When one-in-five vehicles registered in Texas are trucks and the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) holds their annual prestigious Texas Truck Rodeo held near Dripping Springs in Hill Country Texas – what do you bring if you want to win?
Trucks and more trucks and that is exactly what Ford did this last week bringing eleven (count them) Ford F-150 and F-250 trucks to compete for the coveted TAWA Truck of Texas recognition. And – for the second year in a row – win they did racing away with the signature TAWA Truck of Texas trophy secure in the bed of a 2018 Ford F-150 pickup truck.
And, while the 2018 F-150 carried away the Truck of Texas trophy – its desert racing sibling, the 2017 Ford Raptor, artfully snatched honors as the Off-Road Pickup Truck of Texas.
Ford competed in the six truck categories from medium-duty to commercial, where six manufacturers entered 28 vehicles in the hope their truck would win the ‘holy grail’ of truck honors in Texas. Held at the Longhorn River Ranch near Austin, Texas – more than 70 automotive journalists drove those trucks and more (CUV, SUV and Off-Road Utility in other categories) for two days from dawn to dusk across the challenging terrain of the ranch.
Following more than 1,400 drives and over 300 hours behind the wheel of all vehicles entered, the judges agreed that the new 2018 Ford F-150 – packed with all new or enhanced engines and transmission, mechanical upgrades, technology and convenience amenities – had not only raised the bar, but set a new bar for pickup trucks.
2018 Ford F-150
Ford offers one of the most complete lineup of trucks in the industry with the full-size F-150 the hands-down choice of truck owners in not just Texas, but all over the country.
Some of the elements of the new 2018 Ford F-150 that made it the Truck of Texas this year originated two-years ago with the Ford investment in high-strength military grade alloys in body and box plus a fully-boxed high-strength steel frame that took over 700 pounds of weight out for improved capability payload and fuel economy.
That radical change (at the time) positioned Ford to be able to engineer a higher bar for pickup trucks in 2018. Fords prefers to say they have set a whole new bar and point to several areas important to truck buyers – as confirmed by the judges in this year’s competition.
There are fully six new or enhanced engines (including a diesel) all with Auto Start-Stop standard or available in 2018. They are:
- New 3.3L V6
- New Second Generation 2.7L EcoBoost V6
- Enhanced 5.0L V8
- Second Generation 3.5L High Output EcoBoost V6
- All-new Ford developed 3.0L Power Stroke V6 (arrives Spring 2018)
To deliver all the higher horsepower and torque from the engine line-up is the all-new – segment exclusive – 10-speed automatic transmission available on the 2018 Ford F-150. Ford developed and built, it can be paired with the 2.7L and 3.5L EcoBoost and 5.0L V8 engines.
- Segment-first Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go functionality
- Segment-first Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection
- Embedded 4G LTE modem with Wi-Fi Hotspot
- Available are Pro Trailer Backup Assist, Blind Spot Information System with (up to 33-feet) Trailer Coverage, Trailer Hitch-Assist camera to facilitate lining truck up to trailer hitch, Smart Trailer Tow Module wire harness that monitors trailer connectivity, 360-degree camera for parking and backing up and a Lane Keeping System.
- Also available are LED Headlamps and Taillamps, LED Spotlights on side-view mirrors, Integrated Load Ramps for cargo box loading, BoxLInk brackets to secure items in the cargo box, Remote Tailgate locking and release and 400-watt, 110-volt power outlets in the cab.
Design and Styling
The 2018 Ford F-150 reflects capability with its solid billet-milled visual cues and a broad stance harmonizing it with the all-new SuperDuty lineup.
- New twin-bar grille
- New C-clamp headlamps wrapped tightly to the grille
- Chamfered nose and fenders that underscore the power or the new engine offerings
- Bold signature drop-down styling of front doors
- Large diameter tires with 6 all new-new wheel designs ranging from 18 to 22-inches
- Billet-milled rear fenders taillamps and tailgate
- LED taillamps
- Stamped-in F-150 logo tailgates on XL, XLT and Lariat models
- Satin Chrome appliques on King Ranch, Platinum and Limited models
- Multiple appearance packages are available across all models
- New King Ranch, Platinum, Limited and XLT colors and materials interiors
The 2018 Ford F-150 is available in 7 trim levels, 4×2 and 4×4 configurations, 3 cab sizes and 3 cargo box sizes and is priced (MSRP) from $27,830 to $60,520 before packages, options and delivery.
Go here: https://www.ford.com/trucks/f150/2018/ to learn more about the 2018 Ford F-150 lineup of pickup trucks.
Photos by Kevin McCauley