Here are the '09 F-150 FX4 and '08 Chevy Silverado side by side on the same RTI ramp.
As expected, the interior continues the Ford tradition of mixing leading-edge style with high-quality materials and is beautifully executed with even more storage than before. The serenity of the cab has been improved by 9 percent in wind noise, 5 percent in road noise, and 5 percent in NVH thanks to a new acoustic headliner, a quiet steel dash, and other sound-deadening tricks. There is also a new 8-inch screen that comes with the voice-activated navigation system that now is Sirius Travel Link and SYNC compatible. Ford's Work Solution RFID tool tagging system is also available for the professional customer.
The 2009 model will be available in no less than seven trim levels, which include XL, STX, XLT, FX4, Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum with other variants rumored to be on the horizon.
Most exciting to the Four Wheeler crew is the new FX4 package that is not just a trim level, but a real off-road package, complete with an electronically activated rear locker that can even be used in 4-Hi up to 20 mph. The FX4 model also boasts a best-in-class crawl ratio of 41:1 and unlike the competition, the FX4's air dam doesn't compromise approach angle. Ford engineers also worked hard to make a more flexible suspension that sees an 8-percent improvement in the RTI. Other equipment that you get when checking the FX4 box are real skidplates that tie in to the frame, a unique transmission shift strategy in 4-Lo, special shocks, and available LT275/70R17 Goodyear A/Ts with a much more aggressive tread than Ford usually offers. We'll have driving impressions of the FX4 model in an upcoming issue of Four Wheeler.
The 2009 F-150 is a satisfying upgrade over the previous generation, especially in the interior where most of your time is spent. And with increased capability that encroaches on the F-250 Super Duty territory, Ford is essentially offering two 3/4-ton trucks-one for those who want the better ride of IFS and one for those who need the increased brawniness of a solid axle. With major competition coming from the 2009 Dodge Ram, with its lower capacities and coil-sprung rear suspension, it will be interesting to see which strategy pays off in the real world.
FX4 package, generous accommodations and features
Super Crew gets bigger, top engine output down from competition
With capability and size like this, who needs a 3/4-ton?
Vehicle model: 2009 Ford F-150 SuperCab FX4
Engine Type: 3V 5.4L V-8 flex-fuel capable (gasoline/ethanol)
Mfg.'s hp @ rpm: 310 (gasoline) / 320 (E85)
Mfg.'s torque (lb-ft) @ rpm: 365 (gasoline) / 390 (E85)
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Axle ratio: 3.73
Suspension (f/r): SLA independent with coilover shock/Multistage leaf spring
Wheelbase (in.): 133
Fuel capacity (gal.): 26.0
Seating capacity: 5