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Ford gives F-150 a new face and turbo diesel option

The Ford F-Series pickup truck has out-sold all competitors for 51 consecutive years in Canada, and for seven straight years has claimed the title of top-selling vehicle overall. In 2016, Ford sold 145,409 of the F-Series.

By comparison, the Escape SUV was the company's next best-seller with 46,661 The nine car models, ranging from the Fiesta to Mustang to Lincoln Continental sold 46,958.

Despite the success, Ford is giving the F-150 a mechanical, technological and aesthetic makeover for the 2018 model year.

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Staying with aluminum alloy in the body, the most significant offering is a new, optional 3.0-litre turbo diesel engine. Also new: a standard 3.3-litre V-6 with direct-injection, which Ford says will replicate the 282 horsepower and 253 lb.-ft. of torque provided by the 2017 model's standard 3.5-litre V-6.

As well, a new 2.7-litre EcoBoost engine is said to boost output and fuel efficiency. The 5.0-litre V-8 is also getting a torque boost.

They'll be paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission for 2018.

Technology upgrades include optional pre-collision assist and pedestrian-detection sensors that will trigger the brakes automatically; Wi-Fi hotspot allowing connection of up to 10 mobile devices; adaptive cruise control; stop-and-go function; traffic monitoring to keep a set distance between vehicles; B&O Play audio system .

Holdover tech includes compatibility between Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; 360-degree camera; lane-keeping; blind-spot information ranging to the 10-metre length of a trailer.

The design changes on all models include a new grille, headlamps and bumpers for what the company describes as a "visually wider and more planted stance". The tailgate has more pronounced sculpting with stamped "F-150" lettering. Two new seating colours are dark marsala for the Platinum trim, and navy pier for Limited.

The 2018 F-Series will be available in the fall.

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