Ford F-150 Limited pushes pickups into new luxury territory

21 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

2016 Ford F-150 Limited Should Lead the Luxury Pack.

One year after Ford unveiled its all-new, aluminum-body 2015 F-150 pickup truck, the company has just announced a new F-150 Limited for 2016, a vehicle it boldly claims is “its most advanced and luxurious truck ever.” Ford’s new F-150 Limited looks to one-up other well equipped trim levels of its F-150, including the Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum to provide a new level of exclusivity and features. “The F-150 Limited sets a new bar for what discerning customers should expect in a high-end truck,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “We’re adding segment-exclusive technology, and features that improve productivity, convenience and capability with distinctive style.” The 2016 Ford F-150 Limited is adorned with a number of unique features inside and out, though it’s the exterior features that will make the first impression.

The luxury full-size pickup market seems to have no upper limit, so we are utterly unsurprised to hear that Ford is bringing the top-shelf Limited grade back to the F-150 range for 2016.DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. is responding to surging demand for high-end pickups by introducing a Limited version of the F-150 that will start at about $60,000 and likely top $70,000 when loaded with options. This puts some space between Ford and the competition as more and more customers move up to the increasingly wide variety of premium-trim trucks currently available that start in the $50,000 range. The Limited is fitted with 22-inch polished aluminum wheels, raised “LIMITED” lettering on the hood, a unique grille compared to other trims, a chrome front bumper with body-color end caps and a body-color rear bumper.

Positioned above the Platinum and King Ranch models in the F-150 model hierarchy, the F-150 Limited features all kinds of stuff you won’t want to get dirty. Whether your preferences run to urban luxury packages meant to satisfy more sophisticated palates (meaning a lot of chrome and black leather) or more western-themed, soft saddle-leather trims (like Ford’s King Ranch, Ram’s Longhorn or Toyota’s 1794 Edition), all truck manufacturers are cashing in on customer-driven high-life pickups that carry, by no coincidence, some lofty profit margins.

The truck also features quad LED headlamps, adaptive cruise control, an LED side-mirror spotlight, a 360-degree-view camera system, active parking assistance, and a remote tailgate release, all of which Ford claims are exclusive in the segment. Meanwhile, the cabin is dressed up with fiddleback eucalyptus wood, which Ford points out is the same type used by Bentley, and has climate-controlled massaging seats upholstered with Mojave leather. To offer a level of limited exclusivity, the interior is accented with a laser-engraved VIN plate on the center console lid that includes the actual production number of the vehicle. The Limited further separates itself from the other trims by featuring unique front and rear floor mats, a unique “Limited” instrument cluster face, wood-grain accents from genuine fiddleback eucalyptus, and Limited scuff plates with ice blue backlighting. Standard equipment also includes a panoramic sunroof, power running boards, a blind-spot warning system, radar cruise control, 10-speaker Sony audio system, and the latest Sync 3 touch screen infotainment system.

Though the Limited trim isn’t expected to sell in large numbers, it gives Ford another way to maximize revenue from the hugely profitable F-series lineup. The new segment-first system is designed to allow drivers to back a trailer up to launch a boat or park it in a driveway via by simply twisting a knob to the left or right to control the direction of the truck while the computer controls the steering and limit the speed or the truck. Will a Limited model of the upcoming Ford Super Duty pickups be offered, or do heavy-duty pickups have a lower luxury ceiling than their light-duty brethren? “We’re only talking about F-150 right now,” said Levine. On the inside, the luxury pickup features heated and cooled black and Mojave leather front seats that are unique in design with Limited badging, 10-way power adjustment and class-exclusive multicontour massaging. Ford has seen its pickup market share shrink this year in part due to limited supply caused by its switch from a steel to aluminum body, but increased sales of its premium models have helped push its average sale prices above $44,000.

Standard equipment on the 2016 F-150 Limited includes the 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost, the factory six-speed automatic transmission, two-wheel drive and a massive panoramic sunroof. The Limited features standard features that include BLIS with cross-traffic alert, chrome front tow hooks on 4×4 models, panoramic vista roof, power-deployable running boards, quad-beam LED headlamps, remote start, tailgate release, and an integrated trailer brake controller. It’s not any financial stretch for these people to spend 50 or 70 grand.” Ford sold about 190,000 F series for more than $50,000 last year, TrueCar estimated, outselling BMW’s 3, 5 and 7 series combined and the entire Audi brand. SYNC 3, Ford’s newest communications and entertainment system that features enhanced voice recognition, is included, along with AppLink and heated rear seats.

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