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Ford F-150 V6 could pave the way for Lightning, Raptor in Australia

The Ford F-150 XLT and Lariat EcoBoost will lead the charge in Australia, but some more exciting metal may follow.

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Scott Collie
Scott Collie
Deputy Editor
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Ford will offer two trim levels and one engine option when the F-150 pickup truck launches in 2023, but it hasn’t shut the door on expanding the range.

The Blue Oval’s local boss, Andrew Birkic, told media the F-150 XLT and Lariat will be used to establish and prove a new remanufacturing process for left-hand drive vehicles, before Ford potentially looks to expand the program.

“RMA and Ford Special Vehicles have a lot of work to do in terms of the engineering, setting up the manufacturing facility,” he said of the F-150 EcoBoost.

“Let’s get it here, let’s get it down the line, let’s spend the time on the remanufacture, let’s get it out to our customers. Then we’ll move on to the next step… what we want to do is ensure the process is robust,” he said.

Once the process has been confirmed, and it’s clear there’s demand? Mr Birkic says Ford “has an open mind” about expanding the range of cars being remanufactured for right-hand drive.

Although the regular F-150 has been high on the hit list for local buyers for a while, it’s far from the only forbidden Ford we’d love to see Down Under.

The F-150 Lightning will go head-to-head with the Rivian R1T and Chevrolet Silverado EV in the USA.

Although it looks similar to the petrol F-150, it packs between 370km and 480km of range from its lithium-ion battery pack and, in the range-topper, a 100km/h sprint time in the mid four-second range.

Pricing in the USA kicks off at US$40,000 ($52,000) before any incentives, making it around US$3000 more expensive than the entry Tesla Model 3. A mid-range XLT is priced at US$53,000 ($68,500) in the USA.

Ford USA has been bombarded with pre-orders for the Lightning, which may make it harder for Ford Australia to bring the car Down Under.

Mr Birkic said sourcing the car in the face of big North American demand is “one of the inputs” that may stand in Ford Australia’s way.

The F-150 Raptor sits at the opposite end of the spectrum. It’s powered by a 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine with 335kW and 690Nm.

The twin-turbo V6 is paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission, and a four-wheel drive system with an electronic locking rear differential and a Torsen limited-slip front differential.

The electronically controlled Fox Live Valve shocks have a diameter of 79mm, and can be automatically adjusted up to 500 times per second. The five-link rear suspension has extra-long trailing links, a Panhard rod, and 24-inch (610mm) coil springs.

The Raptor is easy to pick out from lesser F-150 models thanks to its wider fenders, wheel arch extensions, a power dome on the bonnet, black grille with bold Ford lettering, a prominent bash plate up front, new bumpers, and unique headlights and tail-lights.

Ford has also confirmed it’s doing a V8 version of the Raptor, dubbed the Raptor R.

MORE: Ford F-150 pickup truck coming to Australia in 2023

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Scott Collie
Scott Collie

Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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