2024 Ford F-150: A Flavor for Every Truck Buyer

Ford updates America’s best-selling vehicle for 2024 with a highly revised hybrid powertrain, a trick tailgate and power to burn in the Raptor R.

Bob Gritzinger, Editor-in-Chief

June 7, 2024

4 Min Read
Ford F-150 Raptor R
F-150 Raptor R, for those who need a truck that can fly.

PALM SPRINGS, CA – After taking a flying leap off a dune in the 2024 Ford F-150 Raptor R, it’d be easy to recommend that anyone who wants a serious truck should buy one. But that would overlook the fact that Raptor sales made a tiny percentage of the nearly three-quarter-million F-Series pickups delivered last year.

So, we’ll get to a bit more on the 720-hp Raptor R, and the ’tween model F-150 Tremor, later. Those two models serve as high-performance window dressing for the real driver of Ford truck sales and profits for the Dearborn automaker, the standard-issue F-150.

During a test drive here, we get behind the wheel of a fully loaded Platinum model, featuring the latest updates under the hood and in the UX. F-150 chief engineer Milton Wong tells us the F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid, featuring the relatively fuel-efficient (for a fullsize pickup) 3.5L twin-turbocharged V-6, gets significant modifications for 2024.

2024 Ford F-150 Platinum_02.jpg

Most of the work is aimed at removing any indication of the powertrain’s start/stop function as well as using the hybrid system’s electric motor to smooth shift points and internal-combustion-to-electric propulsion transitions.

The result is as advertised. There’s barely a hint of the handoff between the hybrid system’s electric motor and the ICE. Stop/start, already so quiet in a F-150 hybrid as to be unnoticeable, is now virtually inaudible.

Credit a completely revised system that eschews the previous model’s belt-starter/generator on the front of the engine for reliance on the radial motor between the engine and transmission, and the traditional 12V starter motor cranking the flywheel.

In normal operation, the 35-kW hybrid motor handles restarts at lower speeds and at stops, while the starter motor cranks the ICE back to life at speeds above 25-35 mph (40-56 km/h), Wong says. Although the reverse might seem more logical, Wong says the 12V motor actually spins at higher rpm needed to bring the engine to life in line with the powertrain rotating at higher speeds.

Meanwhile, the combined output of the engine remains at 430 hp and 570 lb.-ft. (773 Nm) of torque, with all power running through a 10-speed automatic transmission en route to all four wheels. The 4x4 PowerBoost hybrid now checks in at an EPA-rated 23 mpg (10.2 L/100 km) combined.

Additional carryover engine choices: a 2.7L EcoBoost twin-turbo 325-hp, 400-lb.-ft. (542-Nm) V-6; a 3.5L EcoBoost twin-turbo 400-hp, 500-lb.-ft. (678-Nm) EcoBoost V-6; and a naturally aspirated 5.0L 400-hp, 410-lb.-ft. (556-Nm) V-8.

Other midcycle upgrades include the first pickup application of BlueCruise version 1.2, which allows the system to adjust the vehicle’s position within a lane to avoid squeezing too tightly to larger vehicles in adjacent lanes and provides automatic lane changes with a flip of the turn-signal stalk.

Both systems perform admirably during our usage on area BlueCruise-mapped interstate highways, part of some 130,000 miles (209,000 km) of available hands-free driving roads.

Perhaps the most noticeable and clever of the latest F-150 enhancements is the new Pro Access Tailgate, standard on King Ranch and Platinum trims and some grades of Tremor, and optional on Lariat.

2024 Ford F-150_Pro Access Tailgate_09.jpg

The gate, which splits in the middle and is hinged on either side to allow opening like a refrigerator door, allows easier access to gear in the truck bed, and can permit access even when a trailer is attached with a tower or gooseneck that might otherwise block a tailgate from lowering. The gate can still function normally with bottom hinges.

Speaking of Tremor, our drive included a few hours of backcountry driving over rocky and boulder-strewn terrain which the vehicle handled with nary a hiccup. Trail-Turn Assist proved perfect for performing a tight pivot at the top of a ridge, followed by a demonstration of the capability of Trail Control and Trail 1-Pedal Drive on the ascents and descents.

2024 Ford F-150 Tremor_06 (1).jpg

Then came the day’s highlight: handing off our Tremor for a Raptor R and blasting off into the desert for a series of exercises including a raucous dry lake bed rally course, a dash up and down a sand dune and the aforementioned all-four-in-the-air leap to end the program.

Suffice to say, whether your fullsize truck needs lean toward everyday work, or daily commuting with weekend towing/hauling duties, or outrageous capability on rugged trails or in deep-sand backcountry, Ford has the field covered with the updated 2024 F-150.

About the Author(s)

Bob Gritzinger

Editor-in-Chief, WardsAuto

Bob Gritzinger is Editor-in-Chief of WardsAuto and also covers Advanced Propulsion & Technology for Wards Intelligence.

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