The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducted a new series of crash tests and determined that Ford’s 2011 F-150 SuperCrew deserves the Top Safety Pick rating. This would be the 11th Ford vehicle in the U.S. that became worthy of being named as one of the Top Safety Picks. The IIHS gave a “good” rating to the 2011 Ford F-150 SuperCrew in the offset frontal-, side- and rear-impact tests and the new roof strength evaluation, while providing electronic stability control.
Sue Cischke, Ford group vice president of Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering, said that customers consider safety ratings as important markers that they use to assess vehicles. Ford said that the new Top Safety Pick award and F-150’s innovative safety technologies further display Ford’s commitment to safety.
The standard safety equipment in the F-150 includes six standard airbags and an advanced safety structure with high-strength steel. The other standard Ford F-150 safety features include dual-stage airbags for driver and front passenger, front seat-mounted side airbags, Safety Canopy side curtain airbags, AdvanceTrac with RSC (Roll Stability Control), four-wheel ABS brakes, MyKey, and trailer sway control, and SOS Post Crash Alert System.
Ford disclosed that the 2011 F-150 will come with four new engines and all of them will be paired with the improved automatic six-speed transmission. This is by far, the most massive powertrain overhaul in the history of the F-150. Customers can expect each of these engines to have class-leading capability, excellent performance, and better fuel economy. With such flexibility, customers will be able to select the engine that can best meet their needs. During the official launching of the 2011 F-150, three engines will be offered first. The two include the 3.7-liter V6 engine and the 5.0-liter V8 engine, both of which are equipped with the performance-enhancing and fuel-saving independent variable twin camshaft timing technology. The third engine is the 6.2-liter V8 unit which is actually the base engine used for the 2011 Ford F-Series Super Duty.
By the early part of 2011, Ford will then be releasing the EcoBoost 3.5-liter engine that was calibrated and specifically tuned for the F-150. All of the four engines however will have the unrivalled mix of qualities that customers of the F-150 have come to expect which are performance, capability, reliability, durability, horsepower, torque, and fuel economy. Ford revealed that the 2011 F-150 lineup is expected to deliver the best fuel economy for its segment. Once the EcoBoost 3.5-liter unit officially joins the line-up, the fuel economy of the 2011 F-150 is projected to be 20% better when compared to the 2010 F-150. Barb Samardzich, who is the Powertrain Engineering’s Vice-President, shared that since the new engine line-up ensures more flexibility, customers can choose the powertrain unit that can meet their demands. Samardzich added that as the brand is currently undergoing a powertrain revolution, people should expect 30 new powertrains to be released for the next two years and that the company’s loyal customers for the F-150 are next in line to benefit from this.
The company knew that the engines needed to be reliable and to offer the highest quality. In order to achieve this, engineers at Ford made sure to study the outgoing engines’ warranty history. At the same time, the engineers also created a number of testing methods motivated by the real-world driving experiences of present F-150 drivers. As such, to make sure that the prototype engines would be compatible with the truck durability and application, it had to undergo a wide array of tests. All of the components, and even the systems, had to pass testing that would be equal to 150,000 miles. Some components were upgraded like the forged steel crankshaft and the exhaust manifolds.
In addition, oil coolers and piston-cooling jets were added. Finally, the engines were then calibrated to match the durability and heavy-duty operation of the F-150. Samardzich shared further that truck customers would always want an engine that is able to offer outstanding torque even at low speeds as this means it is able to move or even tow heavy payloads. Generally, the main quality customers want is to have an engine that can sustain low-speed and high-load operation. As a result, the engine line-up that is part of the 2011 F-150 was tuned to meet the operational needs of a truck and offer fuel economy, Samardzich continued. This is why this particular line-up, Samardzich added, is able to deliver payload and towing capability that is the top of its class while continuing to deliver excellent horsepower, torque, and of course, fuel economy.