The 2011 Ford F150 receives four new engines and for the first time ever, just a single transmission option in the form of the all-new six-speed automatic transmission. To give the driver better control over the vehicle and the transmission, the new six-speed features the SelectShift Automatic system with progressive range selection and manual shift control. The six-speed transmission features a wider span in gear ratios; allowing for strong low-end acceleration and towing capacity while helping to improve fuel economy thanks to the addition of the double overdrive gears (5th and 6th gear are both overdrive).
Manual shift control is exactly what it sounds like and this feature has become common on many new vehicles. This allows the driver to manually select the gear with feedback provided by the vehicle based on engine RPM and vehicle speed. In other words, the transmission still shifts for you when it absolutely has to – such as when you are coming to a stop. If you are in manual mode and don’t downshift as you stop, the engine RPMs would drop so low that the truck would stall but with this system, the truck will downshift for you…while still allowing you the option to upshift or downshift when you feel is best for that instance.
Progressive range selection allows the driver to reduce the available gear choices under given circumstances. For instance, when you are towing up a long incline, having the transmission shift into 6th gear could cause the engine to bog down. Attempting a long, hard pull in an overdrive gear can be hard on the transmission but it also can make towing more difficult. When the driver selects range select mode, the shift display highlights the available gears and the current rear, allowing the driver to adjust the range for optimal towing or hauling.
The 2011 F150 will also feature a recalibrated tow/haul mode, helping to give the driver more responsiveness when climbing a hill and more braking control when headed down a steep grade.
Finally, the new six-speed automatic transmission found in all of the 2011 Ford F150 units features a lightweight, one-piece case and the transmission fluid is expected to last the life of the truck – eliminating the need for costly transmission fluid flush and fills.