Heavily redesigned for ’09, the Ford F-150 is now the truck equivalent of that guy at the gym who can bench press double his body weight, graduated magna cum laude from Yale, and has a hot girlfriend. Undergoing a massive overhaul, the 2009 F-150 is bigger, faster, stronger, and – surprisingly – lighter, putting Ford squarely back on top as king of the pick-up trucks. On a corporate level, the new F-150 also represents Ford finally cashing in that reality check and realizing that knocking down your supporting column isn’t exactly the best business strategy, $4 a gallon for gas or not.
View Specs and Gallery After Jump Known for their power and durability, Ford has re-engineered the F-150 with a fully boxed frame and hydro-formed high strength steel side rails. With a sturdier, lighter chassis, the F-150 now boasts an estimated 1mpg boost in overall fuel efficiency, higher crash test ratings, and a significant increase in max towing and payload capacity. Realizing that 6-cylinders have no place beneath the hood of an F-150, new engine offerings include a 5.4L 3-valve Triton V8, 4.6L 3-valve V8, or a 4.6L 2-valve V8 – nary a V6 in site. Last year’s herd of V8’s averaged 300-hp, 275-hp, and 250-hp respectively, but this year’s body design is supposed to increase those offerings significantly, though official specs have yet to be released.
Externally, the most obvious change is its menacing grin with Ford’s chrome Super Duty grill becoming the new face for the F-150. An exercise in practicality, new retractable tailgate steps make mounting the beast a little less like an Olympic pole vaulting event while the fold-able bed extender has been upgraded from tubular aluminum to a durable plastic composite, making it stronger and more flexible. Overall bed length extends by about a foot, in part to accommodate the extra space taken up by Ford’s new dual bed organizers.
On the inside, the ’09 F-150 reveals a man whose personal pampering falls somewhere in between “Occasionally Showering” and “Total Manscaping”. The key is moderation, and the F-150’s interior does a perfect job of blending the durability needed on the job site with the comfort and luxurious wanted for date night. Gaining 6-inches of total interior space [effectively become the first pick-up that isn’t bullshitting when it says it can seat 4 adult men comfortably], the plastic and aluminum interior has been upgraded in favor of leather and wood-grain [or DuraTec and wood-grain “finish”, if the first choice is a little too frou-frou for you].
After several nasty, public break-ups between Ford and F-series, the ensuing steamy makeup session that bought the F-150 all its shiny new baubles also yielded another little miracle for 2009, a big bundle of Platinum joy. Set to replace the Lincoln Mark LT luxury pick-up, the 2009 Ford F-150 Platinum pick-up has all the rugged capability of its siblings as well as more bling than a gangster rap posse. Lauded by some of the more “sensitive” auto bloggers as an egregiously masculine, laughably compensatory truck, the F-150 Platinum comes standard with a Triton V8, satin chrome grill, and a tuxedo-stitched leather interior.