- These are the first spy photos of the nearly complete 2015 Ford F-150.
- Production of the new F-150 will begin next year.
- Design cues from the Atlas concept will be incorporated into the production F-150.
DEARBORN, Michigan — The first full-fledged prototypes of the 2015 Ford F-150 were caught testing this week in Dearborn, Michigan. This is the first time we've seen test mules with production bodywork.
The shape of the grille on this prototype looks very similar to the aggressive design of the Atlas. The vertical air intakes are one obvious design cue that appears to have carried over. The headlights have a similar shape as well, but the lenses have been altered to incorporate marker lights along the bottom.
A distinctive beltline was one prominent feature of the Atlas, but the camouflage on this prototype covers up the area at the base of the windows. The bulging fenders on the concept have been toned down, as there's no sign of similarly sized wheelwells on this test mule.
There are two interesting additional details to note on this prototype. One is the exposed section of the bed just ahead of the rear wheel. Judging by the way it's fastened, it looks as though it may be aluminum. This has long been rumored as one of the ways Ford plans on slimming down the F-150 in a quest for improved mileage.
The other detail is the rear window. Unlike conventional sliders that use three separate panes of glass, the setup on this prototype looks as if it uses only two separate pieces.
As with any new truck, the engine lineup for the upcoming F-150 is another hot topic. Nothing in these pictures gives any hints on this front. The current 5.0-liter V8 and EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 will likely carry over with only minor upgrades. Same goes for the 3.7-liter normally aspirated V6, but it may be joined, or simply replaced, by a smaller, turbocharged V6 in 2015 or 2016.
Look for the official unveil of the 2015 Ford F-150 at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, with sales beginning in the fall of next year.
Edmunds says: If Ford comes through with a truck that's significantly lighter than its competition, it could have an edge for many years to come.