The new 2015 Ford F-150 King Ranch edition pickup truck works every bit as good as it looks and it drives even better as it carries on a tradition of being the toughest, smartest and most capable pickup truck yet.
Built of military grade aluminum and new high strength steels, the all-new 2015 Ford F-150 pickup truck has been making headlines all over the place since its introduction earlier this year. Much has been written about its many new features and increased capabilities with the consumer responding by snapping up new F-150 pickups as quickly as they have arrived in dealerships.
Recently we had occasion to drive a pre-production F-150 King Ranch SuperCrew 4×4 (MSRP $52,310) for two weeks in and around central Texas. Our truck was two-tone with a base Blue Jeans Metallic and new Caribou accents with the new Mesa Antique Leather Java interior. Fully loaded up with options and accessories, it had a delivered price of $61,415.
2015 King Ranch Edition
As one would expect, the King Ranch edition was one of the five trim levels returning in the aluminum F-150 lineup and – in recognition of its importance – Ford chose to also update the legendary King Ranch F-150 southwestern luxury with new interior treatments, features, body colors and a signature accent Caribou color. New King Ranch-specific leather trims were created for the front and rear seats with the front seats both heated and cooled and the rear seats heated. The 2015 King Ranch also features a signature logo heated steering wheel and a improved entertainment system that includes a Sony 10-speaker system with HD Radio.
On the outside the 2015 King Ranch is distinguished by front and rear chrome bumpers, a unique chrome grille with accent-color mesh insert, new LED headlamps, running boards and two-tone paint. High-intensity LED puddle lamps and exterior LED spotlights are integrated into the outside mirrors while an all-new remote tailgate release, enhanced rear step, new side steps and 20-inch Machined Aluminum wheels with Caribou painted pockets finish the look.
The 2015 King Ranch F-150 4×4 SuperCrew is powered by the rugged 5.0L V8 delivering 385 horsepower with 387 lb.-ft. of torque. Mated to an electronic six-speed automatic transmission with tow/haul mode, it tows up to 11,100 pounds with a payload of 3,300 pounds.
Though considered by some as a ‘gentleman’s’ pickup because of its high-end luxury and King Ranch livery, the King Ranch F-150 is still, first and foremost, a working truck in the eyes of both consumers and the management of the King Ranch.
Ford Motor Company and the King Ranch have had a business relationship since 2001 with the iconic Running W brand of the King Ranch proudly displayed on King Ranch special editions of the Ford F-150, SuperDuty pickup trucks and the Expedition SUV for over a decade.
This long running relationship – from the very beginning – has not been just a branding of the vehicles, but also the everyday use of those very same Ford pickup trucks and Expeditions in the operation of the legendary 825,000 acre ranch at Kingsville, Texas.
King Ranch F-150 Works Night and Day
Earlier this year, when introducing media to some of the new visibility and lighting features of the F-150, Pete Reyes, Ford F-150 chief engineer remarked : “We know that work keeps going when the sun sets”. He added “The new F-150’s exceptional lighting technologies can help light work sites well into the night.”
Little did we know that we would have the opportunity to validate his comment during our ride and drive of our pre-production F-150 King Ranch SuperCrew 4×4 a couple of months later – when it did a very nice imitation of ‘Friday Night Lights” for us on – of course – a Friday night.
Lights and Visibility
The new KIng Ranch F-150 is equipped with the new 360-degree camera system. The system – the first of its kind for pickups – provides a view of all four sides of the vehicle, making it easier to navigate into tight spaces or around tight corners. Images from cameras mounted in the grille, tailgate and under each side view mirror are shown on the 8-inch screen to give the driver an overhead view of near seven feet of surrounding space.
The new LED lighting throughout the interior and exterior of the new F-150, provides brighter, whiter light with longer reach than older systems. On the King Ranch, they include segment-first LED headlamps, LED cargo box interior lights and industry first forward-facing LED spotlights built into the side view mirrors units.
Friday Night Lights
Late one very dark Texas night, being an official of our small village, we were notified of a serious water line break at a local residence and asked to respond our emergency utility crews. Since we live nearby and the crew was more than 30 minutes away, we jumped into our test King Ranch F-150 and drove over to assess the situation and see if we could be of assistance.
We could not directly, but the King Ranch, with its Friday night lights capability, could.
On arrival we turned on the LED headlamps to high beam -and adding the fog lights – were able to locate the break near the home. Using the LED side mirror lights and the 360 degree camera system, we maneuvered the King Ranch through the fence and around the landscaping boulders to a location adjacent to the break in order to light up the area and confirm the break.
Then, when the emergency crews arrived, we trained the LED side mirror lights onto the actual break – making it fully visible for repair by the utility crew. No other emergency lighting was needed from their truck. As they went to work, we were able to utilize yet another feature of the 2015 King Ranch F-150, running power cords into the cab to connect portable power tools to the available two 110-volt 400-watt electrical outlets – eliminating their having to unload and fire up their portable generator.
In summary, the good news is that our test F-150 King Ranch SuperCrew 4×4 ably assisted a middle of the night quick and timely repair of a resident’s water line and everyone went home sooner than they expected. Better news is that the utility crew team all want one.
We are still working on that.