Ford F150 Refresh Unveiled at Detroit Auto Show Amid Industry Shift

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America’s best-selling vehicle, the Ford F150 pickup, is scheduled for a refresh next year. This news was announced at an event held alongside Detroit’s major automotive exhibition, Huntington Place, which is also the venue for the North American International Auto Show this week.

The updated F-150 is one of just a handful of revitalized models set to be showcased at the event. Others include offerings from Stellantis’ Jeep off-road brand, and from General Motors’ GMC and Cadillac brands. This is a significant shift from the past when the show used to unveil up to 50 new models. However, in recent years, automakers have been transitioning away from auto shows in favor of less costly online reveals.

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Despite ongoing disagreements between Detroit automakers and the United Auto Workers union, the event plans to engage consumers with experiences such as an indoor electric vehicle track and on-street test drives. Tesla, previously absent from the show, is also making a comeback with a display on the floor.

As for the F-150, it’s getting a new front grille, dark-coloured headlamps, extra vents, and added features. On the inside, Ford is introducing a revamped interior and standard 12-inch touchscreen. To further increase the vehicle’s appeal, lower-tier XL models will now come with a superior 325-horsepower 2.7-litre twin-turbocharged V6.

A unique feature of the new F-150 is what Ford terms the “Pro Access Tailgate”. This offer newfound convenience in towing as it can swing open like a door, even when towing a trailer. It is standard on higher-tier models and optional on others.

However, fans expecting an improvement in fuel economy might be disappointed. Despite aiming for lower emissions, F-150’s Chief Engineer Milton Wong suggests that the fuel economy of the 2024 model might not exceed its 2023 counterpart. Nevertheless, to comply with upcoming government mandates on gas mileage and pollution, there will be fine-tuning of the engines, transmissions, and exhaust systems.

Ford’s decision to update the F-150 without altering the truck’s core structure is a prevalent industry trend to conserve capital for the development and production of electric vehicles. This reality is underscored by analyst Sam Abuelsamid, who espouses the idea of extending the lifespan of existing combustion vehicles on the road.

At an estimated price of $35,570 (excluding shipping charges), the updated F-150 is expected to hit the U.S market some time next year.

Other notable announcements at the Detroit show included the unveiling of an all-new Acadia large crossover SUV from General Motors’ GMC brand, an updated version of the Jeep Gladiator from Stellantis, and Cadillac’s refreshed CT5 luxury sports sedan for the 2025 model year. Pricing details for these vehicles are yet to be announced.