Posted by Mark Williams
Ford revealed a few surprises at the 2011 State Fair of Texas by showing a newly outfitted 2012 F-150 SVT Raptor, a longer range for the four-whee-drive EcoBoost F-150 and a more stylish and contented FX.
We’ve already discussed the changes to the 2012 SVT Raptor, so we’ll focus more on the remaining upgrades Ford made to select models in the F-150 lineup. A new FX appearance package is available on both FX4 (four-wheel drive) and FX2 (two-wheel drive) trucks. The look is set off with black and red fender and tailgate badges, and a red-stitched steering wheel inside.
The FX’s interior features black leather with red perforations and red piping. Interior accents include black-painted dash pieces, brushed-metal surfaces and satin shifter knob, door handles and air-conditioning vent bezels.
Outside, FX models get a new 20-inch, six-spoke wheel with flat black shadow paint. Bodyside decals are matte black with a read-through (almost see-through) dimension for a distinctive look. Other details include a chrome exhaust tip, black-finished grille and blacked-out headlamps and taillamps.
Upgrades to the four-wheel-drive system on 2012 F-150s include replacing last year’s electronic shift-on-the-fly transfer case with a two-speed automatic 4×4 system for Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum trim levels. The new system still offers four-high and four-low modes, but it now also offers a full-time all-wheel-drive auto mode. At any time, if the truck senses a loss of traction at the rear wheels, it immediately transfers torque to the front wheels.
Ford will offer hill start assist to help keep the truck from rolling backward at a stop, making it easier and safer to pull away when stopped on a slope or hill, especially when towing. With the brake pedal pressed, if sensors detect the vehicle is on a slope, the system is automatically activated. Brake pressure is held in the braking system and the truck remains stationary on the slope for up to 2 seconds after the driver releases the brake pedal, or until it senses the throttle is pressed.
Also, the addition of a Neutral position in the four-wheel-drive gear selector means customers now can flat-tow the F-150, making the truck even more versatile. An available electronically locking rear axle replaces most of the limited-slip offerings on the 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost and 5.0-liter V-8 engines. It is now available in a range of axle ratios and is even offered on two-wheel-drive models.
Other updates include now offering an F-150 SuperCab with a 163-inch wheelbase option on XL and XLT; a heavy-duty payload F-150 crew cab with a 157-inch-wheelbase option on XL, XLT and Lariat; and the electronic shift-on-the-fly four-wheel-drive system is now standard on XL to FX4 trim levels. (The new four-wheel-drive system will be an option.)
Finally, Ford said a 36-gallon fuel tank will be standard on all four-wheel-drive EcoBoost F-150s, giving that configuration more than 750 miles of driving range. The larger tank allows the F-150 V-6 to go farther on a tank of fuel than any of the competitors, no matter what the engine or drivetrain configuration.
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