America's biggest-selling vehicle gets new tweaks to stay ahead of the game

All-new 2018 Ford F-150

It may be hard for some people outside North America to imagine, but the biggest-selling vehicle in the United States is the F-150 full-size pickup truck. To say the F-150 is the standard bearer of the US auto industry is something of an understatement, so details of the new 2018 model are a pretty big deal. Of course, a vehicle doesn't become as popular as the Ford over so many years without staying ahead of the game, and details that have now surfaced about the new model show the designers are not resting on their laurels in any way.

The 2018 Ford F-150 benefits from some subtle cosmetic enhancements to the front and the rear, but they do make quite a difference. The F-150 was completely redesigned just a couple of years ago, but its bigger brothers, the Super Duty models, got their first new generation for 17 years for 2017, and the F-150 is copying their new look to a certain extent. The 2018 F-150 is perhaps even more macho-looking now, which is quite a feat for any American full-size pickup.

However, the really big news is the inclusion for the first time in the pickup's illustrious history of a diesel engine option. Many heavy-duty trucks include a diesel in their ranks, but the light-duty F-150 has never been down this route before. Although the 2018 F-150 will be in showrooms in the autumn of this year, the 3.0-liter PowerStroke turbodiesel engine option will not come on stream until the spring of 2018.

In the meantime, buyers will have to make do with other revisions to the F-150's engine lineup, such as a smaller, more efficient 3.3-liter V-6 petrol engine at the entry point to the range that replaces the previous 3.5-liter V-6. In the last year, around 75 percent of truck-buyers in the US have chosen V-6 engines, so it makes a lot of sense that Ford has worked to make the F-150's V-6 offerings even more appealing. As well as the all-new 3.3-liter V-6, the turbocharged 2.7-litre EcoBoost V-6 has also been tuned to deliver more torque than before, and the legendary 5.0-liter V-8 has also been enhanced to produce more horsepower and more torque than the current version. Ford's ten-speed automatic transmission will also become more widely available throughout the F-150 family for 2018, so rivals fighting hard to catch up with the Ford are still going to have their work cut out.