Words: Don Cheng
Photography: Don Cheng
Published: March 13, 2017
MONTREAL, Quebec - Ford’s F-Series trucks have been a staple of American automotive history since its inception in 1948, and the Blue Oval has since continued on a relentless pursuit to innovate and make its iconic pick-up truck the finest on the market.
Now in its thirteenth generation, the 2017 Ford F-150 continues to push the envelope with a revised 3.5L EcoBoost V6 and an all-new 10-speed automatic transmission. To test, I caught an early flight out to Montreal to snag some seat time and give it a quick test drive around the brisk hills of the Laurentian landscape.
Styling wise, the 2017 is a carryover of the previous model year. The revised EcoBoost sees the same total displacement and utilizes twin-turbocharging technology like its predecessor. However, the turbos are new; appropriating electronically controlled wastegates and a lighter turbine wheel helps to help increase its efficiency and responsiveness. The block features port fuel injection under partial load before switching to direct injection under full load.
Together with a lightweight crankshaft and upgraded bearings, the V6’s peak torque increases by a whopping 50 lb-ft across the board. Peak horsepower increases by only 10 compared to its first generation predecessor. The segment leading 470 lb-ft of torque comes at an accessible 3,500 RPM too thanks in part to Ford’s all-new (and a first for the segment) 10-speed automatic co-developed with General Motors.
Pundits will note that the 10-speed has already made an appearance in the General’s Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, and they’d be correct. The internals are identical between the two and they even keep the same gear ratios. The only difference is the bellhousing where Ford has managed to cram all four planetary gearsets and six clutches into, which by the way is only slightly larger and heavier than the 6-speed torque converter it replaces.
In the long haul from Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau to the Mecaglisse Motorsport Complex, it was immediately apparent that the 10-speed was the star of the show; cruising along effortlessly on the highway and keeping engine RPMs low. As expected of a transmission with ten ratios, gear changes happen often but they occur relatively quickly and most importantly, seamlessly.
It made the most out of the V6’s ample amounts of torque, and there is even a gauge on the left beside the tachometer that displays what gear you’re in – it’s not uncommon that you’ll see the car quickly jump from one gear to the next. But once you’ve settled down on a speed, the car will select the tallest gear possible to maximize efficiency. Unlike other 9-speeds on the market, Ford has done well to ensure that the top overdrive gear will be in use when cruising along the highway.
Ford’s prized truck keeps on getting better and with a beefier engine, smarter transmission, and better fuel economy, there’s no question that the Blue Oval’s best selling pickup will keep on chugging along. Pricing for the new driveline combo starts at $33,299 for the XL Regular Cab, and for perspective our Ruby Red Lariat came out to $63,669 as tested. The base F-150 Raptor SuperCrew starts at $70,399 and if there’s one truck I’ve got to own...
型号 Model: 2017 Ford F-150 Lariat
顏色 Paint Type: Ruby Red
廠方建議售價 Base Price: $46,149
試車售價 Price as Tested: $63,669
引擎 Engine: 3.5-litre EcoBoost twin-turbocharged V6
最大馬力 Horsepower: 375 @ 5,000 rpm
最高扭力 Torque: 470 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm
波箱 Transmission: 10-speed automatic
擺佈 Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, 4X4
油耗 Fuel Consumption ( City / Highway / Combined ) L/100km: 13.6 / 10.3 / 12.1