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The best-selling beast in the full-size pick-up American pack is about to enter Australia with the arrival of the Ford F-150 in mid-2023.
The USA’s top-selling vehicle is heading to Australia with a factory-backed conversion, but there is radio silence thus far for the inclusion of the electric Lightning or high-performance Ranger variants.
That will pit the Blue Oval against the Walkinshaw Group-modified versions of the Dodge Ram and Chevrolet Silverado trucks that are already on sale here, mirroring the sales battle in the USA.
Ford clearly wins that fight, given the F-150 has been the best-selling full-size pick-up in its native market since 1977. Last year the company sold 726,000 F150s in the USA, compared to around 570,000 Rams and 530,000 Silverados.
The company won’t want that reputation to falter in Australia, so will be investing heavily in promotion and pricing to push the F-150 to the front of the queue.
The evolving interest in electric powertrains has not escaped Ford’s notice but for now the company is concentrating on the internal-combustion versions.
Ford Australia CEO Andrew Birkic wouldn’t be drawn on the future of other F-150 variants, other than to say Ford is aware of the interest but must see how the regular F-150 performs before looking to broaden the range.
Mounting a business case for an electric model that may not constitute big sales is much harder than going with the mainstream option, at least in the short term.
Ford won’t talk prices yet, other than to say the F-150 will cost similar money to its competitors.
Unlike its V8-powered rivals, Ford is going with the most popular engine sold in the US, in the form for the 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 EcoBoost. Overseas, the F-150 can be had in V6, hybrid, V8 and electric (F150- Lightning) configurations.
Ford says the V6 boasts similar power (and the same 4.5-tonne towing capacity) while offering big improvements in fuel economy compared to the competition.
The four-door 5.7-litre Dodge Ram pick-up starts at $95,950 before on-road costs. That price blows out to $168,950 for the 6.7-litre V8 Laramie edition.
Chevy’s Silverado is only sold in one specification in Australia, with the 6.2-litre LTZ coming in at $113,990 before on-roads.
It’s big money for a massive vehicle, and these pick-ups won’t come close to fitting into a standard car park.
The Ford V6 engine is good for 298Kw and 678Nm, compared to 291kW/556Nm for the 5.7-litre Ram and 313kW/624Nm for the Silverado. Local fuel consumption figures are 12.2 litres/100km for the Ram and 12.7 litre/100km for the Silverado.
Ford hasn’t released to Australia the fuel-use data but the four-wheel-drive LTZ has a 20 miles per gallon combined rating in the USA, which equates to 11.76 litres/100km.
Birkic says the F-150 represents the pinnacle of the “built Ford tough” pick-up range.