Ford. After blowing everyone’s socks off with its electric F-150 Lightning, the Blue Oval is back with yet another truck, but this one’s small, efficient, and cheap—it’s the new Ford Maverick.

Unlike its bigger siblings, the Maverick uses a monocoque chassis construction rather than a body on frame. At just under 200 inches (5,072 mm) in length, it’s significantly shorter than the (232-inch/5,885-mm) F-150, and smaller even than the Ranger. And that means a shorter and lower hood and, therefore, a smaller forward blind spot, which will be welcome news to pedestrians, cyclists, and road users with small cars.

Under that small hood, you’ll find a hybrid powertrain that combines a 162 hp (120 kW), 155 lb-ft (210 Nm), 2.5 L four-cylinder gasoline engine (that operates on the more efficient Atkinson cycle) with a 126 hp (94 kW), 173 lb-ft (235 Nm) permanent magnet electric motor. Together, they provide 191 hp (142 kW) to the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission.

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Ford reveals pricing for the F-150 Lightning Pro work truck

May 24th, 2021

Last week, Ford revealed the F-150 Lightning, its long-awaited electric pickup truck. At the start of the new work week, the automaker offered up some information about the entry-level versions of the F-150 Lighting, which it is targeting at the commercial market. This version will be called the F-150 Lightning Pro.

The standard-range F-150 Lightning Pro can travel approximately 230 miles on a single charge and, as we found out last week, will cost $39,974 before incentives or tax credits.

What we didn’t know was how much of a premium Ford would charge for the extended-range version. This model is capable of about 300 miles on a single charge and will be supplied with a 240 V, 80 A charger (called the Charge Station Pro) that can fill the battery to 100 percent in eight hours. As it turns out, the electric pickup with the bigger battery will go on sale at $49,974 before incentives and tax credits.

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This is Ford’s first electric pickup truck, the F-150 Lightning

May 20th, 2021
Ford's range of all-electric F-150 Lightning pickup trucks will start at just $39,974 before tax credits.

Enlarge / Ford’s range of all-electric F-150 Lightning pickup trucks will start at just $39,974 before tax credits. (credit: Ford)

On Wednesday night, the Ford Motor Company unveiled its latest pickup truck, the F-150 Lightning. The truck is the hotly anticipated battery-electric version of Ford’s bestselling vehicle, and when it goes on sale in mid-2022, it will join the Mustang Mach-E and the electric Transit van as part of Ford’s battery EV lineup.

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden visited Ford’s Rouge factory in Michigan and gave the world an impromptu demo of how quickly the F-150 Lightning can accelerate.

The answer is around four seconds to 60 mph, at least when the truck is fitted with an extended-range battery. But a more important headline figure is the truck’s price. Remarkably, Ford is not targeting the upper end of its consumer base with the F-150 Lightning. Although you’ll be able to option a Lightning out the wazoo like you can with any other F-150, Ford will sell basic models with the (smaller) standard battery pack, aimed at commercial use, for $39,974 before tax credits.

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Everything we know about the new Ford F-150 truck—including the hybrid

June 26th, 2020

On Thursday evening, Ford livestreamed the launch of its newest F-150 pickup truck. It’s hard to overstate how important the truck is for Ford; the F-Series has earned the company tens of billions of dollars, and it regularly tops the chart of best-selling light vehicles in the US market. So redesigning the truck for its 14th generation is not a task the company has undertaken lightly—according to the automaker, more than a thousand hours of customer research has informed this latest evolution of an American staple. When it goes on sale this fall, it will be Ford’s most advanced light truck ever, with over-the-air updates enabling new features and for the first time, a hybrid option, and a battery EV version due in a year or two.

What’s PowerBoost?

For model year 2021, Ford is providing a variety of options when it comes to powertrains. Most of these carry over from the 13th-generation F-150, including a naturally aspirated 3.3L V6, turbocharged 2.7L and 3.5L V6 EcoBoost engines, a naturally aspirated 5.0L V8, and a 3.0L turbodiesel. (Exact power and torque outputs are not being disclosed yet.) All these use the same 10-speed automatic transmission. As standard, the F-150 is rear-wheel drive, but it can also be configured with all-wheel drive, with an open or locking rear differential.

The new, exciting addition to these is called PowerBoost, which is Ford-speak for a parallel hybrid. It combines the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 with a 35kW (47hp) electric motor that’s integrated into the transmission and fed by a 1.5kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The pack is liquid-cooled and located between the frame rails, so there’s no negative effect on interior volume or the load bed. There’s no overall power or torque figure yet, but we are told it should tow up to 12,000lbs (5,443kg).

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Meet the Lordstown Endurance, a new $52,500 electric work truck

June 25th, 2020

Good news, everyone: the battery electric vehicle market is about to get more crowded. On Thursday, Lordstown Motors unveils the Lordstown Endurance, a new BEV truck aimed at the fleet market. The $52,500 truck goes into production next year in Lordstown, Ohio, at a former General Motors factory, and unlike forthcoming BEV pickups from Tesla and Rivian, this one is aimed squarely at the commercial and fleet market.

If news about a US-made electric pickup geared toward the work truck market sounds familiar to you, that’s understandable. In 2018, we took a look at the Workhorse W-15, a carbon-fiber plug-in hybrid EV work truck that was designed in Ohio. But Workhorse ran into funding problems and decided to shelve the W-15. It also let go its CEO, Steve Burns, who licensed some of the W-15 technology for a new project. That new project was Lordstown Motors, named for the town in Ohio where its factory is located. It’s a factory that built Chevrolet Cruises until it was closed last year in a widely criticized cost-cutting exercise by General Motors. (GM and LG Chem have also chosen Lordstown as the site of a new battery gigafactory.)

It looks like a normal truck

The first thing you notice about the Endurance is that it looks like it was styled to blend in on an American worksite, not to stand out on the surface of Mars. “We really tried to strike a balance on the looks, since we cater to fleets,” Burns told me when we spoke by phone on Wednesday. “We thought, let’s keep the vehicle so that at least it’s a pickup truck. It has a bed and a cab and a hood, but let’s make sure—because a lot of fleets are very proud that they are putting their names on the side of an electric vehicle—let’s make sure folks can point to that and say, ‘Oh, that’s one of those electrics,'” he told me.

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Ford designs a pickup truck emoji, petitions Unicode Consortium

July 17th, 2019
Ford designs a pickup truck emoji, petitions Unicode Consortium

Enlarge (credit: Ford)

Did you know that July 17 is World Emoji Day? No, me neither—at least not until Ford used the celebration of these 21st century hieroglyphs to announce that it wants a pickup truck emoji. In fact, Ford was so serious about the idea that in 2018, it submitted an official proposal to the Unicode Consortium to make that happen. On Wednesday, it revealed that the little blue truck had made it as far as the short list for inclusion in the next official emoji update, which is scheduled for 2020.

“When customers started demanding a truck emoji, we knew we had to help make it happen,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of automotive. “Given the popularity of Ford trucks globally, there’s no one better than Ford to help bring an all-new pickup truck emoji to hard-working texters around the globe.”

The emoji as proposed by Ford is unmistakable as a pickup truck, but it’s generic enough to work for any make or model of pickup. (Although, as the cheeseburger emoji scandal of 2017 proved, that might not stop some app or OS team from implementing their version with the wheels on the top, or the load bed out front of the cab.)

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