Ford Unveils 2016 F-150 Limited, New Pro Trailer Backup Assist - Video
Ford is having a strong first year of sales in 2015 with its all-new aluminum-alloy body F-150 pickup truck. To follow up on that success, Ford recently unveiled an all-new trim for the 2016 model, its new top-of-the-line Limited. The all-new Limited, which will sit at the top of the F-150 food chain above the Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum models, is designed to offer a fully loaded package as well as unique customized features that wonít be found on any other F-150s.
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Ford invited us to Newport Beach, California, earlier this week to check out the new Limited model, as well as test out its newest feature thatís been eight years in the making Ė itís Pro Trailer Backup Assist. The Limited model will come loaded with tons of unique features, such as 22-inch polished aluminum wheels, Limited badging on the hood and tailgate, and a laser-etched badge inside the cabin on the center storage console featuring the VIN and production number of the truck. The Limited will also be equipped with standard features such as power-deployable running boards, panoramic vista roof, 10-way adjustable front Mojave leather seats with massaging functions, heated rear seats, remote start, tailgate release, genuine fiddleback eucalyptus wood grain accents, a unique grille, and color matched front and rear bumpers.
The Limited is also the first Ford to features the companyís new infotainment system, SYNC 3. The Limited will be powered by Fordís 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, and when properly equipped can tow up to 10,100 when properly equipped. Speaking of towing, Ford allowed us the chance to check out its new Pro Trailer Backup Assist feature at the Limited unveiling. Ford tells us this new system will be available on every trim level in 2016, and itís one of the few features not standard on the Limited.
The Pro Trailer Backup Assist system is designed to make backing up with a trailer more intuitive for the driver. It is controlled using a knob, which is mounted on the dash, to control the direction of the trailer when in reverse. The system is activated by pushing in button in the center of the knob, selecting the specified trailer saved in the system (up to 10 different trailer profiles can be saved), and then reversing with the trailer using the twist-dial on the knob to control the trailerís direction. So instead of turning the steering wheel in the opposite direction, which is counterintuitive for drivers not used to pulling a trailer, simply twist the knob toward the right and the trailer goes to the right while in reverse. The driver still controls the acceleration and braking, while the system simply aids in the path and direction of the trailer Ė all the while making it easier to steer for the driver.
The system needs a brief setup before use, which requires a few minutes to take measurements of the trailer and then the placement of a sticker on the trailer tongue so the rearview camera can use the mark as a measurement. Once saved, the truck remembers the trailerís measurements and loads the proper trailer accordingly. Like any other new feature, it takes a second to get a feel for the proper input needed on the dial, but very quickly we were able to easily control the direction of the trailer using the twist knob. The amount of input given on the knob will impact just how far it turns as well, and for a longer, sweeping turn, the driver simply holds the dial at a given angle to complete the turn. Once the driver lets go of the dial and it returns to its upright rest position, the trailer and vehicle will backup in a straight line Ė and as many know, backing up in a straight line can sometimes be the toughest part of trailering. As noted, the Pro Trailer Backup Assist feature will be an option on all trim levels in 2016, so new truck buyerís wonít have to fork over the cash for a Limited just to get their hands on the new system.
Fordí 2016 F-150 lineup is expected to hit dealerships this winter. Pricing has not been set for the Limited, but Ford tells us its starting price will be near the $60,000 mark.