After a decade-long partnership that has produced 14 light- and heavy-duty F-Series pickups that have sold more than 74,000 units (please see our related story), Ford and Harley-Davidson will introduce their latest two-wheel-inspired creation at the 2009 Chicago auto show: the 2010 Ford Harley-Davidson F-150.
“This is our best-designed and favorite Harley edition F-Series truck yet,” said Brad Richards, Ford design manager for Ford Harley-Davidson trucks. “We really like it, and so do our partners at Harley-Davidson.”
The 2010 Harley F-150 is the eighth F-150 that’s earned the personal approval of Willie G. Davidson, grandson of one of the founders of Harley-Davidson, William A. Davidson. It’s also the first to be built off the new 2009 Ford F-150 platform.
The exterior emphasizes the Harley F-Series styling heritage. The front end features a strong six-bar billet grille (the sixth unique F-150 grille we’ve seen on the current truck, for those of you counting at home) that draws inspiration from the radiator fins of a V-Twin Harley-Davidson motorcycle engine. The front bumper is also unique, with a lowered appearance and integrated fog lamps.
Two outside colors are available: traditional Tuxedo Black or new Lava, a deep, dark cherry red with metallic flakes that pop in sunlight.
To give the Harley F-150 handling that’s worthy of its aggressive looks, rolling stock is 22-inch, five-spoke polished-aluminum wheels with body-colored accents. The tires are P275/45R22 Pirelli Scorpion Zeros.
“The tire was specially developed by Pirelli and Ford for the Harley F-150,” said Mike Massara, vehicle program manager for Ford's Harley-Davidson Alliance. “We also changed the suspension; valving and shock construction is unique. The shocks have unique part numbers. Their compression, rebound and variable speed damping is different than the standard F-150, so its stability through corners in pitch, roll and yaw is second to none.”
The Harley-Davidson F-150 still uses standard leaf springs in back.
There’s also embossed Harley-Davidson lettering down the sides of the cargo box.
“The lettering is key Harley-Davidson F-150 design DNA,” Richards said.
Inside the four-door SuperCrew Harley, heated front captain’s chairs and rear leather bench seats were inspired by Harley-Davidson biker jackets. The upper bolsters have textured details that resemble the flexible piping on jacket sleeves, and the seat tops have replica sergeant stripes with authentic Harley buttons that resemble the place where riders might hold their gloves when they’re off the bike. Seatback storage areas have real Harley zippers with engraved button snaps to pull on. Hand-made cloisonné badges embedded in the seats and center console (engraved with the truck’s VIN and a unique serial number) come from Utica Metal, the same company Harley-Davidson uses to source the badges for its bikes.
The instrument panel features black polished-metal gauges with blue backlighting and red needles. New ambient lighting in the cupholders and footwells makes its debut on the Harley F-150, but will also be available on the 2010 Ford F-150 Platinum model. Its color can be changed from blue to orange with the twist of a dial. High-gloss Tuxedo Black paint is used to frame the gauges, the climate controls, and the passenger-side and steering-wheel airbag enclosures. The door sills sport bright aluminum Harley-Davidson wear surfaces.
Unlike past Harley-Davidson F-150 pickups, which have featured supercharged V-8 engines, the 2010 model sticks with a naturally aspirated, 320-horsepower, 5.4-liter V-8 with 390 pounds-feet of torque as the only engine choice. There had been rumors that the Harley F-150 might also receive the new premium 6.2-liter V-8 (formerly known as the Boss engine) that will power the 2010 F-150 SVT Raptor offroad pickup, but that’s not the case -- at least for now.
“We didn’t consider a supercharger,” Massara said, “and it’s not getting the 6.2-liter V-8. But we will play with engines throughout the (Harley F-150’s) life cycle. That’s all I can say for now.”
It’s a shame; we wanted to call this truck Boss Hog.
The mild engine selection and performance-tuned suspension won’t hamper the Harley F-150’s ability to tow. Unlike past trucks, this one promises full capability similar to comparable models. Massara said it will tow almost identically to a Lariat F-150.
On-road performance will also be enhanced by optional all-wheel drive, which features settings of two-wheel drive, all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. A base model will be available with two-wheel drive only.
“Previous Harley F-150s were either full-time all-wheel drive or 4-High. Now we can do two-wheel drive, too,” Massara said. “There are integrated wheel-pin locks in the hubs that clutch in and out to lock with the front axle, but there’s no scrubbing like a (traditional) 4x4.”
The first prototype trucks are scheduled to be built today, and full production will start the first week of July, with the first trucks arriving at dealers by August. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet.