Harking back to a sunnier, happier time when knobby-tired, lift-kit-equipped trucks, custom vans, and bellowing Jeeps roamed American highways en masse, Ford brings three 2009 F-150
nostalgia machines to SEMA to help wipe away the market blues. For these fantasy trucks, Ford tapped toolmaker DEWALT, accessory guru X'Treme Toyz, and blingmasters Street Scene Equipment to present showgoers with some tough trucks that seem unconcerned with fuel prices and the rise of frugal transportation. The fourth vehicle, the Hi-Pa Drive F-150
, seems a bit of a concession to the times and eschews internal combustion altogether for four in-wheel electric motors to propel it down the road.
The 2009 Ford F-150 Heavy Duty DEWALT Contractor Concept is put forth as "the ultimate tough truck for any job site." It touts features that should increase productivity and help contractors achieve their "peak performance," items like a tool management inventory system (Tool Link), Customized On Board Storage (not explained), and other bits and pieces that promise that this truck will be a "rolling work shop."
Next up is the Ford F-150
FX-4 by X-Treme Toyz, built, they say, for "hard work or rough play." X-Treme Toyz' Mike Duval likes to refer to the creation as the "Fahrenheit F-150," and Ford claim that it is a "highly functional fun machine" that is "totally tricked out for the active lifestyle enthusiast." Tricked out = "hot flame" exterior graphics, a 9,000-pound winch at both front and rear, a bike rack, and a bedslide sliding cargo drawer with toolbox, tire, and compressor.
The third in this trio of delightfully irresponsible trucks is the 2009 Ford F-150 by Street Scene Equipment. Based on the 2009 F-150
Lariat SuperCrew, they claim it combines "Built Ford Tough" performance with unexpected amounts of comfort and luxury. They don't really tell us much about what Street Scene did to the F-150, but instead lavish praise on the concept's style with phrases like "the perfect combination of head-turning style and tough performance." They conclude that the F-150 by Street Scene "will get you noticed and get you there in comfort and luxury." But is that really enough in 2008?
Well, the green folks at Ford apparently had their way with Ford's fourth F-150
concept, the Hi-Pa Drive F-150, and the only truly mechanically noteworthy vehicle in the SEMA F-150 quartet. Dispensing with engine, drivetrain, and gearbox, this F-150 relies only on four in-wheel electric motors to move this zero-emissions truck down the road (a drive concept that could also be brilliant off-road). And with in excess of 600 hp and more torque than the V-8 it replaces, it should have no problem blowing by dawdling hybrids like its own Ford Escape
and Mercury Mariner Hybrid
twins. But just how many 220-volt outlets would you need to re-charge this beast? Better install a second circuit breaker just for the garage.--Colin Mathews