Various details have already been released about the radical new 2015 Ford F-150 pickup truck, the first-ever to use an all-aluminum body to reduce weight and improve fuel efficiency.
Now another piece of information has leaked out: Ford will offer an F-150 SFE model, a special option package that boosts fuel economy ratings slightly higher than regular models with the same engine.
The new SFE package option was reported by industry trade journal Automotive News [subscription required], based on a dealer ordering guide for the new pickup truck.
2015 Ford F-150Enlarge Photo
Ford spokesman Mike Levine later confirmed that the SFE option will be available for the XL and XLT trim levels, which together make up 70 percent of total F-150 sales.
It will also be offered on two different body styles: regular cab and SuperCab, he said.
Trucks equipped with the SFE package will ride on 17-inch wheels and tires, among the smallest available on any full-size pickup on the market today.
The engine used for the SFE option will be the new, smaller 2.7-liter EcoBoost direct-injected and twin-turbocharged V-6 that will launch on the 2015 F-150.
That engine is rated at 325 horsepower and 375 lb-ft of torque, Ford says, and is likely to make up 28 percent of sales.
2015 Ford F-150 live photos, 2014 Detroit Auto ShowEnlarge Photo
The base engine for the 2015 F-150 is a 283-hp 3.5-liter non-turbocharged V-6 that produces 255 lb-ft of torque. Ford has not yet released power and torque ratings for the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 or the larger V-8 it will offer in the new pickup.
Fuel economy ratings for full-size pickups have become a major point of competition among the Detroit Three, each of which has taken a slightly different tack to boost the efficiency of its big trucks in the face of steadily higher CAFE regulations.
Ford was pleasantly surprised by how quickly its downsized, turbocharged V-6 EcoBoost 3.5-liter engine was adopted by buyers of the previous F-150 generation.
General Motors, meanwhile, fits non-turbo V-6 and V-8 engines fitted with cylinder activation, and is adopting eight-speed automatic transmissions across its truck lineup.
Ram, on the other hand, not only fits eight-speed automatics but launched the first light-duty diesel pickup truck offered to U.S. buyers in many years. That engine is a 240-hp V-6 turbodiesel that produces 420 lb-ft of torque.
No EPA fuel efficiency ratings have yet been released for the 2015 Ford F-150.