Autoblog reader Brent drew our attention to a web site, called New Tech Spy, that claims Ford's F-150 will soon come with the Hydraulic Launch Assist system first seen on the Mighty F-350 Tonka introduced at the 2002 North American International Auto Show. And while it was likely always Ford's hope to put the system on its F-series trucks, this is the first outside confirmation that we've been privy to.
At an alleged 60 mpg, Hybrid Launch Assist would not only reinvent the pickup truck market, it'd likely turn the industry on its ear altogether.
The HLA system is all about storing the energy that vehicles normally lose during deceleration, taking that energy, storing it hydraulically, and using it again when needed. The key to the technology is instead of storing the energy in batteries (as with most regenerative braking systems on conventional hybrids), the storage is hydraulic, which can be up to three times more efficient than nickel metal hydride storage. New Tech Spy says we should see the HLA Ford F-150 in its 2008 lineup.
It's an intriguing and compelling concept, but as Autoblog is unfamiliar with this website (let alone its sources), and haven't heard word one from our moles in Ford, the jury remains out on this super F-150.