Watch an exclusive sneak peak of Top Gear America’s Ford F-150 Raptor review

With its premiere on July 30, we’re just a couple of days away from finally seeing the new Top Gear America. But you won’t have to wait that long to get a quick taste of the show on BBC America. We have a clip to share with you, and it’s of actor and now Top Gear America host William Fichtner driving a Ford F-150 Raptor in the desert. This is an exclusive clip you’ll only see on Autoblog.

He seems to like the truck, saying it’s “the American dream incarnate,” and “a fighter jet on four wheels.” It does look about as majestic as a bald eagle out in its natural habitat. While plenty of that is because of the inherent coolness of the truck, part of it is probably due to the way the truck is filmed. It appears that Top Gear America will have a high level of production value, with beautifully framed shots and lighting.

When the full episode airs on Sunday, Fichtner, the man behind Finding Steve McQueen, will be joined by two other hosts, Antron Brown and Tom “Wookie” Ford. Brown is a drag racer who first raced motorcycles before taking on Top Fuel drag cars in 2008. He took home his first Top Fuel championship in 2012. Ford has been in the automotive journalism biz for quite a while. He’s presently an associate editor for Top Gearmagazine and was previously at CAR magazine. He also has worked on a number of automotive-related TV shows, including gone, but not forgotten, Fifth Gear.

[Source: Autoblog]

Diesel-powered Ford F-150 caught completely undisguised

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Ford is preparing a refresh for the F-150 in 2018, and topping the list of new features will be an optional diesel engine. While we’ve seen a diesel F-150 testing before now, our spy photographer has caught a completely undisguised test vehicle with both the hood and fuel door open.

The engine bay appears to be a tangle of hoses and wires, while the fuel door obviously shows a green diesel inlet. Inside, a placard on the dashboard reads “Diesel Fuel Only!”. It also says that the truck will have auto stop/start, though it doesn’t appear the system is functioning in this truck. The truck also appears to have a unique exhaust tip.

The rumor is that the new 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine comes courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover. The photos here reveal a diesel-powered Land Rover Range Rover Sport following the diesel Ford, further cementing the validity of this rumor. In the Range Rover, this engine makes 254 horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque. That’s slightly more than the 240 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque made by the Ram EcoDiesel.

As you can see in the photos, a blurry, phantom-like engineer is working away under the hood. Our photographer said a wiring problem sidelined the truck, meaning Ford still has some kinks to work out before the engine is ready. Expect a full reveal within the next few months.

[Source: Autoblog]

You can buy a Ford F-150 in Portland with 600 hp and a warranty

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If you can’t wait any longer for a powerful, off-road-ready aluminum F-150, then the 2016 Roush F-150 SC is your next truck. Roush has started shipping them to dealers, complete with 600-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8s and Fox suspension. Unlike the new 2017 Ford Raptor, you can buy one of these today, and Roush even includes a warranty.

To get the Coyote V8 to 600 hp and 557 pound-feet of torque, Roush adds its Phase 1 Supercharger kit with an R2300 Eaton TVS blower. (The same supercharger is used on the Stage 3 Roush Mustang, on which it turns power up to 670 hp.) We have a feeling the Roush exhaust system it breathes through isn’t quiet. Compared to a stock Ford 5.0-liter, the Roushcharged truck motor makes an extra 215 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque. The new Raptor, which will be the most powerful stock F-150 when it arrives next year, puts out 450 hp from its EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6.

Although the suspension is not quite Raptor-spec, it at least comes from the same off-road specialists at Fox. The Roush F-150’s 2.0 Performance Series Suspension System includes front coil-overs and rear shocks that give it a lift and are tuned to improve off-road capability while preserving some semblance of on-road composure. There’s also a set of 20-inch Roush wheels wrapped in chunky 305/55-series Mickey Thompson Baja ATZ rubber.

To fit the big tires, Roush adds some beefy flares with integrated clearance lights, not unlike those on the Raptor. There are also clearance lights in the Roush grille, a front bumper cover, and a set of graphics for the hood, tailgate, rockers, and windshield. It’s all covered by a three-year/36,000-mile warranty from Roush. Pricing starts at $22,600 on top of the price of the truck. These F-150s can be ordered through participating Ford dealers as long as you find one in a state that doesn’t follow California Air Resources Board emissions standards, because the 600-hp engine is a little too awesome for their testing.

[Source: Autoblog]

Updated Ford F-150 will get new front end to go with diesel engine

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The aluminum-bodied Ford F-150 is due for its mid-cycle refresh soon, and now we have photographic clues of the changes coming to the company’s most popular vehicle. From earlier spy video and other intel, we know that the updated half-ton F-Series will debut with a new light-duty diesel engine.

Changes in front appear to be substantial based on the amount of camouflage covering everything from the firewall forward. From what little is visible, the grille is in for some major updates. It’s hard to tell, but it looks like the three-bar arrangement is on its way out, at least in its current form, to be replaced by something with a larger piece running across the center and small ribs above and below. Based on camo placement, changes are also in store for the headlights, although these tea leaves are even more difficult to read.

Changes to the hood and front bumper are far more modest, if there are even changes at all. The stronger lines on the hood match those of the current truck, although the more medial details aren’t visible here. That could be an effect of the camo, though. As for the bumper, aside from the design of the obscured fog lights, it looks more or less unchanged. The big, central intake and its details are still visible, but we can’t see whether the current truck’s tow hooks will continue in place.

[Source: Autoblog]

2018 Ford F-150 sheds more camo in latest spy shots

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A fresh batch of spy shots gives us an even better look at the refreshed 2018 Ford F-150. The truck in the previous photos wore a bra that hid the entire front end, but this time Ford sent a pickup out with just some light camouflage.

While this F-150 prototype has updates compared to the current truck, the tweaks don’t appear as significant as on the pickup with the bra. The hood looks smoother than the current F-150, and extra camouflage just behind the front wheels suggests the possibility of fender vents like on the latest F-Series Super Duty. However, the previous F-150 we saw seemed to have major changes to the grille and possibly new headlights. Neither of those tweaks were visible in the latest spy shots, but perhaps Ford has been evaluating different updates on multiple prototypes. This round of shots also has strange cutouts on the front fenders.

Under the hood, expect the 2018 Ford F-150 to be available with a diesel engine. A video already confirms that the powerplant is under evaluation for the truck. A rumor suggests the pickup might use Jaguar Land Rover’s 3.0-liter V6 with 254 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. If the Blue Oval combines it with the 10-speed automatic from the Raptor, the result could be one of the more efficient pickups in the class. We don’t expect Ford to drop any official details about what’s up its sleeve until closer to the next model year.

[Source: Autoblog]

All turbocharged 2017 Ford F-150s to get start-stop standard [UPDATE]

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Ford announced Thursday that start-stop technology will be fitted as standard equipment to every turbocharged Ford F-150 for model-year 2017, including the new SVT Raptor.

It’s worth noting that the Blue Oval is not the first truck manufacturer to apply start-stop to its pickups – Ram has sold a 1500 HFE with the tech for years. In fact, it’s not even the first time the F-150 has been offered with the fuel-saving system. It’s sold on 2.7-liter EcoBoost versions of the MY2016 truck. By selling it as standard equipment on all EcoBoost trucks, Ford will boost the fuel economy of approximately 60 percent of the F-Series it sells.

“We haven’t completed 2017 F-150 fuel economy certification with the EPA, and that is required before we can share final numbers,” Ford’s Jessica Enoch told Autoblog. “Auto Start-Stop does save fuel in stop-and-go city driving scenarios.”

And she’s right, start-stop systems are generally good for around a five-percent gain in fuel economy, though that can vary. That being said, the effects of start-stop systems aren’t included in EPA estimates, so we wouldn’t expect huge changes from the 2016 F-150’s figures.

Even with the new system in place, owners that actually use their trucks for work won’t be interrupted by engine shutdowns. Switch the truck over to tow mode or into four-wheel-drive (if equipped), and start-stop is automatically turned off, providing uninterrupted engine power.

The next obvious question about the 3.5-liter EcoBoost’s new start-stop system focuses on the other vehicles that use the same basic engine. A version of the engine it is offered in the Explorer, Flex, and Taurus SHO, but Ford wouldn’t talk about anything but the F-Series. Start-stop has proliferated throughout the brand’s turbocharged range, though, so it’s not so much a matter of if it will be offered on the large trio, but when.

[Source: Autoblog]

2016 Ford F-150 in Portland wins Green Truck Car of the Year!

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Your Portland Ford F-150 dealer is pleased to announce that the 2016 Ford F-150, for sale in Oregon at Mackenzie Ford in Hillsboro, has won the 2016 Green Truck of the Year award!

A truck that goes how many miles per gallon??? For further information on the Ford F-150, contact your Oregon Ford dealer at (800) 783-0863.

The 2016 Ford F-150 – the toughest, smartest, most capable F-150 ever – includes the highest EPA-estimated highway fuel economy rating of any full-size gasoline pickup on the market, at 26 mpg. A segment-exclusive compressed natural gas/propane gaseous fuel prep package is available for 5.0-liter V8-equipped F-150 – helping reduce operating costs and tailpipe CO2 emissions.

“The 2016 Ford F-150 is a great example of the environmental leadership that can, and should, be accomplished in the immensely popular pickup field,” said Ron Cogan, editor and publisher, Green Car Journal and CarsOfChange.com. “Milestone lightweighting through the extensive use of aluminum and high-strength steel, the availability of a powerful and efficient 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, and a segment-exclusive gaseous fuel prep option that enables the F-150 to run on clean-burning compressed natural gas or propane are all important contributions that raise the bar in environmental performance.”

Ford F-150 uses sustainable materials to help reduce its environmental footprint. REPREVE fiber, made from recycled plastic bottles, is available for F-150’s cloth seats. By using this recycled material, Ford will divert more than 5 million plastic bottles from landfills this year.

Other eco-conscious materials employed include rice hulls to reinforce plastic used in an electrical harness, fuel lines made from castor bean oil, seats made of soybeans and post-industrial recycled cotton – one 2015 F-150 uses shoddy that includes blue jean material, bath towels and/or T-shirt material.

“We designed Ford F-150 to be a game changer,” said Doug Scott, Ford truck group marketing manager. “Many have recognized F-150 as the toughest, smartest, most capable F-150 ever, but this award is proof it’s also a fuel-efficient, environmentally responsible option.”

Ford F-150, its groundbreaking technology and the engineering team behind it have won the following awards and accolades:

2015 North American Truck/Utility of the Year
2015 Motor Trend Truck Trend Pickup Truck of the Year
Automobile Journalists Association of Canada Pickup Truck of the Year
Automobile Journalists Association of Canada Utility Vehicle of the Year
Detroit News 2015 Vehicle of the Year
2015 and 2016 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Truck
2015 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Overall
Kelley Blue Book 10 Best Road Trip Cars of 2015
2015 Popular Science Automotive Grand Award Winner Best of What’s New
2015 MotorWeek Best Pickup Truck
2015 Detroit Free Press Truck of the Year
2015 New England Motor Press Association Yankee Cup
AutoGuide 2015 Reader’s Choice Truck of the Year
New Car Test Drive 2015 Truck of the Year
2015 Detroit News Reader’s Choice NAIAS Awards Most Innovative
Automotive Science Group 2015 Best All-Around Performance Award Winner, Best Full-Size Truck of 2015, Smallest Carbon Footprint
Urban Wheel Award for Urban Truck of the Year
Green Car Technology Award™
Edmunds.com 2015 Most Popular Awards – large truck category
Detroit Free Press Automotive Leadership Award – engineering and technology category
Greater Atlanta Automobile Media Association Best Pickup/SUV
2015 New England Motor Press Association Official Winter Vehicle of New England
AAA Green Car Guide Award – pickup truck category (F-150 SuperCab Lariat)
TFLtruck 2015 TFL Gold Hitch Award – half-ton/light-duty category (2.7-liter V6)
AutoPacific 2015 Vehicle Satisfaction Award – light-duty pickup category (second highest owner score ever and highest truck rating ever)
AutoPacific 2015 Best in Class Ideal Vehicle – overall winner
Altair and Center for Automotive Research Altair Enlighten Award
J.D. Power and Associates J.D. Power APEAL – large light-duty pickup category
Consumer Electronics Show 2016 Innovation Award – Best of Innovation honoree in vehicle intelligence category for Pro Trailer Backup Assist™
Vicentric 2015 Best Certified Pre-Owned Value in America™ – full-size half-ton pickup category