Ford has updated the aluminum-bodied F-150 pickup for 2018, installing new, more efficient gasoline EcoBoost V6 engines, a 10-speed automatic transmission, and for the first time in its light-duty truck family, a Power Stroke diesel engine.
Many truck drivers appreciate the diesel engine's combination of load-hauling torque and on-road efficiency, which is why virtually all commercial trucks are diesel powered.
Light-duty pickups have to meet car-style pollution limits, which is tougher for diesels (ask Volkswagen), and the necessary exhaust scrubbers add cost.
However, Ram sells between 10 and 15 percent of its 1500 pickups with a diesel V6 engine, which shows the demand for diesel power among light-duty shoppers, even with the price premium.
The F-150's gas engine family is getting a new EcoBoost turbocharged V6, now displacing 3.3 liters instead of the 2017 truck's 3.5 liters. This new engine is related to the one we drove in the 2017 F-150 Raptor, but for regular F-150 duty it is 3.3 liters and 282 horsepower, rather than the 3.5 liters and 450 horsepower of the Raptor.
There is also a new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 for 2018. It gets a dual fuel injection system featuring both port and direct injectors, along with reduced internal friction for improved power and efficiency.
Finally, the 5.0-liter V8 famous for its service in Mustangs over the years also gets improved power and torque for 2018, though as with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost, Ford hasn't released the final specifications yet.
The F-150's cabin was already a pretty comfortable place to be, so Ford has worked on addressing details, like making it a better-sounding place to be. So the 2017 F-150 gains an optional B&O Play audio system, to ensure that your rough-and-ready work truck has a world-class sound system for reproducing your favorite music.
Also, Ford is giving up on the notion of relying on the customer's phone for network access, so now the F-150 offers a 4G wireless router that can serve as a hotspot for as many as ten devices in the truck.
Maybe buyers will be able to use that internet access to look up the truck's final horsepower and EPA fuel economy ratings, since Ford hasn't settled those numbers yet.