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What's life like on an authentic Texas ranch? We honestly have no idea, having never lived on such a ranch, but we imagine it requires lots of hard work, grit and determination to keep all 825,000 acres - that's larger than the state of Rhode Island - of the King Ranch in Texas under control. Indeed, a total of 350 vehicles, all of which come from Ford, we're told, are currently in use by the ranch. No wonder, then, that the collaboration between Ford and King Ranch has lasted for 15 successful years.
For 2015, in celebration of that 15th anniversary, Ford is debuting three new King Ranch models today at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The most significant is the 2015 F-150 King Ranch, which, naturally, will add unique interior and exterior bits and pieces to the new aluminum-intensive F-Series pickup. Color choices will consist of Caribou, Bronze Fire, Guard and Ruby Red Metallic Clearcoat, with a range of two-tones to go along with a monochromatic scheme in Caribou. Inside, a bespoke King Ranch interior will be swathed in Premium Mesa Brown leather.
Joining the F-150 King Ranch on dealership floors later this year will be 2015 King Ranch editions of the Super Duty pickup and Expedition fullsize SUV, all of which will offer similar levels of content. Scroll down for more details and two videos from Ford, and be sure to check out the high-res image gallery above, which was shot by the official State Photographer of Texas, Wyman Meinzer.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The era of the body-on-frame, fullsize SUV is rapidly vanishing in favor of smaller, unibody crossovers. However, Ford still sees life in the segment with the reveal of the updated 2015 Expedition, now available (solely) with the company's 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6. The new truck will make its public debut at the 2014 DFW Auto Show in Dallas on February 19.
The loss of the previous 5.4-liter V8 in favor of Ford's 3.5-liter, direct-injected, twin-turbocharged V6 engine might rankle some of the Expedition's fans, but Ford claims that the change gives the SUV better fuel economy, more power and increased low-end torque than before. Unfortunately, official engine specifications won't be released until later this year, but Ford says engine output will be similar to the 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque that this powerplant produces in other applications. The EcoBoost is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, and the SUV now uses electrically assisted power steering, for an even greater fuel economy advantage. Ford claims this also allows for better maneuverability at low speeds and better feel at high speeds.
Exterior styling is basically unchanged for 2015. The front end has a new, three-bar grille (the old one had four bars) and headlight design, but the lower air dam gets added chrome and LED lamps. The rear gets more brightwork on the hatch, and there's a chrome-tipped exhaust pipe. As before, Ford is offering the Expedition in two wheelbase lengths - 119 inches and 131 inches. A new, optional, continuously controlled damping system alters suspension settings constantly based on 46 parameters and offers comfort, normal and sport modes (just like the Expedition's sister, the recently refreshed and decidedly less-attractive Lincoln Navigator).
While interior volumes are unchanged for 2015, the the instrument panel is revamped with two new 4.2-inch LCD screens between the central speedometer. MyFord Touch-equipped models also get a new, eight-inch touchscreen. The Expedition also gets new tech goodies like blind-spot alert, cross-traffic alert, push-button start, a rearview camera and apps for the infotainment system to help with towing and off-road driving. A new, luxury-oriented Platinum trim level makes many of these features standard, and offers a choice of dark red leather seats or black leather with gray accents.
The 2015 Expedition will enter production at the company's Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville later this year, and Ford will add XLT, Limited and King Ranch trim levels later. While the technological improvements will certainly be welcome, will the traditional buyers of the Expedition be willing to accept turbocharged V6 power? We will be able to answer that better when Ford releases official specs and fuel economy figures. If they're anything like current F-150 buyers, we certainly think so. Scroll down for the full details in Ford's press release.
UPDATE: A previous version of this story said the 2015 Expedition will use the same three-bar grille as before. The old model used a four-bar grille, so the three-bar setup is brand new. Additionally, regarding horsepower, we originally reported that the new Expedition's EcoBoost V6 will be tuned to produce something like 365 horsepower and 360 pound-feet of torque. While official specs still have not been released, the torque number should actually be something along the lines of 420, which is what's produced in the current Ford F-150 EcoBoost.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Reactions to the 2015 Lincoln Navigator
Reactions to the 2015 Lincoln Navigator
The 2015 Lincoln Navigator has a face like a freight train, but Ford hopes the new EcoBoost-powered full-size SUV will deal some damage to GM's recently redesigned Escalade and Yukon Denali when it goes on sale.