Click above for high-res gallery of the 2009 Ford F-150 SFE

Ford has revealed more details on the 2009 F-150 this morning, and what we know so far is that engineers have gone to great lengths to make the new F-Series half-ton pickup achieve greater fuel economy, and the entire range has received an 8% improvement as a result. The V6 engine option has been dropped for '09, but Ford has paired a six-speed transmission with the truck's top motors to eke out even more mileage. According to Pickuptrucks.com, Ford will continue to offer a legacy two-valve version of the truck's 4.6L V8 paired with a four-speed automatic, which achieves the same 14/19 mpg rating as the outgoing V6-powered model. A new three-valve version of the 4.6L V8 is also available with Ford's new fuel-efficient 6R80 six-speed automatic, and the EPA rates a two-wheel-drive model of this pairing at 15/20.

In response to General Motors' recently unveiled fuel-efficient Chevy Silverado XFE and GMC Sierra XFE models, Ford will also be offering the F-150 SFE for 2009. Rated at 15/21 mpg, it matches the GM trucks in fuel economy but bests them in other areas. It can tow 500 lbs. more, doesn't need a tonneau cover and its chin spoiler can stay put when going off road. The F-150 SFE gets that extra highway mpg by using low rolling resistance tires, a 3.15:1 rear axle and other items shared with the F-150 lineup like best-in-class aerodynamics, open valve injection and more aggressive fuel shut-off when decelerating. However, you can only opt for the SFE package on XLT Supercrew models with the 4.6L V8 and 5.5-foot bed.

Finally, there's the matter of the Max Towing crown, which Ford claims to keep for 2009 thanks to the '09 F-150's class-leading tow capacity of 11,300 lbs and a hauling capacity of 3,030. No other full-size pickup from Chevy, GMC, Dodge or Toyota even exceeds 11,000 lbs. for 2009.


[Source: Ford, Pickuptrucks.com]

PRESS RELEASE

2009 Ford f-150 UNSURPASSED IN fuel economy, CAPABILITY

DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 18, 2008 – America's best-selling pickup, the Ford F-Series, is raising the bar once again – this time with unsurpassed fuel efficiency on the new 2009 F-150, thanks to significant miles per gallon improvement across the entire F-150 lineup.

On sale in October, the new F-150 offers fuel economy that has improved an average of 8 percent across the entire lineup as a result of a wide-range of engineering enhancements. The fuel economy gains reach as high as 12 percent versus the prior model year on F-150 models equipped with the high-volume 3-valve, 5.4-liter V-8 engine. At the same time, the new F-150 delivers class-leading towing capability of 11,300 pounds and hauling capacity of 3,030 pounds – a combination no other competitor can match.

In addition, Ford is announcing the introduction of the new F-150 SFE "superior fuel economy" edition delivering up to 21 miles per gallon on the highway while still providing 7,500 pounds of towing capability – fuel economy that is unsurpassed in the full-size pickup segment.


"Ford has committed to have the best or equal to the best fuel economy with every new product we introduce, and we are delivering with the new F-150," said Matt O'Leary, Ford F-150 chief engineer. "Fuel economy has moved from 10th to third place among pickup buyers' top purchase considerations – right behind durability and value. The new F-150 delivers on all three as the industry leader."

F-150 SFE
The new SFE package will be available on F-150 SuperCrew XL and XLT 4X2 vehicles with 4.6-liter, 3-valve V-8 engines and 5.5-foot beds. The SFE pickup will achieve 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway.

The SFE package trucks also feature a new fuel-efficient six-speed automatic transmission, a 3.15:1 rear axle and 18-inch chrome clad aluminum wheels with low rolling resistance P265/60R18 all-season tires.

"Earning the trust of so many truck customers during the past 31 years has taught us a lot about what they want and value from their F-150," O'Leary said. "In the past, there was a tradeoff – more fuel economy meant less capability and vice versa. With the new F-150, we didn't accept tradeoffs. We delivered capability and fuel economy."

The SFE package will be a no-cost option on XLT SuperCrew pickups with the chrome package and will cost $1,095 when ordered on XL SuperCrew pickups with the decor package.

Fuel Economy throughout the Lineup
The 8 percent improvement in fuel economy across the entire lineup of V-8 F-150s is the result of using lightweight ultra-high-strength steel to lighten the truck up to 100 pounds versus the current model and aerodynamic refinements – along with more standard safety technology and class-leading capability.

The new F-150 is now best-in-class for aerodynamics. The new F-150 SuperCrew 4X2 with a 5.5-foot box has the lowest coefficient of drag – 0.403 – in the segment. That's 6 percent lower than a comparable 2008 F-150.

Key aero improvements for the new F-150 include:

A new chamfered shape to the rear of the cab, which incorporated the center-high-mount stop lamp. This shape helps direct aerodynamic wake over the pickup box efficiently.
The top of the tailgate, which angles outward to create a bold lip. This wider surface at the top of the tailgate works with the cab chamfering to direct airflow over the box efficiently.
The front bumper valence and spoiler design, which has been improved to better manage airflow underneath the truck without compromising off-roading.

In addition, as part of the fuel economy improvements, Ford's powertrain team delivered technology upgrades to make the F-150 powertrains more efficient.

The new six-speed automatic transmission offers a wider gear ratio span than four-speed transmissions, allowing engineers the flexibility to have responsiveness in low gears and better fuel economy in the taller gears. The new double-overdrive gearbox is designed to contribute a 4 to 6 percent fuel economy improvement.

Both the 5.4-liter and 4.6-liter 3-valve V-8 engines utilize open valve injection. This unique feature improves the air/fuel charge conditions in the combustion chamber, allowing greater spark advance at higher loads and engine speeds. This delivers increased horsepower during towing and higher rpm operations, lower emissions and more efficient use of fuel.

The F-150 also regulates gas consumption by using aggressive deceleration fuel shut-off. The fuel shut-off is automatic and requires no unusual actions from the driver. When the driver releases the accelerator pedal, the system temporarily turns off the fuel. The flow of fuel seamlessly resumes when the truck reaches a low speed or the driver accelerates again.

To prevent engine hesitation normally associated with fuel interruption, Ford's powertrain team developed proprietary software to integrate the technology with the F-150's powertrains.

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