AP NEWS

MUSCLE TRUCK

March 18, 2019

By swapping in the Raptor’s 450-horsepower EcoBoost engine as the 2019 F-150 Limited’s standard engine, Ford’s come up with a truck that’s fast and luxurious.

America’s most powerful regular production light pickup — for now — starts at $67,135.

It’s the first time the Raptor’s high-output 3.5-liter V6 has been offered in a 4x2 F-150. The muscular engine generates 128 horsepower per liter, or for you, old-school gearheads, 2.11 horses per cubic inch. The twin-turbocharged 213-cubic inch V6, the sole engine offered in the 2019 Limited, is paired with a 10-speed automatic.

The 2019 F-150 Limited has EPA fuel economy ratings of 17 mpg in the city, 22 in highway use and 19 mpg combined. The pickup also has an auto stop/start mode to save fuel.

“F-150 Limited customers create their own success. The truck is their reward,” said Todd Eckert, Ford truck group marketing manager. “They wanted more power, so we combined the Raptor’s engine with the Limited’s business-class features to deliver Baja fierceness, boardroom style and the grit to tackle tough jobs.”

Customers “love the power of Raptor, but want the refinement of the Limited,” Eckert said. “Limited customers are looking for the best-of-the best when it comes to their truck.”

That clientele will enjoy definite performance dividends. A 2019 Ford F-150 Limited tested by Car and Driver nailed 0-60 mph in 5.1 seconds and impressed in the quarter-mile as well: 13.7 seconds at 102 mph. That’s 0.2 seconds quicker and 3 mph faster than the 2019 Raptor the magazine tested. While the Raptor has a 4.10 final drive ratio, the Limited gets a 3.55 electronic locking axle ratio. Its 5,594-pound curb weight is nearly 400 pounds less than the Raptor’s.

Some of the Raptor’s mass comes from a cooling system that’s fortified to cope with harsh off-road conditions. The Limited’s cooling system is carried over from the standard 3.5-liter 375 horsepower EcoBoost.

Delivering up to 510 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,500 rpm, the Limited’s EcoBoost has a dual exhaust system similar to the setup used in the Raptor but incorporates more conventional mufflers rather than the basically straight-through ones hung on the Raptor, said Eckert.

So the Limited is not only plusher and quicker than the Raptor, it’s quieter.

Spotting a Limited should be easy — look for the large dual exhaust outlets in the Limited’s notched rear bumper.

When equipped with the F-150’s max trailer tow package, which runs an extra $995, the 2019 Limited 4x2 can tow up to 11,100 pounds; the 4x4 is rated to pull 9,400. The 4x2 has a payload rating of 1,530 pounds while the 4x4 haul 1,280. The trailering bundle includes a 4-pin/7-pin wiring harness, auxiliary transmission oil cooler, upgraded front stabilizer bar, smart trailer tow connector and Ford’s Pro Trailer Backup technology.

Naturally, the 2019 Limited’s upgrades aren’t just under the hood. The cabin gets luxury trappings like a suede headliner and leather-topped instrument panel and door panels. Then there’s the hand-finished ash swirl trim. “A halo around the edges with a heavily polished center really brings out the natural beauty of this wood,” said Aileen Barraza, Ford color and materials manager. A two-tone, soft touch leather that Ford calls “camel back” is also new.

To ensure occupants ever forget what they’re rolling in, each Limited gets a laser-etched plaque on the center console armrest indicating its status in the F-150 pecking order.

The Limited, available exclusively with SuperCrew cab and 5.5-ft. cargo bed, comes standard with advanced safety and assist systems, B&O audio system, power running boards, remote start, tailgate release and a twin-panel moonroof. The standard 22-inch polished aluminum wheels are shod with 275/45 all-season tires.

As shoppers in this segment expect, Ford’s most lavish full-size pickup comes standard with adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability. Once drivers set the pickup’s cruising speed, radar and camera technologies monitor the traffic ahead to maintain a set gap between vehicles and bring the F-150 to a complete stop when necessary.

Standard pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking helps drivers avoid or at least lessen the impact of striking vehicles or pedestrians. Active park assists to make parallel parking easier is standard Limited fare, as is a lane-keeping system that, under ideal conditions, alerts the driver and intervenes with steering corrections if the truck strays out of well-marked lanes.

The F-150 is a lot of truck so the Limited’s standard reverse sensing, blind spot and cross-traffic warning systems are a definite plus.

Pickup purists who worry that the 5.0-liter V8 is an endangered species can relax. At least for now. The V8 is one of the six powertrains available in the 2019 F-150.