The News for June 26th, 2020

Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. This week: it’s all about the new Ford F-150. Seriously, that’s by far the biggest thing to have happened this week. Come take a deep dive and learn all there is to know about it.

2021 Ford F-150

All-new F-150

After lots of teasers and promises, Ford pulled the curtains back on a brand new F-150 last night. The F-150, which you may have heard of before, has been a bit of a cult classic. You may have been one of the lucky few to have even seen one in person around your town. Only about 2,400 of them were sold last year… per day. Given its moderate success as being the best-selling vehicle in America for nearly 40 years straight, Ford has thrown everything they got at the newest version. The F-150 has been a major part of Ford’s identity and their success and it’s more important now than ever to get it right. We don’t know everything about the new F-150 yet but it’s already enough to know they’ve probably gotten it right.

Last night’s reveal was more about showing off than posting hard data. We got to see a lot of the key features and innovations as well as one of the planned powertrains. We’ll learn more the closer we get to its fall launch date, but here’s what we have so far.

Exterior and Interior

 

All-new F-150

After realizing their switch to an aluminum-alloy body wasn’t the doomsday event some forum guys and GM’s marketing team had predicted, Ford is doing it once again. The body is still immediately recognizable as an F-150 but makes strides in improving aerodynamic efficiency while boasting a more modern style. The exterior is definitely more of an evolution rather than anything all new, but that’s worked for the F-150 in the past. We see new lighting that can be full LED by request, a new powerdome hood, wraparound bumpers, and eleven new grille options. It also gets higher front fenders, a tucked-in midsection, and a new stance that sees larger-diameter tires that are pulled out 3/4 of an inch. Aerodynamics have been improved with new active grille shutters, an automatically deploying air dam, and new cab and tailgate geometry.

All-new F-150

The changes inside are probably some of the most dramatic though. It’s a tougher cabin for the worker-spec trucks that actually get used as trucks and can be a more luxurious cabin for the increasing number of Americans who are replacing luxury cars with luxury trucks.

 

Base cabins will feature more soil-resistant two-tone seats, a new dual glovebox, and an 8-inch touch screen infotainment screen. That means you’ll be able to actually see the backup camera now. The mid-level trims will get a massive 12″ display as an option and higher trims get that as standard. Moving up to the highest trims you get the best leather Ford has and available Max Recline Seats. Those seats fold flat to nearly 180 degrees with the bottom cushion rising to meet the back cushion and the upper back support rotating forward for maximum support and comfort. This allows owners to sleep more comfortably on the road at rest areas or on the job site while the guys you’re supervising do all the work.

New Features

All-new F-150

Several productivity-boosting features are also available inside and out, including the Interior Work Surface option which is exactly what it sounds like. This adds a stowable surface that spreads over the center console (or center seat on bench-seating configurations) that is ideal for signing documents, using a laptop, or just eating lunch. Trucks equipped with a console shifter will have a feature that allows it to stow away to clear room for the work surface. It’s available on all trim levels. Ford also offers a lockable, fold-flat rear storage vault which extends the width of the rear seats. It’s accessible by lifting the rear seat cushion and is ideal for storing items long term that you don’t want out in the elements.

All-new F-150

There’s also some neat features at the back of the truck, including a Tailgate Work Surface with integrated rulers, a mobile device holder, and a pencil holder. That would come in handy if you also opt for the Pro Power Onboard feature which acts like a power generator that you can take everywhere, be it a job site or a camp ground. It has a 2.0 kW output as standard and 7.2 kW on PowerBoost-equipped models (more on that to come). The onboard generator can also be used while on the move to charge tools between jobs. Power is accessible through in-cabin outlets and up to four cargo bed-mounted 120-volt 20-amp outlets plus an additional 240-volt 30-amp outlet on the 7.2-kW version.

The newest version of Sync 4 is included with some new features of its own. Full Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support of course and new Sync integrations with apps like Waze and Alexa run on a system with twice the power of Sync 3. XLT and above models feature a standard eight-speaker sound system by Bang & Olufsen while an eighteen speaker unit is optional (and standard on higher trims). Sync 4 also offers new features through the FordPass mobile app like remote unlocking and engine start, zone lighting control, trailer theft alert, trailer light check, and control of the onboard power generator.

EcoBoost and PowerBoost

All-new F-150

The only powertrain Ford is talking about at the moment is the EcoBoost V6 and its optional hybrid system called PowerBoost. It’s been casually mentioned in a tech sheet that all existing engine options are returning, including the 3.0-liter Power Stroke diesel V6 and the Coyote-based 5.0-liter V8 that’s capable of accepting a supercharger. All are paired with a standard ten-speed transmission. But there’s a pretty big push for improving efficiency that’s just started recently so the first-ever hybrid F-150 is the bigger news.

That new EcoBoost is a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6. No power figures are available yet but I suspect it will give the V8 a run for its money. Then there’s the optional PowerBoost hybrid system which adds a 35 kW electric motor integrated into the transmission. The motor is fed off a 1.5 kWh lithium-ion battery which is recharged through regenerative braking energy. There’s no shortage of space to place a battery pack on this truck so cabin and bed space are not impacted at all by this hybrid system.

All-new F-150

PowerBoost makes a noticeable impact by contributing 47 horsepower as well as instant additional torque while on its way to towing 12,000 pounds, but also helps ease the load off the V6 a bit. Official EPA figures are still pending, but Ford is anticipating a massive 700-mile range on a full tank of fuel with this spec. Fuel capacity on this particular model is 30.6 gallons, so the math tells me to expect about 23 mpg. Official towing and payload capacity figures are still TBD so there’s no indication on how much of an impact PowerBoost makes in that regard.

That about sums it up for the all-new F-150. It’s without a doubt the most important vehicle in Ford’s arsenal and makes a huge impact in our daily lives whether we know it or not. For Ford in particular, the pandemic has hit their bottom line extremely hard as it has for everyone, but the F-150 could prove to be a constant in an ever changing world. I’m sure Ford is as eager to start building this new truck as they were to get production lines moving again. We’ll start seeing them fly off dealership lots faster than they can build them this fall. More information like pricing and power outputs should be available fairly soon.

[Source: Ford]

Other news coverage from the week

jessi combs

The F-150 reveal may have been by far the biggest news of the week but that isn’t all there was. RAM teased the TRX, the long-awaited Hellcat-powered pickup, Volkswagen showed off a breathtaking Arteon Shooting Brake that isn’t coming to America, and Jessi Combs has finally become the fastest woman on earth. I’m not crying, you’re cying.

What’s your automotive news?

hooniverse

That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so now it’s your turn. If you saw anything, fixed something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything even remotely car related that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments.

Have a good weekend.

I'm the guy that spoiled the site with all the new car stuff. Hooniverse News Editor since 2011, amateur motorsport photographer, sim racer, and mountain road enthusiast.

32 Comments

  1. After marvelling at the torque numbers of my Briggs and Stratton lawn mower not long ago, my news is this piece of art:
    https://i.ibb.co/mX5xLfT/IMG-20200626-191114.jpg
    So I figured, why not replace this string with some everlasting bike brake wire? Those more mechanically adept then me know the rest of the story…damn metal thread wants to straighten itself out constantly:
    https://i.ibb.co/48xBtdD/IMG-20200626-191145.jpg
    So after a healthy load of swearing, I ended up with a bit of synthetic clothing line instead. But I didn’t get the spring in place proper so the rotation piece doesn’t return back. Went and got a beer instead.

  2. My news: I spent last weekend cutting up an oven and a porta-potty in order to bring my SAAB into compliance with current Lemons rules; nearly there.

      1. The porta potty is because Lemons wants shitty cars. Dunno about the oven; maybe they want more overheating on the track.

        It’s fairly easy to find old appliances to cut up, but I have no idea how someone would acquire a used portasquat.

      2. Rule 3.J.9 states, in part, that “driver’s- and passenger’s-side front windows must be removed, or left open behind fully encasing door panels.” I don’t want to remove the door glass permanently, in that I drive the car on the street and park it outside. Removing and reinstalling the glass for each race is also not a great idea, as the design makes this surprisingly difficult to do. I don’t mean just in the sense of “that was annoying” but more in the sense of “I never want to do that again.” This leaves door panels as my preferred option.

        The original door panels were in poor shape so I figured the best solution would be to cut a new set from the sides of a porta-potty, taking care to incorporate the portions featuring the large logos, you know, for that certain flair. Regrettably the molded 3-D relief made these too thick to fit between the door and the cage, so I ended up going with thin, flat sheet metal cut from the exterior sides of an old oven.

        Akwardly this still left the “fully encasing” part of the rule unmet, because the window mechanism involves a pivot which leaves part of the glass exposed above the main body of the door even when rolled fully down. I didn’t want to encase this with projecting pieces of the aforementioned thin, flat sheet metal, but the sculpted nature of the plastic porta-potty parts meant that, with careful-ish planning, I could cut small shields for the glass that would take advantage of the molded curves for ease of mounting. This also means that the window openings remain comparatively friendly for rapid exit, in that the thick, smooth plastic is far less likely to reach out and cut someone.

        I should probably take some photos.

        1. Probably too late now, but Coroplast probably could have fit between the door and the cage, and then wrapped over the glass. It’s pretty sturdy and can be formed in one axis. You can often find sheets of it for free, littering the fences of abandoned buildings–it is what political signs are often printed on.

          1. I thought about various options along those lines but once I accepted that I couldn’t have the style points of the porta-potty I decided to settle for the flame-resistance of sheet metal for everything except the small projections. Besides, I needed to get rid of that oven at some point anyway.

  3. “Let’s get a dog” she says. “It’ll be a loving, faithful companion and fun for the boys.”
    Guess the MiSSus forgot to tell me the part about how this creature is soooo loving, she can’t cope being home all by herself. Well, I got the estimate on a repaint for the Jeep this morning. Hopefully, if the scratches on the hood, cowl and the A-pillar can be buffed out, and they don’t have to blend too far into the front fender, and back door, it’ll come in under $1000.

    1. Don’t be too hard on the dog. She just scratched up the paint a bit. Imagine how bad you would feel if she had driven over someone’s kid!

  4. I don’t think that the Silverado and F-150 have looked this close to each other since 1986.

  5. After marvelling at the torque numbers of my Briggs and Stratton lawn mower not long ago, my news is this piece of art:
    https://i.ibb.co/mX5xLfT/IMG-20200626-191114.jpg
    So I figured, why not replace this string with some everlasting bike brake wire? Those more mechanically adept then me know the rest of the story…damn metal thread wants to straighten itself out constantly:
    https://i.ibb.co/48xBtdD/IMG-20200626-191145.jpg
    So after a healthy load of swearing, I ended up with a bit of synthetic clothing line instead. But I didn’t get the spring in place proper so the rotation piece doesn’t return back. Went and got a beer instead.

    1. There is something to be said for the adapters that let you start your lawnmower with a cordless drill.

        1. The trick is to tell the kids it is a task that you have to be a big kid to do. That makes them more eager to prove themselves.

          Don’t try it before they are strong enough to pull-start the mower, though, or you’ll defeat your purpose of not dealing with the rope.

  6. The new F150 tailgate looks more useful and less excessive than the new GMC tailgate that needs a motor to open and close.

    In personal news my F150 spit out a spark plug and its 5.4 Triton is V-7 until I can replace the offending cylinder head since this is apparently the second failure of #3 spark plug. Since I need parts and time, expect a report of epic wrenching in mid July.

  7. Still on the road trip…Denver now. After replacing the vanos solenoid in the wagon last week, I’ve gone 700+ miles with no codes, surely a record for an e61. Plus, the fuel mileage also went back up about 10%. So, winning! In no rush to go back to AZ. Total covid cluster of fun back home right now. Bf flies in tomorrow and we’ll be spending some time at Rocky mountain National Park, then I guess slowly make our way back to flagstaff…

  8. Still trying to sell my project car link
    Some oddities I found recently:
    Autobianchi Panoramica went for only 1400€ at the auction:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d424e4bac162f1b39639b228aeee0708d7e09b70233cd753fb34eab0a9a6c128.jpg

    And then there is current French car manufacturer I had forgot if I never knew existed, MPM. Probably worst looking car currently in production, and this one has different colour roof. Woof.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/14e96c4a97d970831c27f40c1c6863fd825de60436a0aae93b70e56f280d70ab.jpg

    1. I dunno man, I rather quite dig the looks of the MPM Erelis. But then again, I’m a sucker for most French cars…

    2. Even looking at the tiny picture of the MPM on my phone, I was processing left to right, roughly thinking “that doesn’t look so baaOHMYGOD.”

  9. No pictures, but I’m almost done with the drivers side floor pan replacement. It’s 98% welded in, I need to do some more grinding and lay some paint on it, but realistically another hour or two and it will be done. It isn’t perfect, there’s a spot or two I put too much heat in and got a little warp (very little). All in all, under padding and carpet, it will seem good as new. And I’ll put some fresh undercoating on the bottom, so with any luck there will be no telling that I ever did it.

    Next up, passenger side! Then cut a hole for the shifter. Then cut some holes for the clutch pedal and master. Then dynamat. Then reinstall the interior. Then build the engine. Then….yeah, definitely going to be next year before this gets done.

  10. The starter went out on the Ranger and my middle daughter’s Protege needs brakes, so that’s on the agenda for this weekend.

    Work is on shutdown this week so I have time for some projects, but it’ll mostly be home projects not car projects. After shutdown they’re increasing the percentage of people on-site from 15-20% to 50% so I’ll be going into the office regularly for the first time since March. I guess I need to get that post-strut-replacement alignment done on the BMW this week too.

  11. ’74 Plymouth Duster update – it’s back in its home. Once I figured out the solution it seemed super obvious. Of course not while I was searching for it though! The initial success I had getting it running last week mysteriously disappeared after a long time with the battery on a trickle charger. It would crank fine but not start. The eventual solution (after trying a jump box) was a new battery. With it finally running, I borrowed a timing light and it was right on. Fixed a high idle by finding the right homes for a couple errant vacuum hoses and a little fiddling around with the carb. Just for grins I popped off the valve cover and checked the valve clearances to the rockers but they were all ok.

    The front brake reservoir was bone dry. Soaked up the fluid in the rear reservoir, then unscrewed all 4 bleed screws which miraculously didn’t break! It took a while on the workbench with a small drill and some piano wire to clear the bleed path again but once we got them all back in they flowed fluid ok. The master cylinder was pretty nasty and sticking but it loosened up during the bleed process. The first several pumps I had to reach down and lift the pedal off the floor.

    Test drive was great! What a time machine. Plenty of power for it’s time from the slant 6 and you can heel-toe a 3 on the tree but it’s… awkward. The ride was like driving over soft butter. And as long as you didn’t need to change direction in any kind of hurry the handling was… barely adequate. But it worked well enough for an ice cream run and some smiles. Nice thing to have for a warm summer day. I think my neighbor is planning on selling it but we’ll see. it hasn’t run for 3 years so hopefully he gets it out to enjoy a bit before it goes away.

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