Ford has introduced the F-150 Limited truck in the US, billing it as its “most advanced and luxurious truck ever”.
The 2016 model goes on sale next winter.
Features include 22-inch polished aluminium wheels and other exterior enhancements amd standard equipment includes cross-traffic alert, chrome front tow hooks (4×4 only), panoramic vista roof, power running boards, quad-beam LED headlamps, remote start and tailgate release, integrated trailer brake controller, lane-keeping system, 360-degree camera system and dynamic trailer hitch assist.
Interior equipment includes heated and cooled, electric adjust leather front seats, heated rear seats and SYNC 3 with AppLink and numerous other enhancements.
The Limited is powered by a 365hp 3.5 litre EcoBoost V6 with six-speed automatic transmission. Four wheel drive is optional.
The launch followed a recent report that Ford already is having to discount the F-series – the automaker’s first with aluminium in the bodywork.
A Reuters report said the Limited’s launch repsonds to growing demand from US consumers for trucks that could substitute for a higher end German sedan.
Low petrol prices along with better fuel economy have boosted demand for feature laden duty trucks and large SUVs.
In June, according to the news agency, half of the new F-150 pickup trucks Ford sold were of its three existing premium models – Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum. The lowest-priced Lariat is over US $40,000 including destination charges, and depending on the options taken, a F-150 Platinum can top $60,000.
Ford has said its North American operating profit margin for this year would be up to 9.5%, largely linked to the F-Series profits. The model has been the US best-seller since 1982.
The average price US consumers paid for fullsize pickup trucks in the first half of this year was $42,429, nearly $10,000, or 30%, higher than in the first half of 2009, according to auto industry sales website and consultant TrueCar date cited by Reuters.
TrueCar found that the average price customers paid for F-150 trucks in the first half of the year was $46,573, up 8% from a year earlier, compared with $38,384 for the General Motors Chevrolet Silverado pickup, down 2% from a year earlier.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Ram pickup trucks sold at an average $42,256, up 6% from a year earlier, the report said.