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Ford puts a diesel in its 2018 F-150

Canada's most popular pickup gets new styling cues and engine options

The 2018 F-150 lineup is new with even tougher looks,” proudly proclaimed Ford’s press release from the North American International Auto Show in January. “From XL to top-of-the-line Limited, all Ford F-150 models receive new grilles, headlamps and bumpers that create a visually wider and more planted stance and maximum differentiation between the series.”

There’s also a new “sculpted” tailgate design and new colour choices for the interior along with six different wheel designs providing diameter options ranging from 17 to 22 inches.

To show off all those new attributes to auto enthusiasts, industry insiders and the media, the new F-150 made its official debut at that show in Michigan. But styling tweaks aside, what was really new and interesting was the fact that buyers will soon be able to order their pickups with a turbocharged 3.0 litre Power Stroke, V-6 diesel under the hood. Mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, this will be the first time the popular F-150 has ever been offered with a diesel engine.

When it comes to other F-150 engine options, the trend from Ford for 2018 will be smaller displacement versions that squeeze more horsepower out of every cubic inch of displacement. The F-150’s standard engine package will be an all-new 3.3 litre V-6 gas burner that will be capable of putting out the same 282 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque the 3.5 litre engine that it replaces did.

The original 2.7 litre EcoBoost gets replaced by an all-new “second generation” version with the same displacement. Ford claims it has redesigned that power plant to reduce internal friction and create more output, adding that the new 2.7 is now also a more durable design. The biggest power plant on the options list, the naturally aspirated 5.0 litre V-8, was given a redesign too and, yes, puts out more horsepower just like the others. Both it and the new 2.7 also bolt up to the 10 speed automatic transmission.

New interior choices for 2018 include two new colours for higher-end models, new seats for the King Ranch, and carbon fibre appearance for the XLT Sport and Lariat models.
photo: Ford

To stretch fuel mileage numbers, the 2018 F-150 will be the first full size pickup to incorporate start-stop technology across all trim levels and engine options. That feature automatically shuts off the engine during stops in traffic, such as when waiting at a red light. Step on the accelerator and the engine immediately fires back to life and the truck can drive off.

Ford claims the new F-150 will also be “smarter,” with a host of technology features crammed into it. They include adaptive cruise control, and a new radar and camera feature to maintain following distance behind a vehicle ahead in traffic and maintain that distance right down to a full stop if necessary. There’s pre-collision assist, pedestrian detection, blind spot information, lane keeping system, 360° camera views. And the list goes on.

The 2018 models go on sale later this year.

Return of the Ranger and Bronco

The Ford Ranger will once again be available from dealers for the 2019 model year.

During its new product introductions at the 2017 North American International Auto Show, Ford revealed it intends to re-introduce the mid-sized Ranger pickup to the Canadian and U.S. marketplace in 2019. A year after that, in 2020, buyers will also be able to drive home a new Bronco once again.

“We’ve heard our customers loud and clear,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of The Americas, in a press announcement. “They want

a new generation of vehicles that are incredibly capable yet fun to drive. Ranger is for truck buyers who want an affordable, functional, rugged and manoeuvrable pickup that’s built Ford tough. Bronco will be a no-compromise midsize 4×4 utility for thrill seekers who want to venture way beyond the city.”

That description suggests the Bronco will have more in common with the early ’60s first generation version and the later, compact Bronco II than with the full size model that saw production from the ’70s through to the ’90s. But at this point, we can’t be sure. There was no production-ready example of either the Bronco or Ranger on display at the show. In fact, the company is keeping the look of the new Bronco close to its vest. It hasn’t revealed any hint of what it will look like.

About the author

Machinery Editor

Scott Garvey is the machinery editor for Grainews.

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