5 Things I’m Looking Forward to from Ford in 2018
A new year brings new exciting things, but what’s most exciting?
The first week of a new year, at least in the automotive world, involves a bit of making up work after diving head first back into the auto show season. This year, the 2018 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) is a week later than usual. That gives us extra time to reflect and prepare for the upcoming year.
So, for my first Ford Truck Enthusiasts weekly Friday feature, I want to talk about five of the things I’m looking forward to with Ford in the new year.
1. Driving the Ford F-150 Diesel
Ford announced last year, with the refresh of the F-150, that there would be a diesel version of the truck. The 3.0L Power Stroke would round out a portfolio of the most engines ever offered in the F-150. Many of the new powertrains are great — I’m particularly fond of the new base 3.3L V6 — but I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the diesel.
Why? Because I’ve driven the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel and it’s my favorite version of that truck.
The way diesels make torque gives you the sensation of freight-train power. It accelerates differently from a gasoline engine. It behaves differently. You folks with Power Strokes know what I’m talking about, and it’s going to be awesome to have that same type of setup in the F-150. Diesels just feel better in pickup trucks.
There will also be an added benefit of fuel economy. Ram rates its diesel at 29 mpg on the highway, and Ford always likes to be best in class. I don’t know the EPA rating yet on the diesel, but I expect it to be as good as the Ram EcoDiesel.
2. Seeing the New Ranger
It’s time for the new Ford Ranger. Heck, it’s been time for a long time, if you ask me, but it’s actually time in the Ford timetable, too. At last year’s NAIAS, the Blue Oval said that it would offer a Ranger for the 2019 model year, so I expect to see one in either Detroit or Chicago.
Why do I want a Ranger? Because the F-150 is growing in both size and complexity, and having another truck slotted below the F-150 just makes sense. Plus, the competition is doing it successfully, so why shouldn’t Ford get in on the action?
3. Learning about the Shelby GT500
The spy shots are out there. People have seen what appears to be engine schematics. Ford is working on a hopped-up Mustang that’ll likely replace the GT350, and it’s probably going to carry the Shelby GT500 badge.
I think we’re likely near the death of the GT350 because it didn’t receive any changes for 2018 like the rest of the Mustang lineup. No new body design. No LED headlights. No digital instrument cluster. Those are all things I’d expect in the highest-priced Mustangs, and it doesn’t have it. Changes have to be coming.
I don’t think we’ll see it in Detroit, but New York seems like a nice place to reveal a high performance Mustang.
4. Driving the Ford GT
Dear Ford, I’d like to drive the Ford GT, please. I’ll share the experience with all of the fine folks here.
5. Seeing What Ford Performance has Planned
Finally, I want to see what Ford Performance does in the new year. Not only am I interested in their racing programs, but also what they will do to new Ford models. Will there be a Ford Performance of the Ranger, like a Ranger Raptor?
Everyone is going crossover crazy, and there’s talk about Ford not even refreshing the Fusion due to slow sales. Performance vehicles are Ford’s thing, so I think it’d be smart to let the Ford Performance team have their crack at one of the SUVs in the lineup.
Heck, a Raptor Expedition would be bonkers.
What are You Looking Forward to?
Throughout the year I’ll be bringing you insight and news every Friday, and I want to hear from you. What are you most looking forward to from Ford this year? What questions would you like answered? Let me know by leaving a comment below or reaching out to me on Twitter.