For more than two decades, the Ford F-150 full-size pickup has been a top-selling vehicle in America. Ford understands that buyers want choices in their pickups with expectations ranging widely from mud-slinging rear-wheelers at home on any jobsite to well-tailored four-by-fours perfectly outfitted for a 12-hour workday or a night on the town. The new 2011 F-150 Platinum delivers full-strength capability, top-tier technology, a selection of rock-solid engines with best-in-class attributes and a surprisingly elegant interior with the opulent touches of a premium-class sedan.
Here are the basics: Ford sells the F-150 Platinum (MSRP $44,110) in the SuperCrew Cab style with your choice of 4x2 or 4x4, two “Styleside” box sizes (5.5 feet or 6.5 feet), two wheelbase lengths (145 inches or 157 inches) and three engines.
The standard powerplant on the Platinum is an aluminum-block 5.0-liter V8 making 360 hp and 380 lb/ft of torque – that’s the most power and pull of any small-displacement V8 in this class. Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing helps the 5.0-liter engine deliver superior low-end grunt and optimizes combustion under full loads.
The other available eight-cylinder on the Platinum is a 6.2-liter SOHC iron-block V8 cranking out a spectacular 411 hp and 434 lb/ft of torque. Comb through the competition’s specs, and you’ll see those output figures are better than any engine in this segment.
Perhaps the greatest innovation for 2011 is the available EcoBoost™ 3.5-liter V6, good for 365 hp and an amazing 420 lb/ft of torque. Twin intercooled turbochargers eliminate low-end lag and help make 90 percent of that torque available at a rock bottom 1,500 rpm. Direct injection raises efficiency and helps the EcoBoost return up to 22 mpg on the highway. Ford silenced any questions about the toughness of a turbo V6 in a full-size pickup by putting the EcoBoost through 1,900 hours of testing under full-boost conditions. Thermal evaluations actually simulated 10 years of operation in the harshest environments. That painstaking effort has paid off; according to Automotive News magazine, 36 percent of all 2011 F-150 models sold through July were ordered with the EcoBoost engine.
Unique among pickup trucks, all three engines send power to the pavement via a SelectShift™
six-speed automatic transmission. Equip the F-150 Platinum with the Max Trailer Tow Package and, depending on configuration, you can get best-in-class maximum towing capacity of 11,300 pounds, as well as best-in-class maximum payload capability of 3,060 pounds.
Whether you mean to work or play when you get behind the wheel of the F-150 Platinum, you’ll travel in complete confidence thanks to a host of driver aids. Four-wheel antilock disc brakes, AdvanceTrac® traction control with Roll Stability Control™ (RSC), a Trailer Brake Controller (TBC) and Trailer Sway Control (TSC) are all standard. The available Electronic Locking Rear Differential locks the rear axle completely to maximize traction at both wheels.
For all its performance prowess, the F-150 Platinum steals the spotlight with its style and luxury amenities. Wood-grain-style interior trim, 10-way power-adjustable leather-trimmed front bucket seats with heating and cooling and heated second-row seats lead a long list of standard features. The list also includes remote start, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls and wood accents, an auxiliary audio input jack for connecting an iPod, dual-zone climate control and a 4.2-inch driver-information screen mounted in the gauge cluster.
The tally of infotainment technology continues with such must-haves as a rearview camera, the SYNC® in-car connectivity system, a 700-watt Sony Premium Audio System with 10 speakers, integrated SIRIUS Satellite Radio (includes a six-month complimentary subscription) and an available Navigation System with SIRIUS Traffic and Travel Link.
F-150 Platinum pickups stand out with exclusive cues such as 20-inch polished cast-aluminum wheels, heated PowerFold side mirrors with memory, puddle lamps and chrome skull caps, a satin-finish grille surround with chrome mesh insert and body-colored door and tailgate handles with chrome straps. Power-deployable running boards also make the grade, as does an available power moonroof.
The optional integrated tailgate step, box sidesteps and stowable bed extender make perfect upgrades for buyers looking to maximize the utility of the F-150 Platinum. The same goes for the available Ford Work Solutions system, which among other services, provides in-truck Internet access and can connect wirelessly to a printer. For easy-access storage of tools and gear, the standard SuperCrew Fully-Flat Load Floor is a class-exclusive that provides more than 57 cubic feet of interior cargo space once you fold up the mechanically articulating rear seats.
Looking for a hard-as-nails work truck that’s also black-tie appropriate? Your search stops at the 2011 Ford F-150 Platinum.