Heritage

A look back: 14 generations of the Ford F-Series

The 1948 Ford pickup was the first official model of the current F-Series line.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Ford F-Series has been the best-selling truck in the U.S. for 43 consecutive years, as well as the top-selling vehicle overall for a total of 38 years — amazing winning streaks in any arena. In 1977 it became the best-selling truck in America, and in 1982 F-Series was so popular with buyers it was the top-selling vehicle in the U.S. — car or truck.

Ford Motor Company continually improves and upgrades the iconic pickup to meet customer demands and competitor challenges. Now in its 13th generation, the F-Series has evolved into a high-tech machine that spans the spectrum from work truck to luxury transportation. The 14th generation is coming soon.

Early Ford Trucks

1935 Ford Pickup

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The third vehicle Henry Ford built was a truck, prior to founding the Ford Motor Company in 1903. The true roots of Ford light trucks extend back to commercial use of the Ford Model T car chassis, before Ford introduced the Model T One-Ton truck chassis in July 1917 (three years after the start of World War I).

The Ford Model T Runabout with Pickup Body debuted in 1925 as the first factory-assembled pickup. It sold for $281.

In 1928 Ford introduced pickups based on the Model A and Model AA chassis, and continued to build trucks until World War II when all Ford production switched over to support the military effort.

​First Generation F-Series: 1948–1952

1948 Ford Pickup

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Ford F-Series debuted as a 1948 model — the first all-new postwar vehicle line for Ford, with a redesigned cab and a new front end. The new trucks were advertised as "Bonus Built" and offered three new engines, a more comfortable seat and a one-piece windshield. The F-Series was offered in a wide range of cab and chassis configurations, from the half-ton F-1 through the three-ton F-8.

For the Fabulous Fifties, the 1951 Ford F-Series received a new front end design with new grille, front fenders and hood, and a larger rear window for better visibility. For 1952 Ford introduced a new 215-cubic inch overhead valve inline six-cylinder engine to replace the previous flathead six.

Second Generation F-Series: 1953–1956

1953 Ford F-100

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1953 and also introduced a redesigned F-Series. The F-100 replaced the F-1, and the F-250 replaced the F-2 and F-3 for 1953. The Blue Oval offered an automatic transmission in the F-Series as an option, and 1953 was the last year for the Ford flathead V8 engine first introduced in 1932.

Third Generation F-Series: 1957–1960

1957 Ford F-100 Custom

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The 1957 F-Series features a square, more modern design with flush front fenders and the option of either Flareside rear fenders with a narrow bed and traditional fenders or a Styleside design with flush-mounted straight fenders.

1959 Ford F-100

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

For 1959 Ford offered four-wheel drive as an option on both the F-100 and the F-250 model lines. Although aftermarket conversions had been previously available, it was the first time that 4WD was optional on Ford's light-duty trucks. The company added the feature due to increased public interest in recreational off-roading, when the American pickup was in transition from work truck to more personal, everyday use.

Fourth Generation F-Series: 1961–1966

1961 Ford F-100

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The F-Series was redesigned for 1961 with a new cab and front sheet metal. The F-Series Styleside has an integrated cab and box design, but a more traditional Flareside continued to be offered. For 1962, four-wheel-drive models with the Styleside design offered a separate box and cab, and by mid-year the separate box was available on two-wheel-drive models as well.

The integrated Styleside design was dropped after the 1963 model year.

1965 Ford F-250

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford introduced the Twin I-Beam front suspension with coil springs in 1965 for two-wheel-drive versions of the F-100 and F-250. The new suspension offered a softer ride and better handling, and Ford advertised the Twin I-Beam as allowing the F-Series to "drive like a car — work like a truck."

Ford estimated that two-thirds of pickup owners used their trucks for recreational and personal use, so it introduced the Camper Special package for F-100 and F-250. In 1965 Ford also offered a factory-built four-door crew cab F-250 for the first time.

Fifth Generation F-Series: 1967–1972

1968 Ford F-100 Styleside

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Redesigned for 1967 with an increased focus on interior comfort and luxury, the F-Series added a padded dash, padded sun visors, and shoulder-mounted belts. For 1968 federal regulations required side marker lights or reflectors for the front and rear fenders, and two new V8 engines were offered with displacement of either 360 or 390 cubic inches.

The Ranger XLT joined the 1970 F-Series lineup as the top trim level.

​Sixth Generation F-Series: 1973–1979

1974 Ford F-100 Super Cab

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The sixth iteration of the F-Series rolled out for the 1973 model year with new grilles that incorporated "FORD" across the top, below the hood. The biggest change of gen six came in 1974 when the first extended-cab SuperCab appeared for F-100 through F-350 models. The SuperCab offered either center-facing jump seats or a front-facing bench seat that could be folded up when not in use. The SuperCab was only available with two-wheel drive; full-time four-wheel drive was added as an option for F-100 and F-250.

1975 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

In 1975 Ford created the F-150 as a heavy-duty version of the F-100 with heavier springs and increased payload capacity; it was only offered with two-wheel drive. The introduction of the F-150 was not extremely significant at the time, but it would eventually go on to replace the F-100 as Ford's base-model full-size pickup and best-selling truck model.

1979 Ford F-150 Lariat

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

In an effort to spruce up the aging sixth-gen truck prior to the release of the next version, Ford added a new grille for 1978 featuring rectangular headlights for the top trim levels. The new luxury Lariat trim was added as well. For 1979 all trim levels included rectangular headlights, and the Ranger Lariat had optional two-tone paint.

​Seventh Generation F-Series: 1980–1986

1984 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Focusing on economy and efficiency, Ford reengineered the F-Series for 1980 by making the overall design more aerodynamic for improved fuel economy, as well as reducing weight via the use of plastics, aluminum and lighter gauge steel where possible. In the middle of the gen-seven truck run, Ford offered its first diesel pickup: a 6.9-liter V8 diesel engine available in the 1983 F-250. In 1984 the F-100 was dropped and the F-150 became the base F-Series truck.

Eighth Generation F-Series: 1987–1991

1987 Ford F-150 Super Cab

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The next-generation F-Series debuted as a 1987 model with new flush headlights that only required the bulb to be replaced rather than the entire headlight unit. The 1987 F-Series was the first truck to feature standard rear anti-lock brakes. The F-150 SuperCab was also offered with four-wheel drive

​Ninth Generation F-Series: 1992–1996

1992 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The 1992 redesign continued to improve aerodynamics with smaller headlights that angle back toward the fenders. The front bumper angled back on the ends, and the exterior mirrors were more aerodynamic as well. Attempting to appeal to more sporty buyers, Ford premiered the F-150 Lightning for 1993, powered by a 240-horsepower 5.8-liter V8 with sport suspension, 17-inch alloy wheels and front spoiler. For 1994 a driver's side airbag and door intrusion beams were added and 7.3-liter diesel engine was offered.

In 1995, the F-Series passed the Volkswagen Beetle as the world's best-selling vehicle nameplate.

​Tenth Generation F-Series: 1997–2003

1999 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The 10th generation F-Series featured redesigned F-150 and light-duty F-250 models with a new lighter chassis. The SuperCab versions got the industry's first standard third door for a pickup — a rear-hinged door on the passenger's side that opens after the passenger's main door opens, providing access to the rear of the cab.

The F-Series was voted "North American Truck of the Year" by a panel of 47 automotive journalists, and was named "Truck of the Year" by Motor Trend magazine. The SuperCab received a second door on the driver's side for 1999.

The SVT F-150 Lightning returned in 1999 as a regular cab stepside model, powered by a supercharged 5.4-liter V8 engine producing 360 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque. Power gets delivered to a limited-slip rear differential through a four-speed automatic transmission borrowed from the Super Duty. SVT Lightning handling improvements include tuned sport suspension, Bilstein shocks, and Goodyear tires.

1999 Ford Super Duty

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

In 1999 Ford launched a new Super Duty line of medium-duty trucks built on an exclusive new frame. Ford's decision to split the F-Series by chassis stemmed from a desire to increase payload and towing capacity of the F-250 Super Duty and F-350 Super Duty while improving and refining the best-selling F-150 at its own rate.

2000 Ford F-150 SuperCab Harley-Davidson

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The first Harley-Davidson edition premiered as a 2000 model F-150 SuperCab with black monochromatic paint, a Flareside box and a hard tonneau cover. The F-150 H-D edition had two-wheel drive, powered by a 5.4-liter V8 engine with a sport-tuned exhaust.

The truck featured lowered suspension, 20-inch 5-spoke cast aluminum wheels and P275/45R20 tires. The striking exterior has a special grille, chrome bars below the doors, a unique front valance with fog lights, stripes and Harley-Davidson badges.

Inside, this special edition includes black leather seats, black leather trim, a spun-metal finish for the instrument cluster and Harley-Davidson badging.

2001 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The F-150 SuperCrew joined the lineup for the 2001 model year, featuring four forward-hinged doors, more second-row passenger room than the SuperCab and a shorter pickup bed. The 10th generation F-Series saw a lot of significant additions to the line, including the premium King Ranch edition for 2001 and the second Harley-Davidson edition based on the F-150 SuperCrew; the third Harley-Davidson edition was added as a 2003 model. A 6.0-liter Power Stroke diesel joined the Super Duty lineup for 2003 as well.

Eleventh Generation F-Series: 2004–2008

2004 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Larger than the previous version, the 11th-gen 2004 Ford F-Series has a taller grille and front fenders, and the sides of the bed are two inches taller. The regular cab and SuperCab are both six inches longer than the previous model for more rear-seat passenger room for the SuperCab. The regular cab offered storage room behind the seat and included small rear-hinged doors to access the storage room behind the seat. The SuperCab and the Crew Cab offered an optional power-sliding rear window.

​Twelfth Generation F-Series: 2009–2014

2009 Ford F-150 Platinum

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The redesigned 2009 model featured a more aggressive front-end appearance with a bigger, bolder grille similar to the style of the Super Duty. A new fully-boxed frame with hydro-formed and high-strength steel side rails made the truck lighter but delivered more torsional rigidity for improved durability and comfort. Updates included higher output engines and a new six-speed automatic transmission.

The new top-of-the line Platinum trim increases the level of luxury offered in a pickup with 20-inch chrome wheels, a unique grille design, monotone paint, chrome accents, premium leather upholstery and heated/cooled seats. Regular cab models no longer have rear-hinged access doors.

2010 F150 SVT Raptor R Debut

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

A high-performance truck that looks like an off-road desert racer for the street, the F-150 SVT Raptor became part of the F-Series lineup for 2010. The SVT Raptor has an aggressive look derived from 7-inch wider track than a standard F-150, wider fenders, skidplates, hood vents, a raised ride height and a wide black grille with large "FORD" lettering in the center. Off-road performance equipment includes Fox Racing shocks, upgraded suspension with increased articulation, 17-inch alloy wheels, special 35-inch BFGoodrich all-terrain tires, an electronically locking rear differential, and revised stability-control system for off-road use. The exterior features special graphics with sport seats inside.

The SVT Raptor was initially powered by a 310-horsepower 5.4-liter V8 engine; a 400-horsepower 6.2-liter power plant was added the following year.

​Thirteenth Generation F-Series: 2015–2020

2015 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The 13th-generation Ford F-150 debuted as a 2015 model as Ford's most technologically developed F-Series pickup to date. Extensive aluminum use allowed Ford engineers to drop 700 pounds of weight from the truck when compared to the previous model. The latest look was both aggressive and refined, and underneath the new fully-boxed frame uses more high-strength steel to make it both stronger and lighter.

Smart technology included an available 360-degree camera view, trailer-hitch-assist rear camera view, remote tailgate with hands-free opening, and next-generation tailgate step.

The 2015 F-150 debuted a new turbocharged 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 with standard auto start-stop — a lightweight, compact design that makes the same power as a midrange V8 engine.

2018 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

For 2017 the F-150 added a new second-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine combined with an all-new 10-speed automatic transmission. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost included twin port and direct injection, a redesigned turbocharger with electronic wastegate and new valvetrain to produce 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. For 2018 the F-150 received exterior design updates throughout the model lineup including new grilles, bumpers, lighting, tailgates, exterior trim, and wheels.

Interiors were updated for XLT Sport, XLT Special Edition, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum and Limited with new colors and materials. The standard engine was upgraded to a new 3.3-liter normally-aspirated V6 with port and direct-injection technology producing 290 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque combined with an electronic six-speed automatic transmission.

And for the first time ever, the 2018 F-150 Power Stroke diesel was added, powered by an all-new 3.0-liter Power Stroke V6 diesel engine that produced 250 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque with peak torque at just 1750 rpm.

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The F-150 Raptor also returned for 2017, powered by a new high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine producing 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque combined with a 10-speed automatic. Raptor also featured a new clutch-based torque-on-demand transfer case that can automatically distribute torque between the front and rear axles, but also includes a mechanical lock for both 4-wheel-high and 4-wheel-low ranges.

The wide-body Raptor had a 6-inch wider track, 2 inches more ground clearance, and was 500 pounds lighter than the previous model. The new Raptor also added upgraded FOX shocks, BF Goodrich KO2 tires, and available 17-inch forged alloy bead-lock capable wheels.

2017 Ford F-250

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford redesigned the F-Series Super Duty for 2017 — the first time the Super Duty has been significantly redesigned since the heavy-duty lineup was added in 1999. The truck received a new exterior look, a completely updated interior, and a number of new features designed around comfort, cargo hauling, and towing just about any size trailer. But many of the updates are hidden from view, such as the high-strength aluminum alloy body and box, powerful engine lineup, and high-strength steel frame.

The new frame was 24 times stiffer than the previous version, and liberal use of aluminum has lowered the truck's overall weight, giving the Super Duty increased hauling and towing capabilities.

2019 Ford Police Interceptor

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

For the 2018 model year, Ford bolstered its law enforcement offerings with the F-150 Police Responder, which appealed to departments needing an all-terrain enforcement vehicle with both on-road and off-road capability. Based on the F-150 FX4 off-road package, the F-150 Police Responder wais powered by a 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine producing 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque, combined with Ford's SelectShift 10-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive.

Additional features included upgraded brakes, a larger front stabilizer bar, all-terrain tires, and 18-inch alloy wheels. The F-150 Police Responder featured the SuperCrew body for maximum interior room; other features included a column shifter, front center-seat delete, heavy-duty cloth front seats, vinyl rear seating, and heavy-duty vinyl floor covering.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

For 2019 the F-150 Raptor improved off-road performance with Smarter Shocks, new Trail Control, and available Recaro sport seats. The electronically controlled FOX 3.0 Internal Bypass shocks with Live Valve technology adjusted to the terrain in real time to maximize handling, comfort, and help prevent bottoming. The shocks improved high-speed off-road capability and delivered smooth on-road performance.

The new Trail Control system could be activated at speeds from 1 mph up to 20 mph to improve low-speed off-road performance and help drivers navigate rugged terrain. Trail Control automatically adjusted power and braking to each individual wheel to allow the driver to focus on steering.

All-new Recaro sport seats provide additional support with aggressive bolsters for the seatbacks and lower cushions, as well as blue Alcantara inserts and accent stitching inspired by the Light Speed-colored interior of the Ford GT.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Also new for 2019, the F-150 Limited received the High-Output 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 producing 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque, making it the most powerful light-duty pickup on the road. A new dual exhaust system features exhaust tips integrated into the rear bumper cutouts.

Inside, the F-150 Limited featured a leather-topped instrument panel and door panels, ash swirl wood trim, aluminum wrapped bezels, and a Miko suede headliner. Camel Back two-tone leather was new, and multicontour front seats featured Active Motion lumbar support and massage. Also offered were heated and ventilated captain's chairs, a heated steering wheel, a standard 360-degree camera system, optional Pro Trailer Backup Assist, and 4G LTE Wi-Fi access.

2020 Ford F-350

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

For 2020 the Super Duty lineup — F-250, F-350 and F-450 — received fresh styling, more capability, new features, and an all-new off-road Tremor package. The 2020 Super Duty got a new look front and back: more powerful LED headlights, a new grille, updated bumpers, a new air dam, and a new tailgate look with updated taillights. Ford also upgraded the 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel V8 that produces 475 horsepower and a class-leading 1,050 pound-feet of torque at a mere 1600 rpm.

With the right configuration, the Super Duty F-450 could tow up to 37,000 pounds — almost five times its own weight — and is also best in class for heavy-duty trucks. A diesel-powered F-350 with dual-rear wheels can haul up to 7,850 pounds — also the top of the heavy-duty class. Ford also sold the Super Duty with an all-new 7.3-liter gasoline V8 engine with 430 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque; it can tow as much as 21,200 pounds.

2020 Ford F-250 Tremor

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

For 2020 the new off-road Tremor package is offered for F-250 Super Duty and F-350 Super Duty on XLT, Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum trim levels, combined with either the 7.3-liter V8 or 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel. Trucks equipped with the Tremor package get a 2.0-inch front-end lift, a shorter air dam, progressive-rate springs, a retuned rear stabilizer bar, custom 1.7-inch piston twin-tube dampers, and 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac off-road tires mounted on unique 18-inch matte-finish black wheels.

Tremor also gets a locking rear differential, a Dana limited-slip front differential, off-road running boards and skidplates. With these additions, the Super Duty Tremor had 10.8-inches of ground clearance.

Fourteenth Generation F-Series: (2021-present)

2021 Ford F-150 teaser

​Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The 14th generation of the Ford F-150 will debut on June 25 at 8 p.m.

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Domino's and Nuro announced their partnership in 2019 — and now the robots are hitting the roads.

Photo courtesy of Nuro

After announcing their partnership to work on pizza deliveries via self-driving robots in 2019, Dominos and Nuro have officially rolled out their technology to one part of town.

Beginning this week, if you place a prepaid order from Domino's in Woodland Heights (3209 Houston Ave.), you might have the option to have one of Nuro's R2 robot come to your door. This vehicle is the first do deliver completely autonomously without occupants with a regulatory approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation, according to a news release.

"We're excited to continue innovating the delivery experience for Domino's customers by testing autonomous delivery with Nuro in Houston," says Dennis Maloney, Domino's senior vice president and chief innovation officer, in the release. "There is still so much for our brand to learn about the autonomous delivery space. This program will allow us to better understand how customers respond to the deliveries, how they interact with the robot and how it affects store operations."

Orders placed at select dates and times will have the option to be delivered autonomously. Photo courtesy of Nuro

Nuro Domino's delivery vehicle

The Nuro deliveries will be available on select days and times, and users will be able to opt for the autonomous deliveries when they make their prepaid orders online. They will then receive a code via text message to use on the robot to open the hatch to retrieve their order.

"Nuro's mission is to better everyday life through robotics. Now, for the first time, we're launching real world, autonomous deliveries with R2 and Domino's," says Dave Ferguson, Nuro co-founder and president, in the release. "We're excited to introduce our autonomous delivery bots to a select set of Domino's customers in Houston. We can't wait to see what they think."

California-based Nuro has launched a few delivery pilots in Houston over the past few years, including the first Nuro pilot program with Kroger in March 2019, grocery delivery from Walmart that was revealed in December 2019, and pharmacy delivery that launched last summer.

From being located in a state open to rolling out new AV regulations to Houston's diversity — both in its inhabitants to its roadways, the Bayou City stood out to Nuro, says Sola Lawal, product operations manager at Nuro.

"As a company, we tried to find a city that would allow us to test a number of different things to figure out what really works and who it works for," Lawal says on an episode of the Houston Innovators Podcast. "It's hard to find cities that are better than Houston at enabling that level of testing."

You can find out which self-driving vehicles are being tested in your neck of the woods by clicking here.


This article first appeared on AutomotiveMap's sister site InnovationMap.

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The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 is on sale now.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG
The all-electric range of the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 has been confirmed. The model is the first modern electric Volkswagen to be sold in the U.S. and a model that the German automaker is resting a lot of hopes on for the future of sales in the country.

The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro with all-wheel drive will achieve an EPA-estimated 260 miles of all-electric range on a full charge. The ID.4 Pro S and 1st Edition, which have more features and equipment and therefore weigh more, achieve an estimated 250 miles of range.

The EPA-estimated fuel economy for ID.4 Pro RWD is 107 MPGe in the city; 91 MPGe on the highway, and 99 MPGe combined. The ID.4 Pro S and 1st Edition does slightly worse achieving 104 MPGe in the city, 89 MPGe on the highway, and 97 MPGe combined.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4: Exterior The "1st" badging denotes the vehicle as a first edition model. Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

These new numbers come as part of a second round of EPA testing. Original testing found that the model did not quite hit its target.

How does that compare to other EVs? The Nissan Leaf Plus offers 226 miles of all-electric power. The Hyundai Kona Electric delivers 258 miles. Volvo's XC40 Recharge has just 208 miles of all-electric range but the Tesla Model Y can go up to 326 miles on one full charge.

First out of the Volkswagen gate will be ID.4 models with an 82-kilowatt-hour battery and rear-mounted AC permanent-magnet synchronous motor. That system delivers 201 horsepower and 228 pound-feet of torque.

At a public DC fast-charging station with 125 kW charging, the ID.4 can go from five to 80 percent charged in about 38 minutes. With purchase, ID.4 owners receive three years of unlimited charging at Electrify America DC Fast Chargers at no additional cost.

The 2021 ID.4 is on sale now, with pricing for the rear-wheel-drive ID.4 Pro starting at $39,995 MSRP, before a potential Federal tax credit of up to $7,500. The Pro S carries an MSRP of $44,495. The limited-run ID.4 1st Edition, which sold out the day the vehicle was launched, carried an MSRP of $43,995.

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