New Ford F-series prototypes spied testing
Mystery pair suggests F-100, small diesel to come in 2015?
A pair of completely camouflaged trucks spied testing near the Ford headquarters in Dearborn, Mich. prove that the Blue Oval is definitely hard at work on its next generation F-series pickup headed our way in 2015. Beyond that, it's all speculation.
The shots show two different pickups: a two-door extended cab and a four-door crew cab. They're similar in proportion to current Ford F-150 models, sporting the boxy fascia seen on the trucks today, but they appear to be a bit narrower from some angles.
Whether this is truly the case or just a trick of the camouflage (that's why they use it, after all) remains to be seen. A smaller F-series is rumored to be in the works -- and the F-100 name is has been kicked around in association with it -- but the prototypes may not be small enough to merit a separate badge.
And keep in mind that Ford already does sell a slightly smaller truck, the Ranger, nearly everywhere but America (Ford discontinued the older, compact U.S.-spec Ranger in 2011).
No matter what these mules signify or what badge they might wear if they make it into production, Ford knows that it will have to revamp the popular F-150 lineup to meet increasingly stringent fuel economy standards.
If the Ford Atlas concept seen at the Detroit auto show is anything to go by, there's a lot of lightweight aluminum lurking under that camouflage -- and fuel-efficient EcoBoost engines are almost a given, though a small diesel may also be on the horizon in light of Ram's decision to offer diesel power in its 1500 pickup.
-- Graham Kozak
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