If you love trucks, and especially if you love Ford trucks, you might want to check out the State Fair of Texas. What? State fair and Ford trucks don’t match up in your mental game of word association? Maybe they should! Afterall, Texas loves trucks, and trucks have long-loved the special attention they get at this Texas-sized state fair.
At this year’s fair, Ford announced a host of enhancements to your favorite F-150s, including more off-road capability for the Raptor, more sizzle for the FX2 and FX4 package and even a 36-gallon fuel tank on the 2012 Ford F-150 EcoBoost® for up to 756 miles between fill ups.
We had a chance to talk with Doug Scott, Ford Truck Group Marketing Manager, and Raj Sarkar, Ford F-150 Marketing Manager, before they headed out to Texas. They were more than happy to share details on these new features and capabilities. Here’s what they had to say:
theFordStory: Give us an overview of what Ford F-150 news will be made at the State Fair of Texas.
Doug: We’ll be showing a range of enhancements to the F-150 series line. Our new FX appearance package has new wheels and unique black leather interior with red accents. We have a lot of momentum with our powertrain lineup, specifically with EcoBoost and the new 3.7-liter V-6. We’ve added even more capability to the Raptor. And we’ll be showing the 2012 Harley-Davidson F-150.
theFordStory: Let’s start with the Raptor. How do you add more capability to this truck?
Raj: We have two significant additions to the Raptor. The first is a Torsion front differential. This isn’t an electric locker like the rear axle, but a helical gear set that multiplies the torque by 2.5:1 and sends it to the wheel with traction. This provides additional traction for rock crawling without limiting any high-speed off-road capability or on-road drivability.
The other new feature is a front-facing camera. This is a class-exclusive. It shows what is just ahead of the truck and is very useful during low-speed off-roading when approaching a steep incline or some other obstacle that would be difficult to see.
theFordStory: Were these new features added after feedback from customers or are these items your team had planned from the beginning?
Raj: No doubt that this is listening to our customer, as well as the SVT team always looking at what we can do next to keep improving the product.
theFordStory: Let’s shift gears now; tell us what’s included in the new FX appearance package.
Doug: The key exterior elements of the new FX package are flat-black wheels and black body-side graphics. You can see the truck body color through the black graphics for a very unique look. The interior has a similar theme with black leather seating surfaces and red perforations and red piping. There are a lot of details that go into the package including black-painted dash accents, brushed-metal surfaces, satin shifter knob, door handles and air conditioning vent bezels. This new FX appearance package will be available on both FX4 and FX2 trucks.
theFordStory: The Harley-Davidson F-150 was first shown at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. What was the reaction there, and what do you expect the reaction to be at the State Fair of Texas?
Raj: The reaction was really strong at Sturgis. The Snakeskin application inside is very unique, as is the White Platinum exterior color. The Harley-Davidson F-150 gets a great reaction everywhere we go, and we’re anticipating the same will be true at the State Fair of Texas. It’s a good match between the target customer and the look of the vehicle.
theFordStory: And a 36-gallon fuel tank for EcoBoost trucks?
Doug: Now customers can drive from Houston to El Paso on a single tank of fuel. We responded to customer input and are introducing the 36-gallon fuel tank on the F-150 EcoBoost 4×4. This provides a driving range of up to 756 miles between fill-ups.
theFordStory: Do you have a great F-150 customer story to leave us with?
Raj: We’ve been talking to a lot of F-150 EcoBoost customers. I’ll tell you, the passion and enthusiasm the customers have for the engine is simply amazing. Some of them went into a dealership out of curiosity, and after they drove it, they were convinced that this is the solution. The low-end torque and flat torque curve of the F-150 EcoBoost gives it a performance feel and lets it deliver a great combination of performance, capability and fuel economy. One customer from Houston did the test drive and loved the EcoBoost. He bought an F-150 Platinum EcoBoost, and the first opportunity his wife had to drive the truck, she fell in love with. So much so, that he went back to the dealership and bought another one, so now they have his and her F-150 EcoBoosts!
Have you test-driven or purchased a 2011 F-150? If so, we’d love to hear your story, whether it’s from Texas or not. Go to Your Stories on theFordStory, and submit your F-150 story. You can add a photo or video, or simply use words.