• Check out 2018 Ford F-150 Diesel Prototypes Tow Testing in the Mountains [Video Prototype Hunting]

    2018 ford f150 diesel towing trailer spy
    Is this a 2018 Ford F-150 diesel prototype

    Ford is serious about providing more power choices for the Ford F-150. The 2017 F-150 has four engine options, and Ford is adding a fifth for the updated 2018 model. It will be the 3.0L turbo-diesel V6 that Ford produces in Europe. Ford is giving the F-150 a bit of a facelift for 2018 with new headlight and grille design. Check out the two white trucks that are parked next to the truck with the trailer. They have the new 2018 styling. The design update includes new tail lights and a tailgate with an “F-150” stamped into the bottom of it.

    Why do we think that Ford is testing a turbo-diesel? The exhaust tail pipe with the air vents in unique to the trucks with a diesel. Modern turbo-diesel engines use “regen” mode to heat up the exhaust system and burn off extra particulates for improved emissions. Manufacturers use different air inlets on the exhaust tip to help cool the exhaust gases as they leave the system.

    The other big news about the 2018 F-150 update is that all of the engines get design updates, rumored power increases, and 10-speed automatic transmission options. Yep, you will be able to get a 2018 Ford F-150 with an updated 5.0-liter V8 and a 10-speed automatic. That will be an intriguing combination.

    Check out this video about all of the 2018 F-150 engine options.

    It’s interesting to see these prototypes testing in the Colorado mountains, because this is exactly where we put all the trucks on the Ike Gauntlet – World’s Toughest Towing Test.

    Check out the Ford F150 prototypes in the video below.

    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.

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    81 thoughts on “Check out 2018 Ford F-150 Diesel Prototypes Tow Testing in the Mountains [Video Prototype Hunting]

      1. Zviera – – –

        Yes. For trucks certainly, but for ALL vehicles in general.
        An old garage coot I met during Jeep maintenance bemoaned the loss of the “golden age” of cars: the 1950’s. I reminded him that, no, THIS is the golden age: you can get almost any permutation on the automotive theme** that your little heart would desire, UNLIKE the 1950’s. So, no bellyaching about missing the recent past, please: The variety is HUGE (or is it YUGE?)….

        ** Examples – – –
        1) Types: Pickups, SUV’s, CUV’s, sedans, sports cars, muscle cars, super cars, hyper cars, wagons.
        2) Layout: FWD, RWD, AWD, 4WD.
        3) Manual trans (yes, declining); Auto torque- converter trans; Auto SMG trans; Dual-clutch auto trans, No trans (as in EV’s).
        4) Propulsion: by gasoline, diesel, CNG, H2, and EV, — and various hybrids in between.
        5) Roofs that are convertible, hard-top removable, sunroof, moonroof, and no roof.
        6) Driving that is semi-autonomous, driver-assisted, and completely driver-controlled.

        1. While I am way far off from being born in the 50’s, just from my time being around we have a plethora of options for vehicles. It’s all about how much you can afford and want. Trucks now are as fast as the 90 and early 2000’s pony cars. We have seats that massage you while you drive. It is amazing what we have available right now.

    1. Sorry for being the Paul Bearer here but the diesel is on its way out in a casket. The electric trucks are here and coming with generators so they are not distance plagued. They will have superior traction for trucks, with better torque and HP. With no transmission to worry about or torque converters or low hanging differentials.

      1. I agree. I think diesels have a nail in the coffin and is waiting for it to be driven in. At least on smaller trucks. Just too much emissions junk on them to make them everyday practical. And economical. With the small diesel cheating going on over the past few years, Ford had better make sure they are on the up and up with regulations. If not, more nails in the coffin.

        1. Electric Cars will catch on before electric trucks because the market is more there for them. We are still a decade away at least for any type electric take over. 10 years in the automotive industry is pretty far away. When yall go on these rants you forget that most the nation is still not even set up to handle the electric market, plus the cost of electricity in some areas depending on the grid is cheaper to fill up an efficient diesel or gasser than charge a big a battery. No nails in the coffin any time soon.

          1. Yep I agree with you just Jay b. Plus add one more thing we are not allowing are selves to build more power plants​. Electric truck is cheaper to buy with out government assistance and cheaper to operate is still quite a long ways out. Also keep in mind the internal combustion engines are still going to continue getting better and cheaper to operate over time.

          2. Agreed. We are a good ways off before electric pickups are anything close to mainstream-particularly for those who tow. You will see far more cars first-and these are still a long way off from being mainstream.
            Electricity is considerable less expensive than gasoline or diesel fuel but we don’t have the infrastructure to produce the amount of power that mass scale electric vehicles would require. That fact alone will keep wide spread electric vehicles from taking over. It will take many years to make the upgrades that can produce that much power-particularly as we shy away from coal and other fossil fuels to produce that power. Electric vehicles require A LOT of power. They will easily use several times that used by households.
            Electric vehicles are expensive to produce and there is no real reason to think this will go down significantly anytime soon. Diesel engines will likely come down in price as the emission technology matures.

            1. Add one more thing how you tax a electric vehicle fairly? I see ca I think I red that when you purchase electric car they add 100$ to register that car.

        2. @Jimmy Johns
          Hearing that from here, is like saying “Pickups have a nail in the Coffin and are on the way out”
          At the moment they cannot build enough diesel pickups. Selling like hot cakes here and in Europe.( well Diesel engines are not Pickups). Mazda is about to introduce a new Diesel engine

          1. Who can’t keep up with 1500 series pickup trucks? We don’t have any here in the states and how many diesel Colorados are there. The percentages are really low.

            1. Over seas diesel vehicles I hear is king. VW had the small car diesel market until the big fiasco. Mercedes had a few diesel vehicles and I’m not sure who else did. The only light duty trucks were the Colorado and Ram. Currently the ram cannot get EPA certified so as of now. You have only the diesel Colorado as a light truck diesel option. The next online would be the tweaner truck in a diesel, the Titan. Not a 1500 or a 2500. I don’t mind diesel vehicles but my only issue is they are getting choked by their own emissions.

          2. We will soon have to stop thinking of a “diesel” as only engines that burn diesel fuel if Mazda becomes successful from a reliability standpoint with HCCI technology. Because if this technology proves reliable and refined; it is likely that most or all ICE engines in the future will be a combination of compression ignition (diesel) and spark ignition (gas); and the fuel an engine burns will be no more than that. An automaker, for instance, may call their line of gas-burning vehicles “GFD” meaning gas-fueled diesel or alternatively, “DWS” meaning diesel with a spark.

            Yes these are exciting times, but one big downer for me is that ever since the dawn of the “clean diesel” (2007+), diesels have been priced out of my reach; are only available in the higher-end trims, and for trucks, only marketed in the larger configurations for the top capabilities, which is somewhat backward, since a 3.0 six cylinder diesel would be better suited for the lower-end trims and lower capabilities. That would make for a great runaround, hauling, weekend warrior kind of work truck in regular and super cabs in the lower trims like XL and XLT; but instead, due to the tough economics of offering diesels in the North American market we’re going to keep getting 240-250 horsepower diesels in half-ton trucks that are available only in packages meant for high luxury and/or high towing need. It’s really backward marketing, but it’s really their only choice until some kind of breakthrough makes diesel building and emission compliance easier and cheaper. But that’s not where we are. Some would contend then, that they should offer mid-size V8 diesels, but then two more problems creep up. Such an engine would be even more expensive to build and certify, and fuel economy would become more average. So it’s sort of a conundrum, and is why a Yuge diesel fan like me is driving a twin turbo gas engine with more hp than I’d ever want or need but get decent mpg and the refinement advantage of great mid-range power with light pressure on the gas pedal. But if I thought that I could have gotten the same truck configuration as what I got in 2015 (std cab, 2wd, short bed with 3.31 rear axle ratio in an XL) with a 3.0 V6 diesel and $4,000 extra bucks; I would have waited for the diesel. But it ain’t going to happen.

      2. Pall bearer, Rambro.

        I’d say your theory on electrics has a lot of holes in it. Electrics are the result of liberal government involvement in legislation and incentive to try and kill ICE engines. In other words, electric car companies and electric vehicle investment are heavily subsidized through grants and incentives or they wouldn’t exist. The biggest obstacle to EVs is consumer demand. Its very low. EVs don’t really offer any advantages aside from the faux “saving the planet” scam they are marketed with. Consumer vehicle purchases are based heavily upon perception. EV’s basically support the image of the tree-hugging greenie which hardly appeals to young drivers, car enthusiasts, or the well-heeled. The EV with the most sex appeal is the Tesla…and after years of being in business they have yet to make a profit…despite heavy subsidization.
        The last problem with your theory is the ROW (rest of world) markets. There are plenty of markets which still do not have access to high quality gasoline, let alone “Supercharger” stations. Here, diesel is king…because it can be low grade, is stored easier, and works well. Manufacturers like to use variant engines all over the world to save costs. The automakers will only fully embrace EV’s if government legislation compels them to do so AND consumer interest greatly increases. Your perspective from liberal Canada may cause you to think the way you do, but America and even other countries are starting to come back to their senses and shift conservative again. I think you’ll find very limited interest in electric pickups. Some companies might buy them if they are reliable and can somehow save money…but right now consumers seem perfectly content to continuously lay out $60k+ USD for diesel pickups.

        1. I think for diesel light duty trucks to get embraced more, the EPA regulations need to be lowered or some new tech brought out. Diesels work well but the whole after treatment system is very problematic. For everyone. Electric is a ways out and for a truck it will need to be diesel/gas engine electric. Due to payload and towing having large batteries will kill it. Strong electric motors are heavy and if you have them at all 4 corners it will weigh quite a bit. Another issue with diesel is most people don’t like handling the fuel pump. I have yet to use one where gloves were not needed. I still feel gas will win out for a while and diesel will be far behind. Especially if emission laws get tighter.

        2. Troverman, the problem with your theory here is that diesel currently makes up 3% of North American sales. It’s never going anywhere considering how good they were in the past after poisoning millions they still could not sell them in America

          The W15 is here and to be sold to the general public in 2018 and Workhorse has a lot of experience already as they have had electric fleet vehicles in major cities now for a few years already and it is working out. Bollinger is also coming out this summer with a true off road 4×4, not like the craptor with its low diff and inferior AWD system with a motor that has its power governed by rpm ranges, transmissions, diffs, torque converters, ect. The W15 is not even an off road electric version and it has more ground clearance than most trucks and the first version is already just as fast as the Raptor 0-60 in 5.5 with 465HP that is not rpm laden, said to sell for 50k. Cheaper than a diesel option and more powerful with better mpg and more ground clearance and able to power work tools on site. ICE is going bye bye. If you look at how far we have come in such a short time this wont take long to become mainstream.

          1. Oh Rambro,
            Always one to talk crap / complaining about existing products that are class leaders and raising the bar higher and higher aren’t you amusing yet so predictable?

            Without testing, real world feedback, durability standards, and at least a 10yr experience record it’s impossible to judge a new product and just say how great it is and how much better it is than the best quality trucks we already have!

            Especially when you can’t even buy theses EV trucks yet.

            I’ll tell you one thing – that W15 is the ugliest thing I’ve ever looked at! I wouldn’t give it even a chance with that look and I’m usually all about function!

            Perception is one ingredient of the sales formula, but so is looks and reputation. Without government subsidies these EV trucks will never make it!

            I’m going to reserve my right to nit say how great EV’s are going to be until I actually test one or see other reviews and many long term tests.

            Until that time whenever technology develops a new system that’s as well rounded, refined, and tested, I’m going to purchase and support the many quality vehicles we have now!

            I’ve never been brand loyal to any oem, but right here right now Ford is the leader by far in my opinion!!!

            1. I agree your opinion should wait. Always a good idea when your a card short of a deck. 🙃 But seriously that’s good advice, but I am sick and tired of the truck market compared to the SUV market it sucks from a power plant perspective especially for midsize buyers. I’m very eager to slap sh!t in their face.

      3. There ARE NO electric pick up trucks available for the general public to buy from a mainstream auto manufacturer.

        Tesla is years out. Workhorse W15 is FLEET ONLY ( and still at least a year away )

        So where are these ” electric trucks ” again. You know, the ones you say are “here “?

        1. W15 is said to be available to the general public by 2018. I already emailed them but they have yet to get back to me. Gave them sh!t for not inviting the best truck reviewers in America as well. Told them I wont buy it until TFL reviews it.

            1. No without overheating and burning issues without a gear box, with small high speed electromotor,like Tesla has.

      4. Rambro – – –

        Gee, and to think I just ordered my new Ram 2500 Crew Cab with Cummins Diesel and Manual Transmission. I am feeling obsolete already (^_^)..,


      5. Maybe in 20 plus years but not yet way too cost prohibitive
        Diesel in f-150 28 to 30 mag
        That will be great

    2. Great updates that will help push the market. Definitely will be in a class of its own for atleast a year.

    3. Nothing to really get excited about here.
      Looking at front style compared to the old style is nice comparison shot.
      Nice little update Roman.

    4. Right now GM is playing catch-up while Ford uses the time to increase their lead. A slight style and feature refresh to the already-current F-150, plus the availability of 5 different engines (3.3L base V6, 2.7L twin-turbo V6, 3.5L twin-turbo V6, 3.0L turbo diesel, 5.0L V8) and the widespread availability of the 10-speed will only enhance Ford sales.

      1. Troverman, GM is the only one in the big three that has Battery trucks being tested in California right now. Over 500 of them. If GM took off in that direction than the ICE at Ford are going to be hit hard while GM capitalizes on the inevitable superior battery truck. If the big 3 don’t get on board soon and transition it will be them that will need government subsidies once again by 2020 because their mainstream 1/2 tons are going to be old news once the battery generator trucks become mainstream. There bread and butter is going to grow a lot of mould all over it sitting in vacant airport lots piled and stacked like a pyramid.

        Transmissions, diffs, inferior traction, poor ground clearance, worse mpg, less storage space, no electric user friendly works, worse acceleration, noisy and clearly outlived its appeal. Nothing exciting about new trucks, same old garbage year in and year out.

          1. Easy but they will be in the wrong place in the field once the ball has been hit watching the other team run to home base. You need time and experience before you dump a truck into the market. Ford will be way behind playing with ICE engines. All the big threes will be. But at some point there hands will be forced due to demand and stolen sales from their mass produced 1/2 ton ICE engines once Workhorse, Tesla and Bollinger gets up and running.

            1. You do know a Hybrid F-150 has been in the works and an EV for years now and EV mule F-150’s have already been spy shotted as well right?

            2. I don’t think so. I guarantee the big guns all have test programs in place on these exact concepts.

              My guess is it comes down to four basic criteria and the new technology must pass them all to move forward.

              1) price point – is it going to meet the intended price and be sellable against the competition.

              2) size, scale, weight, intended use – is it a midsize, full size, car, truck etc

              3) durability- does it meet that manufacturers durability standards for the intended use.

              4) forward progress – will it be better in every criteria than what they already manufacture.

              My bet is the electric generator hybrid truck concepts can’t get past one or more of these criteria with the big OEM’s and current technology!

              Example: if they make it strong enough to pass current truck standards of towing, payload, cooling and durability it blows way past the size/weight criteria.

              If they use materials that only NASA and the military may have access to so they meet the size/weight criteria then it blows way past the intended price point!

        1. Until there is a majpr advancement in battery technology you won’t see a major shift from ICE vehicles. I was just reading the other night about advancements with solid state batteries and of this was to be applied to the automotive industry it could change things bit once again 5-10yrs from now….

          1. I agree and what are we going to do with all these batteries the waste is very toxic. And the cost replacing them is prohibitive they don’t last all that long as tesla owners are going to find out

    5. It will be VERY interesting to see how the F150 diesel will stack up against the Titan XD. Should have very similar numbers- at least on paper. It should come out way ahead on fuel economy.

        1. That isn’t what the article says- Claims V6 because of the side exit pipe.(???) That’s standard for US market, regardless of engine. A V6 is a given- either the 3.3NA already announced for the ’18 F150 or the 2.7EB. Zero chance for the 3.5EB. This article only speculates that it MIGHT be a Lion V6. I think the Lion is too expensive for the American midsize segment. Realistically, there has to be a replacement for the Puma 5cyl that can effectively meet emissions (Puma cannot)

          1. Mr Knowitall
            It will be in the Australian Ranger, not the US Ranger, that has been known for sometime.. 2.7/3.5 Ecoboost sounds like they want something to differentiate themselves from the increasingly stiff competition. It will be interesting to see if Ford comes out with something to challenge the PR impact of the Mercedes Pickup.

            1. No X-class for the Us for the foreseeable future. No-one has said anything about the (long discontinued)US Ranger. Why would you think I was talking about that (???!!!?!!)

            1. Good article but for now it seems like speculation until official release. Makes me wonder if they will follow suite with GM and offer one of those diesels. The 3.0L diesel would be absolutely killer in a ranger. It would have tremendous torque for a small truck. The 2.7L would be wicked fast and really capable.

      1. I wonder if its a conventional Raptor, or one with the Raptor mechanicals and Police spec interior (XLT cloth minus console, column shift, XL vinyl back seat, rubber floors…)

      1. I wouldn’t go that far,lol.But I do see his point.Problem is,it’s not practical right now with present technology. Of course it will continue to improve,but just taking what used to be a simple cross country trip,in an ev,wouldn’t be impossible,but I’m willing to bet you won’t too many charging stations to ‘fill up’. Technology and infrastructure.Until that time,it’s just wishful thinking.

        1. They already have charging stations at all major hotels in major cities and if you don’t charge it then you still have the generator that runs at a better mpg with more torque and HP than a diesel with more clearance and guaranteed the W25 and W35 are going to come with record payloads and the EV don’t have the debilitating rpm’s that come with ICE
          or the low hanging barbaric parts.

          But thanks for the partial support but I don’t see how you can say it is not practical when the generator extends the range to 310 miles. Im sure you can find a fuel station at that point and fill the generator. Charging just makes it run for 80 miles on 0 fuel so you only pay pennies on the dollar for the charge for 80 miles compared to fuel costs.

          It already works with fleet vehicles in the cities. Workhorse is already successful. There is no more what if’s Its here already and available to the consumer in 2018. This one has a 2200 Lb payload but only tows 5000Lbs. I imagine the W25 will be a bigger tow capacity.

          1. For pulling a camper on a cross country trek? Not happening. City stuff is easy enough,and already in place.But even a hybrid pickup towing a trailer won’t get by to good when towing in the mountains,with present technology.The premise is good,the tech and infrastructure isn’t.Until that time,it’s a moot point.

            1. Lohchief it gets 28-32 mpg and has 465 hp. It will climb mountains and it’s not limited to atmospheric losses. Yes the mpg will drop just like any vehicle will when in the mountains. Do you think freight trains sit in the cut all day pulling hundred cars each heavier than a transport. Wait until the W25 and W35 come out. Likely going to see torque well above 1000 where diesels fell short.

    6. I’ve run pure electric delivery trucks in the 14,000 lb GVW range. I was the project manager – gov’t grants, the whole 9 yards. All sounds good in theory until you put them into service. Having a pure electric fleet of pickups or light/medium duty trucks that take more than 5% of the total fleet size will be a generation away – i.e., at least 25 years.

      1. Jeeses in 25 years? I think you forgot about to divide by 10. I think the I was the PM is likely accurate.

        1. Sorry Rambro – Time to turn in those rose colored glasses – electrics, especially on heavier vehicles just won’t be in wide spread use – for at least a generation – make that 25 years.
          Included the Nikolai – the range and cost targets it intends to hit for Class 8s – no way, no how.

    7. I bet Ford’s 3.0 diesel is way better than Ram’s 3.0 diesel. Heck, they can’t even sell those darn things right now because of Chrysler’s attempt to manipulate emissions data.

    8. Mercedes just announced that no new diesels were coming to the US for this year. None. There are a lot of lingering emissions issues for diesels that are going to be problematic unless they get laxed. It appears the Germans have pretty much given up on making diesels for our market now. What does that mean? Likely that American ingenuity will figure out a way to make them stay around a while but at a huge price. If you want one you will get it for the foreseeable future but you will pay for it. Dearly.

      1. @Moondog
        You have a lot of problems in the NA market. So many reasonable vehicles you can get here, but do not exist in NA

        1. That works both ways Rob. They have many vehicles available there that we don’t get here. It would be nice if we could get full size and HD pick ups here without having to pay $160 000 and more for them. Many miss the days when Ford sold the F150/250 here.

          1. @Jason Scott
            Not common knowledge to many Australians that we used to a assemble the F150, F250, F350 up till 1992. Prices were reasonable, but demand was low.
            Number of ” Grey Nomads” has exploded since then and the demand for mainly a Superduty diesel to pull their Caravans has exploded. Must admit the ride is not that appealing, Plenty of local modifiers though.

    9. Hydrogen,
      It’s infrastructure would not be as expensive as electric one.
      Electric one would have to be upgraded to each home or business.
      Hydrogen using existing natural gas pipeline only has to be upgraded to fueling stations.
      And hydrogen is not range bound.
      Hydrogen can also be used in internal combustion engines
      It can be sized to work in cars and trucks big and small.
      Hydrogen is a perfect energy storage solution and it would be much cheaper than batteries.

      1. Agreed, except for the part about it being the perfect solution. There is no perfect solution but it would appear to have less drawbacks than electricity.

      2. Not as long as it costs (way) more in input costs to make hydrogen vs the net energy output. And saying solar or wind are the answers to convert the input fuel to hydrogen, again no way. Just too unreliable and costly vs conventional energy sources.

    10. I wonder how heavy that test trailer was. More interested in the new V8 and 10 speed combination myself. Going to wait to get a new truck. Hoping for some good news on the new V8 with 10 speed trans. Also hoping Ford does a better job with the downhill braking. The ecoboost V6 – 10 speed Gauntlet downhill was not good without of course shifting down manually but that wasn’t the test.

      1. I think the new dual injection 5.0v8 and 10spd trans is going to be an awesome combo and powertrain!

        I still most likely will prefer the effortless low-end torque and high altitude pulling power of the Eco’s, but that 5.0v8 & 10spd is going to be really good
        I expect.

        I will definitely give it a serious look when it’s available and excited to have it as an option!

        1. I think it will do really well. The GM 5.3L really seemed to work well paired to the 8 speed so I have to assume the 5.0L with more power and torque should do really well. Plus if Ford keeps the good sounding exhaust on this truck running through the 10 speed should sound really awesome

    11. Jason, agreed.
      I also tried to avoid saying always.
      But I am not always perfect. Lol haha

      1. Nice stuff, Robert, keep the links coming! It would be great to see the US get FOUR engine options on the new Ranger. Wow.

    12. The Ford V6 or TD6 in Land Rover speak, has proven itself for many years. Its already here in Range Rovers.

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