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Newcastle, Wyoming, United States
Despite having to share Ford's Detroit Auto Show stand with the hot new 2015 Mustang, the brand-new F-150 was arguably an even more important debut. Why? Ford moved some 700,000 examples of its F-Series truck in 2012, making it not only the best-selling pickup truck, but the top-selling vehicle in the US, by a long-shot.
The 2015 F-150 raises the bar for pickup trucks in a big way, with big-time use of aluminum. Because of this, roughly 700 pounds have been removed from the truck's overall weight, making it even more efficient than before, while still offering all of the capability that pickup owners expect. And with a host of engines under the hood, including a new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, the 2015 F-150 will surely offer something for everyone.
During the Detroit Auto Show, west coast editor Michael Harley took a closer look at the new F-150, talking to some of the truck's engineers. Have a look at the full video, below.
Most domestic automaker assembly plants traditionally take a couple of weeks off during the summer. The shutdowns give each plant time for much needed repairs and maintenance, and in some cases, help better align production with demand. Not this year, though, as demand for many models is outstripping what Ford, Chrysler and General Motors plants can produce.
Ford has announced that it will shorten its annual summer shutdown for most North American plants from two weeks to one. The shorter shutdown will increase the carmaker's annual North American production by 40,000 units on top of the 200,000 extra units that it was already planning to produce this year versus last. Automotive News reports that Ford produced 2.8 million vehicles on this continent in 2012, and that output this year has already increased 13 percent through April.
Chrysler, meanwhile, is also operating at full tilt and plans to run some plants through the summer with no shutdown at all. Those not getting a break include Jefferson North where the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango are assembled, Toledo North that will assemble the new Cherokee, and Conner Avenue, home of SRT Viper production. Other assembly plants will be down for a single week, while all of Chrysler's engine and transmission plants except one in Indiana will continue operating with no shutdown this summer.
During the recent unveiling of the 2015 Ford Mustang, we saw the car in both V6 and GT form, but we'll have to wait a little bit longer to see the successor to the Shelby GT500. In the meantime, though, it looks like SVTPerformance.com has confirmed reports that this high-performance model will bring the Shelby GT350 name back to Ford.
According to the forum post, a user found the Shelby GT350 name on a Ford promo website listing its 2015 lineup. The Shelby GT350 name was first used on a Mustang back in 1965, and most recently it has been a model created for customers as a post-title purchase by Shelby American. As for that car, Shelby confirmed earlier in the year that its GT350 would be phased out at the end of this month.
The million-dollar question for Mustang and Shelby enthusiasts is when we'll see next factory Shelby GT350. Last we heard it was planned for a debut at the New York Auto Show. We've included our previous spy shots of this hi-po, sixth-gen Mustang, and we've also captured it on spy video showing off its exhaust note.