Raj Sarkar, Ford's F150 marketing manager, knows figures. In order to get them on the go, he says Ford's "class-exclusive" 4.2-inch LCD productivity screen provides oodles of numerals and pictographs so its drivers can stay connected with how they're driving, and what's happening in the cabin around them.
Data and helpful instructions come from an onboard computer. There are six menu options: Gauge Mode (transmission oil temperature), Trip A/B (tracks trip time and mileage), Fuel Economy, Truck Apps, Settings and Information. In sum, it's an information center that makes operating Ford's trucks easier for occasional or full-time user.
The system gets so detailed, it takes a walk-through to understand how powerful it is. Here's an overview:
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Fuel economy: depicts instantaneous, average, and historical mpg with distance to empty.
Truck apps: includes towing-specific screens. Besides a custom-tailored checklist (guides you through trailer attaching), you can store up to 10 different trailer names (boat, ATV or fifth wheel) with appropriate settings for each. This includes the programmable integrated electric trailer brake control. You can even track each trailer's accumulated miles.
Off-roading: Off-road drivers can select the "pitch-and-roll" screen. It shows surface angle, degree of tilt and steering angle.
Settings: facilitates auto-lamp time and monitors oil life.
Information: includes warnings for Trailer Sway Control, Hill Descent Control and the Tire Pressure Monitoring System.
Sarkar, who has an MBA from Harvard, says he's always loved cars. And with a new way to monitor data, he's fond of trucks now, too.
Ford's productivity screen is standard on FX2/FX4, Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum models. It's also available on the XLT model when you order the Convenience Package.