Exterior Color: Orange
Number of Cylinders: 8
Drive Type: RWD
Options: Leather Seats, CD Player
Lowell, Indiana, United States
The Ford F-150 has been the best-selling truck in the United States for the past 37 years, and the best-selling vehicle outright for the past 32. That's quite a legacy, and thus, it's no surprise that Ford worked super-duper-extra hard on creating the all-new, aluminum-bodied 2015 F-150 that debuted at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year.
During an event at the company's headquarters in Dearborn, MI this week, we were able to see all of the ways that Ford endurance tests, not just the new F-150, but all of its vehicles. From examining things like light exposure to interior materials and paint finishes, to making sure that corrosion absolutely does not happen when steel components come in contact with aluminum panels in the new truck. The goal: ensure that the new F-150 is nothing short of "Built Ford Tough."
But that's only a small part of the story. Of course, the new F-150 has to be able to withstand whatever a pickup buyer might throw at it - and truck buyers arguably demand the most from their vehicles. So in an effort to convey just what the new F-150 had to go through before being given the final go-ahead, Ford has released a series of videos, showing how its new halo truck was indeed torture tested.
For nine years, Diesel Power magazine has run the Diesel Power Challenge, this year's grindfest being "a week-long torture test that features seven events, nine trucks, 8,000 horsepower, and nearly 15,000 pound-feet of torque." The road to being crowned "the most powerful truck" starts with a dyno run, and then continues through the completion of a CDL-style obstacle course, an eighth-of-a-mile drag race while towing a 10,000-pound trailer, a quarter-mile drag race without a trailer, a fuel economy test in the mountains and finally a sled-pulling test through a 300-foot-long packed-mud pit.
What kind of trucks get into such a fight? Last year's winner, for instance - who upgraded his truck this year to prove he didn't "luck into the win" - drives a 2008 Ford F-250 Super Duty with a 6.4-liter Power Stroke V8 upgraded with a custom intake, Elite Diesel triple turbos and a two-stage nitrous system. Another competitor has a 2005 Dodge Ram 2500 powered by a 5.9-liter Cummins inline-six, upgraded with Garrett turbos, dual-stage nitrous, a seven-inch exhaust stack and twin fans built into the bed to cool the Sun Coast Omega transmission. The numbers on that truck: 1,255 horsepower, and 2,063 pound-feet of torque at the wheels. Naturally, as the image above might suggest, things don't always end well.
You'll find all five videos covering this years challenge below. A scene in the dyno video sums it all up perfectly: a competitor leaves his nitrous on too long and the crew is treated to some ominous poppings, he leans out the window, throws both hands up and shouts, "Amer'ca!"
Ford has issued a small - but significant - recall for one of its spotlight cars: the 2015 Mustang.
The recall affects just 53 cars, with 50 in the United States and three in Canada. Ford said the passenger side safety belt buckle tension sensor may not have been calibrated properly by the supplier. This could lead to "misclassification" of the passenger seat occupant, and could cause the airbag to deploy improperly.
A Ford spokesperson didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. In a statement, the automaker said it is not aware of any accidents or injuries, and dealers will replace the buckle assembly at no cost to customers. The cars affected were built at Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan from Aug. 18 to Oct. 2.