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DETROIT, Jan., 13, 2008 ““ The new 2009 Ford F-150 builds on its segment-leading capability, with industry- and class-exclusive “smart” features aimed at making the pickup an even more useful tool.
Most Capable Pickup Box
The new F-150 features the most capable pickup box in the segment. It starts with class-leading cargo capacity of 65.5 cu. ft. when properly equipped, made more flexible and accessible with new box-centered features.
“When we introduced the taller pickup box on the 2004 F-150, we heard from customers that they loved the extra cargo capacity but they were having trouble accessing the box from the side,” said Matt O’Leary, chief engineer of the 2009 Ford F-150. “We watched them try and jump up on the tire, use the edge of the running board or carry a milk crate to use as a step. They told us that we should just take the box height back down ““ but taking away cargo capacity from customers seemed counterintuitive, so we went to work on smart solutions that make the box even more functional.”
- Box Side Step, which helps customers gain access to the front of the pickup box. This industry-first innovation, available on 6.5-foot and 8-foot Styleside boxes, is mounted firmly to the frame and tucks neatly beneath the underside of the box when not in use. The 11-inch wide step extends out from under the box with the push of a button and is easily stowed by pushing it back in. The system mounts one step on each side of the box for full access; each step can support up to 500 pounds.
- Tailgate Step, first introduced on the 2008 F-Series Super Duty. This ingenious feature is popular with a nearly 50 percent take rate. It is made of high-strength steel and is fully integrated into the tailgate. To use, simply lower the tailgate to the down position and slide the step out and drop it down into the step position. A grab handle folds up and out of the tailgate to provide extra support when using the Tailgate Step, supporting up to 300 pounds.
- Stowable Bed Extender, which can extend storage space to the end of the open tailgate or it, can sit inside the tailgate leaving a small, enclosed section that keeps cargo from sliding forward near the cab. When not in use, this innovative extender separates into two pieces that fold and snap securely to the sides of the box, allowing full space and functionality of the box.
- Cargo management system, which is factory-installed and available on any truck with a 6.5-foot Styleside box. It provides easy-to-use secure storage of all types of cargo. The basic system comes with two side rails and a pair of cast aluminum cleats rated for 600 pounds. Available side mounted, blow-molded plastic tool bins can hold up to 60 pounds and feature double-wall construction, providing a water-tight, thermal barrier that can even keep beverages cold. The system has additional load bar and bed divider options, to maximize cargo storage and flexibility.
- Lockable storage. The innovative Midbox is an enclosed storage system that’s mounted in front of the standard pickup box and behind the cab. Available on Regular Cab with 145-inch wheelbase and SuperCab with 163-inch wheelbase, Midbox provides an additional 26.3 cubic feet of protective, lockable storage for tools and other valuable equipment without compromising the use of the full pickup box. Rugged steel construction features double-paneled doors that are accessible from both sides of the vehicle. The doors lock and unlock with the same key that operates the driver’s door, and the dent-resistant exterior door panels are fitted with factory Ford door handles for an integrated look. Latches feature double-bitted keys and lock tumblers designed to provide exceptional security. In addition, commercial grade sealing provides a weather- and dust-resistant interior compartment.
“Any one of these features might not seem like a big deal, but for the customer who uses the box of their pickup five, six or seven times a day, these innovations working together are really meaningful,” O’Leary said.
That same kind of logic drove the team to include other clever features on the truck, including the EasyFuelâ„¢ Capless Fuel-Filler System. This customer convenience helps to reduce evaporative emissions that create smog and global warming. When fueling is completed, and the nozzle is removed, the system automatically seals shut.
This feature is expected to be a hit with customers, which is why Ford is rolling it out on new vehicles ““ cars and trucks alike.
The Ultimate Towing Vehicle
The new 2009 F-150 offers the most towing capability in the segment and features segment-exclusive technologies and features engineered and built with the tower in mind.
“Towing a trailer or boat can be intimidating, especially for people who don’t do it often,” said Don Ufford, chief engineer, Ford Truck Engineering. “Hooking up the trailer can be difficult, and feeling in control of the load on the road is challenging, too. That’s why we’re equipping the new F-150 with the same towing features Super Duty customers have come to love ““ and adding even more content for F-150 owners.”
- Advance Trac® with RSC® is standard on all F-150 models. The system can predict the vehicle’s path using a sensor to detect and measure oversteer and yaw by monitoring the vehicle’s speed, throttle position and steering wheel angle. When the system senses wheel slip or the loss of traction, it applies braking where needed to keep the truck tracking safely on its intended path. Unlike competitors’ systems, this Ford-exclusive system uses a second gyroscopic roll rate sensor to accurately predict the vehicle’s roll angle. If a significant roll angle is detected, the system applies additional countermeasures to enhance vehicle roll resistance.
- Trailer sway control works in conjunction with AdvanceTrac® with RSC® and can determine from the yaw motion of the truck if the trailer is swaying and take measures ““ such as applying precise braking or reduced engine torque ““ to bring both vehicle and trailer under control.
- Integrated Trailer Brake Controller is factory-installed and allows direct operation of the trailer’s electronic brakes by squeezing the control module on the instrument panel with more confidence than the typical aftermarket system.
- Tow Haul Mode changes shift points under acceleration, keeping the truck at a higher rpm and further up in the power range. Tow-haul also prevents the transmission from upshifting when the vehicle crests a hill, and it provides downhill braking that allows the transmission to downshift, letting engine-compression braking slow the vehicle and maintain a steady speed.
- Reverse Camera System mounts a small camera below the Ford oval badge in the center of the tailgate that is activated when the truck is shifted into reverse, giving the driver a clear view behind the vehicle. The video image is displayed in the navigation screen on trucks equipped with that option or in the self-dimming rearview mirror on trucks without the navigation system. The system provides the visibility needed to back up to a trailer and precisely line up the hitch. The screen image includes an industry-first centerline and colored guides giving the driver a better perspective of the vehicle’s center point and periphery.
“Capability matters to Ford truck customers, but that extends beyond towing and hauling,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. “Customers tell us how important it is for them to feel connected on the road, and that’s why we’ve been working so hard to bring them technologies and features that provides them real-time access to key information, while minimizing driver distraction.”
Ford has been working with Microsoft, Sony and SIRIUS to offer customers leading technologies to help them stay connected with their lives while on the road. A host of new technologies will be available on the new 2009 F-150. Among them:
- Ford SYNCâ„¢, a hands-free, voice-activated hands-free in-car communication and entertainment system developed by Ford and Microsoft. The system fully integrates most Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones and digital media players, providing customers hands-free cell phone and music selection capabilities. SYNC will offer more functionality for the 2009 model year, with 911 Assist and Vehicle Health Report provided with no monthly fees.
911 Assist: When a phone is properly paired, turned on and connected to SYNC, the system will be ready to assist in placing a call to a local 911 emergency operator in the event of an air bag-deploying accident. The key advantage of SYNC 911 Assist is speed, as calls are placed directly to local 911 operators. A SYNC-assisted call should reach 911 operators faster than competitive systems, as there are no handoffs and no need to speak to a call-center operator.
Vehicle Health Report (VHR): This feature will allow customers to stay connected to their vehicle’s condition and maintenance schedule. In creating a vehicle health report, SYNC will gather relevant information from the major vehicle control modules and package the diagnostic data into a usable format. That data packet will then be sent to Ford via an 800-number automatically dialed using the customer’s paired and operable mobile phone. The whole process, which in some vehicles will include a routine check of more than two dozen systems, takes a matter of minutes.
- SIRIUS Travel Linkâ„¢, an industry-leading technology that, when combined with the voice-activated navigation system will provide users with a unique, information-rich in-car experience. The suite of data services includes real-time traffic data with accident and incident information, coast-to-coast weather data including current conditions and five-day forecasts, fuel price information for over 120,000 gas stations. Travel Link also offers sports scores and schedules and a listing of over 4,500 movie theaters with movie times, theater addresses, movie synopses and more.
- Voice-Activated Navigation, which integrates several functions including voice recognition destination entry, climate control and SIRIUS satellite radio into one easy to use system, displaying them on an 8-inch touch-screen display. The navigation system’s text-to-speech function calls out street names while in route to a destination and reads incoming text messages when the system is linked to SYNC. The integrated DVD player is capable of reading CD-Audio, MP3 CDs, DVD, DVD-Audio and DVD-ROM (for digital map updates). A music jukebox function stores more than 150 hours of music.
- Sony Audio System features 700 watts of power, 5.1 Surround Sound, Sony Matrix Surround Sound and 10 Sony speakers and amps and is certified by Sony to deliver a unique, rich listening experience for every Ford or Mercury vehicle.
“Ford has spent years listening to our F-150 customers, and as the truck leader, we take our responsibility to deliver the right tools for them very seriously,” said O’Leary. “Before we started working on the new truck, we continued the conversation with people who use these trucks every day for work and play. We went to their ranches, their job sites and their homes, making sure we crafted features that would improve their ownership experiences and, really, their lives.”