A new FX-4 offroad option package is available for 2002 models of Fords full-size, light-duty pickup truck. The King Ranch version also remains on sale and has been expanded to include the SuperCab. A new edition of the Harley-Davidson truck is expected to be announced later. A high-performance SVT F-150 Lightning offshoot with a 380-horsepower engine became available during 2001. Automatic temperature control is now standard on the SuperCrew Lariat and King Ranch editions, and all models come with standard air conditioning.
Whether its a regular-cab, SuperCab or four-door SuperCrew, Fords F-150 has been the top-selling vehicle in America for two decades and the best-selling truck for 24 years. Combined F-Series sales for the 2001 calendar year totaled 911,597 units, and its a safe bet that Ford will retain that title for another season.
The F-150 is Fords light-duty model. The SuperCrew crew-cab version debuted as an early 2001 model and features four conventional, front-hinged doors. It was the first full-size, half-ton model available with the crew-cab body style. Ford also offers Super Duty F-250/F-350 models with heftier payloads.
Ford blends traditional truck styling cues, including a bold grille with rounded body panels. Three trim levels are available: XL, XLT and Lariat. SuperCrew models come in the XLT and Lariat trims only.
Regular-cab and extended-cab called SuperCab models can have either a 6.5- or 8-foot cargo bed. The short bed is available with flared fenders, which Ford calls Flareside, on regular cabs and SuperCabs. Otherwise, the cargo bed is a Styleside (slab-sided) design.
SuperCabs have narrow rear doors on both sides, which are hinged at the rear and cant be opened unless the front doors are open. SuperCrew models have a larger passenger compartment than the F-150 SuperCab, but the cargo bed shrinks from 6.5 feet to 5.5 feet. The SuperCrews four front-hinged doors open to the front like conventional doors on passenger cars.
The SuperCrew rides a 138-inch wheelbase and measures 226 inches long overall, which is about the same length as the short-bed SuperCab. Other F-150 models come with one of several wheelbases and range from 72.4 to 76.9 inches in height.
Regular-cab and SuperCab models may be equipped with a three-place bench seat or dual front buckets. SuperCabs add a three-place, 60/40-split, folding rear seat. The four-door SuperCrew also has a three-place rear bench, which provides generous headroom and legroom for taller folks. The rear seat pivots forward for more inside storage space, but its not as useful as the kind that folds up.
Power-adjustable pedals with a 3-inch range and a dashboard switch are standard on Lariat models and optional on the XL and XLT. The power-adjustable pedals can be installed on trucks that come with an automatic transmission only; if equipped with the manual shift, the trucks get regular pedals.
Under the Hood
The base F-150 engine is a 202-hp, 4.2-liter V-6. Most buyers choose one of the V-8s, which are smoother, quieter and more potent. The 4.6-liter V-8 produces 231 hp, while the 5.4-liter is rated at 260 hp.
A five-speed-manual transmission is standard, and a four-speed automatic is optional. All F-150 models are available with either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. The 4WD models have a standard, floor-mounted transfer-case lever that permits shifting in or out of 4WD High on the move. An optional, electrically engaged transfer case is activated by a dashboard switch.
The towing capacity of models with an automatic transmission and V-6 engine ranges from 4,700 to 5,500 pounds, while trucks with the 5.4-liter V-8 can haul from 7,000 to 8,000 pounds. Four-wheel antilock brakes, dual front airbags and child-seat top-tether anchors are standard on all models.