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Since its introduction as a 2009 model, the Ford F-150 in many respects has raised the benchmark when it comes to 1/2 ton full-size pickups. Incorporating many features that improved ride, handling, capability and practicality, the lineup received a major boost (literally) with new powertrains for the 2011 model year.
Collectively this has resulted, not only in maintaining the one-fifty’s position as sales leader in the segment, but also in a truck that consistently stands apart from the herd.
This is something Motor Trend magazine duly noted, during it’s annual truck of the year test for 2012 models. When all was said and done, the F-150 scored a solid lead over rival contenders, including Nissan’s new full-size van, the NV, the Ram HD Laramie Longhorn and Toyota Tacoma.
And a big part of that had to do with the truck’s 3.5-liter twin turbo EcoBoost engine, which today, is accounting for around 40 percent of all F-150 sales in the US. Said Motor Trend‘s editor-in-chief Ed Loh of the EcoBoost. “It mastered every task we subjected it to, acing our instrumented tests at the proving grounds and swaying opinions during our real world evaluations.”
Upon the announcement of the 2012 MT Truck of the Year, Mark Fields, Ford’s President of the Americas remarked, We are proud to receive this award and even more pleased that our F-150 customers have additional validation of their top choice.”
Ford’s F-150 has previously garnered Motor Trend Truck of the Year honors in 1997, 2004, and 2009.
At the annual Truck Rodeo in San Antonio, the Texas Auto Writer’s Association (TAWA), declared that of the 48 vehicles evaluated among 57 members, the 2012 Ford F-150 was most deserving of the prestigious “Truck of Texas” award for 2012.
In other categories, the Ford Edge was named best Crossover Utility Vehicle of Texas, while Ford’s EcoBoost direct injection/turbo technology, available in both vehicles was named best overall vehicle feature.
In addition, the entire Ford truck line was also named “Best in Texas” for the 12 consecutive year, in recognition of best-in-class durability and capability.
“Texan consumers put their trust in TAWA’s automotive journalists,” stated the association’s president Mike Herzing. “After lining up vehicles from major auto manufacturers, our members determined Ford simply had the best trucks and crossover.” He also went to say that “ the real winners here are Texas’ truck buyers. Ford delivers the trucks that fit their lifestyles.”
Ford’s President of the Americas, Mark Fields, added, “these awards validate what our customers have been telling us about our ‘Built Ford Tough’ F-150, and we are honored by their recognition of the strength of our truck lineup as well as our crossovers and EcoBoost engines.”
After the big splash of new powertrain options for 2011, the folks in Dearborn are attempting to stay ahead of the curve by donning their sales champ with a number of upgrades for 2012.
Perhaps most noticeable, is the debut of a new, rather sinister looking FX appearance package (shown), which sports flat black accents, special 20-inch flat black finished alloy wheels with stylized exterior graphics and ID lettering. Inside, the FX incorporates black upholstery surfaces, including the seats, which sport contrasting red piping and perforation inserts.
Red stitching on the steering wheel and brushed metal accents round things off. An FX luxury package is also available which adds both heated and cooled front bucket seats.
On the greasy bit front, Ford has added electronic locking rear differentials on trucks equipped with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost and 5.0-liter V8 engines, as well as an updated 4×4 system with a fully automatic selection mode. In addition all 4 x 4 F-150s now have the ability to be flat towed, while a new Hill Start assist feature has been added to prevent the truck from rolling back on inclines. In addition, EcoBoost powered rigs get a boost (pun intended) when it comes to operating range, thanks to a new 36 gallon fuel tank which now permits some 756 miles worth of driving between fill ups.