When you've got a best-selling vehicle on your hands, it's conventional wisdom to try and stay ahead of the competition every way you can. And in the case of the venerable F-150, Ford's been doing everything in its power to do just that.
When the current generation truck was launched for the 2009 model year it raised the bar for the segment in many ways – features such as standard trailer brake control, unrivaled towing capacity, plus software stuff like SYNC and Ford Work Solutions, ushered in the next generation of full-size, half-ton pickup. Yet, along with the improvements to the frame, suspension, cab, box and steering, there was one aspect that perhaps lagged behind – powertrains.
As launched, the 2009 F-150 was only available with two engines, the venerable 4.6 and 5.4-liter V8s. They were decent enough, but at the time represented part of the F-150's past, not its future. Now, for 2011, it has become apparent they were little more than a stopgap with the Blue Oval having now introduced four new engines, each coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission. This represents an industry first - something the automaker is keen to point out.
More: 2011 Ford F-150 Review – First Drive