While nothing’s been officially released as of yet, there is plenty of speculation that the Ford 2012 F-150 will be highlighting various changes in styling, features, and minor mechanical improvements over the 2011 model. Since Ford completely overhauled the F-150′s powertrain during 2011, the 2012 model will only offer some minor changes from the 2011 overhaul.
Engine: The 2012 F-150 comes standard with a 3.7 liter V-6, all aluminum engine that is capable of producing 300 horsepower and attaining 275 foot-pounds of torque. There are optional engines that buyers may select: The “Coyote” 5.0-liter V-8 engine, which has an output of 360 horsepower with 380 foot-pounds of torque, and the 3.5-liter V-6 that incorporates Ford’s EcoBoost system. Ford’s vehicles equipped with EcoBoost include dual turbochargers and a direct fuel injection system that allows the V-6 engine to have the power of a V-8 without the fuel consumption of a V-8. The EcoBoost 3.5 liter V-6 can tow a maximum of 11,300 pounds, which is considerably more than the 9,800 pounds towing capacity of the 5.0 liter V-8. The 2012 F-150 will continue to be a rear-wheel drive vehicle that comes standard with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Additionally, all F-series models will include an optional part-time 4-wheel drive system.
Features: A new work-related feature on the 2012 vehicle is expected to be the large center console. The console is designed to accommodate two laptop computers and a file-folder system. Additionally, an optional on-board PC will also be offered that features wireless connectivity and peripherals. The re-designed instrument panel provides the driver with easy to read instruments, and includes a 6.5-inch LCD display. The new F-150 may also offer an enclosed storage system for tools and equipment. Optional side-mounted bins, made from plastic, could hold up to 60 pounds of additional cargo. Ford’s towing stability system should also be included, as well as a rearview camera system that views the trailer hitch and assists in parking. Interior amenities should include a front-seat airbag system with curtain airbags, heated front and rear leather seats, and stylish trimming made from real wood and aluminum. The 2012 F-150 will also offer the Sync Multimedia Control System that incorporates Bluetooth technology and allows the driver to voice-control cell phone calls, audio functions, iPod, and navigation controls.
Style: The F-150 trim styles will be similar to those offered in 2011 with the possible addition of an STX variant that provides a “sporty” feel to the vehicle, an FX4 version, which is off-road ready, and the Platinum and Harley-Davidson editions that are intended for the luxury minded individual. Additionally, the SVT Raptor variant is a full-featured, high performance off-road pickup that is sure to delight those with off-road desires.
This vehicle should be at dealerships around September of 2011. Major revisions to the F-series of vehicles are not expected until late in 2015 when the next generation (the P552) platform should be released. At that time, the F-150 will most likely be a smaller and lighter vehicle in order to meet the federal mandates for fuel economy.