Ford eyes smaller F-150 cousin

Ford eyes smaller F-150 cousin
Pared-down pickup would boost CAFE
DETROIT - Ford Motor Co. is developing a lightweight, more fuel-efficient pickup truck to slot in below its flagship F-150.
The new pickup truck, code-named P525, is being engineered on the F-150's platform. But it will be lighter and slightly smaller, supplier and industry sources told Automotive News. The pickup is scheduled to go into production during the first half of 2011 at Ford's Michigan Truck Plant in Wayne, Mich., sources said.
Ford may call the truck the F-100, bringing back a nameplate used for decades beginning in the 1950s. The new truck is larger than the Ford Ranger. But it might help take the place of that compact pickup, which could go out of production in 2009 when Ford's Twin Cities plant in St. Paul., Minn., closes. Ford hasn't said whether the Ranger will continue.
The new pickup is in Ford's cycle plan, sources said. But it has not received final approval.
Mark Fields, Ford president of the Americas, would not confirm plans for a slimmed-down truck in a recent interview. But he did acknowledge that Ford must take weight out of its pickup trucks to meet new fuel-economy standards.
"When you see what the F series makes up in terms of the composition of our vehicle lineup, clearly that's one area we really have to focus on," Fields said.
The new pickup truck will have unique sheet metal and innovative storage space, sources said. It could be powered by a version of Ford's new V-6 EcoBoost engine, which uses turbocharging and gasoline direct injection.
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Ford has had an "F100" on the shelf since the mid nineties, when they introduced the larger F150, but because the market was heading into even bigger full size trucks it never was approved for production

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I always thought the newly redesigned F150 they came out with in 1997 was downsized from the previous version. I can tell you it was a lot more cramped with my big ass in the cab, so I didn't buy one until they got bigger in 2004.
I don't have any use for a smaller truck than my current F150, an '07 Supercab.
Spdloader
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Spdloader wrote:

I agree... they are small enough. At work they were nice enough to cramp me in a ford ranger... a 6' man does not belong in a truck made for a 4'5 woman that weighs 120lbs...
One thing I like better about the ford F150 i have now than my personal 04 chev is that the inner door handle does not travel as far towards the front of the truck as in my chev... this may be different in an F150 with power windows & mirrors if they're mounted on an extended inner door grab handle as they are in my chev...
My knee hits in to this extended handle... friend has an 07 chev same deal....
Driving that for 4-10 hours a day is not a pleasant ride...
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wrote:

_________________________ Why don't they just upgrade the Ranger - a couple inches wider & longer perhaps, with more fuel efficient engines? It would probably cost more than cancelling the Ranger and developing a "junior" F-150 from scratch.
-CC
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ChrisCoaster wrote:

<...>
Did you read the article? The new truck is based on the F-150, but a little smaller and lighter. So it is not a new design.
The Ranger is nearing the end of its life cycle. It is time for Ford to figure out if it needs to design a new one, use the Mazda design (Mazda designed a different Ranger that is sold outside North America) or scrap the truck for North America.
jeff
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Time for the Ranchero! (just copy the Aussie Falcon Ute)
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wrote:

Way too late, Pontiac already has done that will be out next year.
Whitelightnbing
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Recall, though, that Ford and Chevy competed head to head in that market for long years in the US. Ford was first to the party (1957) by a couple of years, though Chevy stayed a lot longer (1988 to Ford's 1979, I think).
With GM supposedly about to bring in a Holden for that market segment, Ford must certainly be thinking about whether there's enough room for them to play, and a RWD unibody platform in the toybox somewhere.
Of course, they were all unibody cars underneath. Though capable of carrying modest bedloads and (as was typical of passenger cars in those days) doing some reasonable towing, using them as if they were "real" pickups used 'em up fast. Presumably this will remain true.
--Joe
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I doubt such a vehicle would sell. The Honda Ridgeline is the current example of trying to sell a "truck" made on a car chassis, its sales are dismal. The last manufacture to try that was Subaru and that "truck" did not sell either and was discontinued

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The Ridgeline is pretty big, though -- people who want a "real" truck wonder if it is one, and people who want something more carlike think it's a truck. Arriving just in time for the gas prices to start going up didn't help. Meanwhile, Subaru (I assume you're talking about the Baja, not the old BRAT) was forced to choose among a new larger platform, a rear seat, or what I consider a useful size of cargo bed, and opted for the rear seat. I guess GM and possibly Ford are dreaming of a happy medium.
Americanizing a sizable RWD car that can accommodate a hearty engine might also help both of them against Dodge's resurgent presence in the cop-car market (in a sedan rather than a ute body style, of course), if they're interested in that.
--Joe
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wrote:

I was totally unaware GM made a unibody El Camino. I thought they were built on the Chevelle convertible FRAME in their last years, and on the full-size convertible FRAME in earlier years.
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While the Ford was a unibody after intial models, the Chevy ElCamino and its sister the GMC Sprint rode on a frame, because the Chevelle rode on a frame, and in earliest conception it rode on the full size 1958 Impala chassis, yet again a full frame. Ford started on the Fairlane chassis and then dropped down to the Faqlcon chassis and unibody construction. Once the falcon disappeared it moved to the Torino, still a unibody. But in reality for what was rated a 1/4 ton truck is more really needed? I think the GM won out on basics like a hell of a lot better brake system, Ford always seems to undersize there, but as a brake mechanic for years I was thnkfull for that cause it made me lots of money on Rangers and 150s. There was/is a market for these vehicles. Many people running a light truck ie F-150 really only want something rear wheel drive to pull a small boat, and the occasional few sheets of plywood or load of mulch and a "gentleman's" pickup as they were referred to is perfect. What remains to be seen is if the powers that be will get their collective heads out of their back sides and realize while the hot rod V-8 slated for the Pontiac GS8 sport truck is nice for a hot rodder, the real deal is going to be an adequately powered V-6.
Whitelightning
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However, I would think that if they aim it at this market they will canibalize their sales of F150's. If it's priced less than the 150, they won't want to do that.
Ted
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Have you seen the Australian Ford Falcon UTE?
http://www.ford.com.au/servlet/ContentServer?cid 78841241685&pagename=Page&cYPage
It's not unibody and they are available in a one ton flatbed version, as well as high performance V8 and turbo V6 models.
--
E Frank Ball snipped-for-privacy@sonic.net


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your wrong, its a modified unibody frame configuration in cab chassis and tray models. Ie unibody front end, with a frame grafted for the rear suspension. Think of it as a reverse design of ford vans when they had front sub frames grafted to a unibody chassis. In the sedan style or ranchero style its pure unibody, just as the Holden is.
Whitelightning
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