Mild Changes Announced For 2012 Ford F-150 Lineup

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It seems the SVT Raptor isn't the only 2012 Ford F-150 to receive some upgrades. In fact, Ford has a handful of upgrades sprinkled throughout the remainder of its full-size pickup portfolio. Here's a quick rundown of what we can expect

FX Appearance Package: Though the FX2 and FX4 trim levels were originally designed to lend the F-150 a sporty exterior look, the all-new FX Appearance Package takes things to the next level.

Available with any exterior paint color, the new option group tosses in a number of black-colored exterior accents, including emblems, grille insert, headlamp surrounds, smoked rear tail lamps, and a chromed exhaust tip. New six-spoke, 20-inch wheels are also part of the package, and they're also treated to a black finish.

Inside, the Package adds perforated black leather seating surfaces with red backing, black dash accents, and brushed metal trim accents. A new FX Luxury package adds heated and cooled front seats to the mix.

Tanks For The EcoBoost: The twin-turbocharged, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 debuted last year on select F-150 trims, and is essentially unchanged for 2011. That said, Ford is increasing the fuel tank size on EcoBoost 4x4 models from 26 to 36 gallons, reportedly in response to customer input. Given the truck's 21-mpg highway fuel economy rating, this theoretically allows an F-150 so configured to travel as far as 756 miles before refueling.

Powertrain Tweaks: Unlike last year, the 2012 model year brings no new additions to the F-150 engine portfolio, but engineers have tweaked a few things elsewhere in the driveline.

For starters, an electronic shift-on-the-fly transfer case is now standard on 4x4 XL, STX, FX2, XLT, and FX4 trims in lieu of the previous manual transfer case. Other trim levels aren't forgotten; in fact, Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum models now gain an electronic two-speed transfer case that sports an automatic four-wheel-drive setting. Additionally, a number of the limited-slip differentials previously available with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 and the 5.0-liter V-8 have been replaced with electronic locking rear differentials, even on 4x2 models.

Ford is also proud of the fact it now offers neutral tow capability on all 4x4 models, allowing any 2012 F-150 to be flat-towed, but we think more drivers will regularly use and appreciate the new Hill Start Assist feature, especially in hilly terrain. The system, which is standard across the board, holds the brakes for a full two seconds after the driver lifts off the pedal, preventing the truck from rolling backwards when launching on an incline.

Model Mix: The number of ways one can order an F-150 is still close to infinite, but there are two new possibilities for 2012. XL and XLT models now offer a new light-duty 163-inch wheelbase option with the SuperCab, while XL, XLT, and Lariat Crew Cab models are now offered in a 157" wheelbase with a heavy-duty payload option.

Source: Ford

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