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Old 03-01-2007, 12:45 PM   #1
NYCshopper
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Default Next-Generation Ford F-150 Prototypes Spotted!!

Next-Generation Ford F-150 Prototypes Spotted!!

http://news.windingroad.com/body-sty...types-spotted/



Quote:
With General Motors and Toyota both having new full-size pickups in showrooms this year, Ford is understandably keen to push up the development cycle of its pivotal Ford F-150, likely due as a 2009 model.

Our boys over at KGP Photography have spotted some early mules of the next-generation model, and they believe that at least two dozen prototypes are now out in circulation. Sadly, they haven’t shown off much, primarily relying on Frankenstein’d versions of the current truck’s sheetmetal.

But KGP has now spotted this heavily masked prototype, which hints at the F-150 adopting a variant of Ford’s corporate 3-bar grille. It’s hard to tell what the extent of the rest of the changes are from this mule, but we’d expect to see a complete update, with new headlamps, grille, and bumper.

Interestingly, KGP indicates that they’ve seen both Regular and Super Cab mules, as well as a “non-extended cab configuration” that doesn’t readily represent anything in the current truck’s order book. Further, they’ve also spotted a standard cab, long-bed F-Series with seven-lug wheels (versus the six-lug design spotted on all other mules they’ve seen). KGP speculates that this could mean that Ford is preparing an F-Series that slots between the F-150 and its Super Duty trucks. We’ll withhold judgment, at least for the time being, as it could simply be an SD drivetrain mule under F-150 sheetmetal, or some such oddity.
















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The first prototypes for Ford’s next-generation Ford F-150 have now hit the test circuit in force, with at least two dozen mules now in existence. Initially, every prototype that we saw testing used body panels from the existing F-series, but their odd fits, skewed proportions, and jutting front bumpers give the game away that something new is in the works. But now a new prototype has broken cover, featuring heavy camouflage covering everything in front of the A-pillars. The disguise is extreme, but a new grille design can be made out behind the white mesh covering the nose, featuring three thick horizontal chrome bars. The new grille appears to be a significant departure from current F-150 styling.

Aside from the new grille design, the new prototypes don’t give up many secrets, but there are some interesting details that surface upon closer examination. First of all, the mules have appeared in three distinct body styles: the familiar Regular Cab and Super Cab versions, and a new non-extended cab configuration that resembles nothing in the current F-150 line-up. It’s difficult to discern what this new small cab packaging represents, given its obvious functionality shortcomings.

One prototype featured the Regular Cab cockpit and a long-bed design, and a close-up look revealed a 7-lug wheel, eclipsing the 6-lug pattern on every other prototype spotted so far. It could be Ford simply experimenting with various set-ups, but it could also signal a beefed-up F-150 model that will fall between the standard F-150 and the Super Duty. Pure speculation at this point.

We managed to get a look inside one of the mules. The standard gage package has been cut out, and in its place resides the instrumentation from the Super Duty. As expected, at this early point the rest of the interior consists of a chopped-up version of the current F-150’s dashboard. We’ll likely have to wait until Ford moves beyond these mules, and into full-fledged confirmation prototypes for a true look at the next-gen truck’s interior.

These new prototypes represent the first stages of Ford’s answer to the all-new Toyota Tundra, and the equally fresh Silverado and Sierra pickups from General Motors. The timing suggests that the current F-150 will have to suffice against the new competition for at least two years, which doesn’t sound promising in the current market.
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Old 03-01-2007, 02:22 PM   #2
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Let me guess.

New grille
Cheap plastic interior

and thats it!
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Old 03-01-2007, 03:41 PM   #3
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Unbelievable.......... Most of these photos had to come from someone who works for Ford as they are taken inside of Ford's proving grounds..........

Wonder why will an employee do such a thing.........
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Old 03-01-2007, 03:50 PM   #4
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I think it is new engine testing. Why would road going vehicle had this huge red button withing driver's reach?

I do not think that these pictures reveal anything. At least anything important.

Krzys
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Old 03-01-2007, 04:10 PM   #5
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thats the self destruct button.
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Old 03-01-2007, 04:20 PM   #6
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Hah! Column-mount shifter boot!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
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Old 03-01-2007, 07:39 PM   #7
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^ LOL at the boot, the big red button and the fact that it seems American car company employees love to take pics of secret cars inside...
Dodge Avenger, Corvette SS...
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Old 03-02-2007, 03:34 AM   #8
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Nitrous :O
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Old 03-02-2007, 07:51 AM   #9
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There goes another $12b in losses...
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Old 03-02-2007, 09:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunnyRVF View Post
Unbelievable.......... Most of these photos had to come from someone who works for Ford as they are taken inside of Ford's proving grounds..........

Wonder why will an employee do such a thing.........
Because they probably left Wednesday as part of the voluntary separation program. Gotta fund that retirement somehow!!

Tom
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Old 03-02-2007, 10:30 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krzyss View Post
I think it is new engine testing. Why would road going vehicle had this huge red button withing driver's reach?

It's the standard safety thing.......... It's an emergency button to shut off engine/ignition.
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Old 03-02-2007, 10:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krzyss View Post

I do not think that these pictures reveal anything. At least anything important.

The first one shows quite a bit about front end styling although the camo is on if you are paying attention.

The ones without camo means the exterior styling is of the old design and not a secret to be protected.

Interior on any prototype is mostly not representative.
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Old 03-02-2007, 10:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlideWRX View Post
Because they probably left Wednesday as part of the voluntary separation program. Gotta fund that retirement somehow!!

Tom

You may be right. Wednesday was a sad day..........
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