A few weeks ago we discussed the rigorous testing the 2105 F-150 has to endure at Ford facilities during the production phase. Today, the finished product is tested in real-life conditions by real people. After Ford asked customers to send in applications that outlined their jobs and how the F-150 would be tested, four extreme truck owners were selected as part of Ford’s real-life testing experience. The model tested is a 2015 Ford F-150 Lariat 3.5-liter EcoBoost 4×4 and customers were selected from all across the U.S.
The first test is in the unforgiving Arizona desert, where summer temperatures reach 115º and the terrain is rough and unpredictable. Defense contractor Brian Schober’s job is to destroy trucks, so to speak, as he pushes military trucks to their limits in an Arizona facility that closely resembles the battlefield. During the test, the F-150’s new aluminum body and suspension face a combination of hills, dips, holes, washboards, gravel, rocks, and turns, and they hold up just fine. Remember this course is designed to beat up military trucks, and the 2015 F-150 is doing great.
Vehicle Engineer Manager Peter Frantzeskakis explains the new F-150’s suspension has been designed to “eat up” the rough, off-road type of surface and how the high-strength steel fully-boxed frame helps with the stiffness and rigidity. The full test consists of 36 straight hours of heat and high stress to the truck’s vital parts, as a driver stops only to refuel when needed. The outcome? No broken parts and no failure at any given point, in a terrain Brian says has claimed the lives of 13 vehicles over the past year and a half.
The other three testers have similar if not worse conditions for the 2015 F-150. A cattle rancher in Montana loads to maximum towing capacity, then drives hundreds of miles day in and day out, 6% grade slopes included. An Oregon driver who hauls and loads thousands of pounds worth of rocks and needs a dependable workhorse. A truck owner who drives over the Dempster Highway, a 900-mile gravel road that crosses into the arctic circle.
As you can see, Ford has a capable winner in the all-new 2015 F-150, and wants customers to know these aren´t just numbers on paper, but actual meaningful improvements to real life applications. In addition, the new F-150 brings improved engines, like the 2.7 EcoBoost, which brings V8 power to a fuel efficient V6.
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