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Ford F-150 coming to Australia by mid-2023 with petrol V6 grunt


Fulfilling what Ford Australia says is a clear demand from buyers who want bigger and more capable pickups, the F-150 full-size truck will be right-hand drive converted locally and sold in dealerships

Ford has announced its F-150 full-size pickup is coming to Australia by mid-2023 with a twin-turbocharged petrol V6 under the bonnet.

The pickup flagship of the Blue Oval brand will be offered exclusively in crew cab guise with a choice between the workhorse XLT or more luxurious Lariat grade.

Ford will bring the F-150 to Australia by mid-2023 in XLT and Lariat guise

Ford will ship the American-built F-150 to Australia in left-hand drive where it will be right-hook converted by RMA Automotive on a dedicated production line located just north of Melbourne.

The decision echoes that of the F-150’s key competitors in the Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado, which are both remanufactured to RHD by Walkinshaw just one hour southeast of Ford’s facility in Clayton.

F-150 to become Ford Australia’s flagship

Acting as a bigger and more capable alternative to the new-generation Ranger midsize ute, the F-150 pickup boasts a 4.5-tonne tow rating and will serve as Ford’s flagship model in Australia. The Ranger’s maximum braked towing capacity is 3500kg.

The F-150 is an enormous vehicle by Australian standards with a 5885mm length, 1961mm height, 2431mm width and a 3693mm wheelbase in the shortest dual-cab configuration, compared to the outgoing T6.1 Ranger Wildtrak at 5389mm, 1848mm, 1850mm and 3220mm respectively.

There is no getting around it, the F-150 is an enormous vehicle by Australian standards

Ford will bring the F-150 to Australia armed exclusively with a 3.5-litre twin-turbo-petrol EcoBoost V6, making 298kW of power and 678Nm of torque. It is mated to a 10-speed automatic and a full-time four-wheel-drive system. Unlike the US versions, no V8 is slated for us.

While full specifications will be confirmed closer to next year’s launch date, Ford said the F-150 will be built to legislated Australian standards and come fitted with its latest safety equipment including blind-spot monitoring, cross-traffic alert, lane keep assistance, a reversing camera along with front and rear AEB.

In the US, the F-150 XLT comes with an array of standard equipment fit for a commercial vehicle including 17-inch alloy wheels, a locking rear differential, cloth seats, a locking tailgate, carpet flooring and external outlets to allow drivers to run external equipment such as power tools from the car’s battery.

Higher grades of the F-150 score leather seats but all benefit from a huge cabin

Modern convenience features like an 8.0-inch touchscreen also feature on the F-150 XLT, complete with Ford’s latest Sync 4 system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Stepping up to the upper/mid-spec F-150 Lariat brings a larger 12.0-inch touchscreen paired with a 12.0-inch digital driver’s display. There’s also leather upholstery along with niceties such as heated and ventilated front seats and dual-zone climate control.

The exterior is also given a spruce up with a chrome grille, larger 18-inch alloy wheels and LED fog lights, headlights and tail lights.

Right-hand-drive conversion process

Despite being the best-selling vehicle in the US for 40 straight years, the F-150 has had an intermittent sales history in Australia, with the broader F-Series range offered from the late 60s to the mid-90s. In more recent times, supply has trickled through with private imports and conversions.

RMA Automotive has been tasked with the conversion and will work with Ford Australia’s local development team who will tune the F-150 for our conditions.

While Ford Australia was able to source the US-built Mustang coupe and convertible as a natively built RHD model, CEO Andrew Birkic said conversion progress made more sense from an efficiency perspective. 

“Obviously, the US have got the manufacturing facilities, what we needed to do to ensure that we have the most efficient process that also from an enterprise perspective works for both of us. And we believe this is the solution that allows us to do that,” he said.

The ability to tow 4.5-tonnes braked is sure to snare a few buyers

The remanufacturing process is the first deal of its kind approved by Ford anywhere in the world. It will see the conglomerate sign off on each pickup to ensure it’s up to standard before being granted the standard five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty of locally sold Fords.

Mr Birkic said the Australian remanufacturing process was focused on Australian buyers but noted the program could expand to cater to other RHD markets in future.

“We’re certainly looking at New Zealand as an opportunity, but in terms of its viability, I think it’s very much focused from a local perspective,” he said.

More details on the exact price and specification will be available closer to the launch in mid-2023.