Spied! 2015 Ford F-150 Prototype Caught Testing
A test mule for the next-gen F-150, codenamed “P552,” has been spotted again, this time testing in the rain. Though the prototype is still heavily camouflaged, we can make out a few details like the bold, upright grille on this tester.
We speculated earlier this year when we spotted a Ford pickup truck prototype that appeared to have five-lug wheels that the automaker could be preparing a sub-F-150 model called the F-100. These spy shots show that six-lug wheels will continue to be offered on at least some 2015 Ford F-Series models.
Although the next-generation F-150 is expected to get styling cues from the Ford Atlas concept, many of the prototype’s details are covered including exterior lighting and mirrors, door handles, front and rear fender flares, and both sides of the bed where the fuel door is normally located. Even the inside of the wheel wells feature camouflage.
In order to meet increasingly stricter CAFE standards, the next F-150 will reportedly use aluminum body panels and other lightweight materials to reduce overall vehicle weight by as much as 500-700 pounds. Some chassis pieces, such as the frame crossmembers and fender liners may also be made of aluminum.
Another fuel-saving possibility is a gas-electric hybrid powertrain based on the 3.5-liter V-6 engine; technology the automaker has been researching with Toyota. Updated versions of the popular EcoBoost 3.5-liter V-6 engine and 5.0-liter V-8 are expected to carry over. While a turbodiesel half-ton Ford isn’t likely, the next F-150 could also get a smaller 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine with around 315 hp, which may replace the naturally aspirated 3.7-liter V-6. Our source tells us a six-speed automatic will be available at launch, while a 10-speed automatic co-developed by GM will arrive later.
The 2015 Ford F-150 is expected to go on sale sometime next year.
Photo Source: Chris Doane Automotive