Drive Type: -
Model: Model A
Sun City, California, United States
While we are set to drive the new, 2015 Ford F-150 in the coming days, there's a big piece of news on the latest-generation of the Blue Oval's bread-and-butter pickup coming out of Dearborn, and it focuses on the truck's hauling and towing abilities.
The new F-150 will have a maximum payload of 3,300-pounds (V8 models), and, perhaps more importantly, a 12,200-pound tow rating (EcoBoost V6 models), which for the first time are compliant with the Society of Automotive Engineer's J2807 standards. Those best-in-class figures are significant feathers in Ford's cap as the Detroit Three continue duking it out for the title of top pickup.
"As founding members of the SAE trailer towing committee, we will meet SAE trailer towing standards," Ford's Aaron Miller told Autoblog.
YouGov's mid-year Brand Index rankings of America's best perceived brands has been released, and Ford has found its way to the top. The Dearborn, Michigan based manufacturer beat out online shopping giant Amazon, The History Channel, and home improvement superstore Lowe's, to take the top spot.
Ford jumped from sixth overall in 2012 to first for 2013, but those that have been watching these rankings shouldn't be hugely surprised. Ford was rated the best perceived automotive manufacturer by the same organization last year. The Blue Oval's success on the overall brand rankings is made all the more impressive by the complete lack of other automakers on the list.
YouGov (that is, survey respondents) cited Ford's first quarter of 2013 business, which saw an increase in market share and the best earnings recorded in over 10 years. Successfully launching the Focus and Fusion (pictured) and keeping them fresh in the minds of consumers has also contributed to Ford's best overall score.
Ford, along with KISS bassist Gene Simmons and his wife, Shannon Tweed, used SEMA as a backdrop to pull the covers off Snakebit, a 1956 Ford F-100 pickup truck that's been updated with Shelby Mustang-derived styling bits and a 5.4-liter supercharged V8 engine. All 550 horsepower are funneled through a six-speed manual gearbox to the rear wheels.
Underneath the custom bodywork sits a chassis that's been stretched five inches and a bed widened and bedecked with billet machined pieces that are supposed to look like wood. The 20-inch rear and 18-inch front wheels ape those of past Shelby Mustang models. The interior is swathed in two-tone leather with a bench seat designed to look - try to act surprised - like a Shelby Mustang.
Like what you see? Bidding for the truck will take place in 2014 at an unspecified Barrett-Jackson event (we'd assume Scottsdale). Proceeds will be used to help build a children's hospital in Saskatoon, in the province of Saskatchewan, where Ms. Tweed grew up. See the high-res gallery above and the press release down below for more.