The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

New F-150: Lighter, Leaner, and Even Meaner

November 2008, by Grace Lauron - Also by this author

Delivering towing capability of 11,300 lbs. across all cab configurations, a payload of 3,030 lbs., and an 8-percent increase in fuel economy, the new 2009 Ford F-150 continues a strong contender in the full-size pickup market. Work Truck had a chance to "torture-test" the new model and experience its off-roading power.

Lighter and Leaner Body Increases Fuel Economy

The 2009 Ford F-150’s fully boxed frame is constructed from hydroformed high-strength steel side rails for increased durability and safety, which also contributes up to a 100-lb. weight reduction versus the current model.

Aerodynamic refinements and the use of lightweight ultra high-strength steel results in an 8-percent improvement in fuel economy across the entire V-8 F-150 lineup.

The F-150 also regulates gas consumption by using aggressive deceleration automatic fuel shut-off, requiring no extra action from the driver. When the driver releases the accelerator pedal, the system temporarily turns off the fuel. When the truck reaches a low speed or the driver accelerates again, the flow of fuel resumes.

Ford will also introduce the new F-150 SFE "superior fuel economy" edition delivering up to 21 mpg highway (15 mpg city) while still providing 7,500 lbs. of towing capability. The new SFE package will be available on F-150 SuperCrew XL and XLT 4x2 vehicles with 4.6L, 3-valve V-8 engines and 5.5-foot beds.

Cargo Capacity Maximized with New Interior

In addition to better fuel economy and increased durability, a new 6-inch stretch improves the F-150’s previous rear seat legroom and cargo capacity, providing more usable space for transporting people and gear.

The mechanically articulated second-row seat makes it easier to load and unload items from the rear seating area, flipping up and folding against the back of the cab by simply pushing up on the seat bottom, a move easily done with one hand.

The flat load floor and fold-up rear seat maximize cargo space, with the capacity to store and secure items up to 47.9 inches tall. Total cargo space behind the front seats is a class-leading 57.6 cubic feet. Fleets can load items the size of a large-screen, flat-panel television monitor (as demonstrated by Ford) into the vehicle with little difficulty.

Standard Features Put Safety First

With a durable body frame, the 2009 F-150 is built to withstand nearly any scenario on and off the road. Ford puts safety first with a number of standard safety features, including:

AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control.

Anti-lock braking system.

Safety canopy side curtain airbags with roll-fold technology for enhanced head protection in roll-overs and side impacts.

Front seat-mounted side airbags.

Personal safety system.

New seats and restraints.

A new brake booster and master cylinder also offer a better pedal feel.

Aside from lightening the pickup’s body, the F-150’s all-new lightweight hydroformed steel body structure is also engineered to earn a top safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). WT

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