DEARBORN, Mich. — It’s the fastest Harley on four wheels.
In about a month, consumers looking for a high-performance pickup can stroll into the Ford showroom and drive away in a 450-horsepower supercharged Harley-Davidson F-150 Super Crew 4X2.
Churning out 500 foot-pounds of torque and featuring 22-inch wheels, the Harley-Davidson F-150 will be available in either Ebony Black or Dark Amethyst exterior colors featuring a custom scalloped stripe that runs along the beltline creating the “glued-to-the-ground” appearance with Harley-Davidson script that runs along the bedside in three-dimensional chrome letters.
While it’s great looking, this bad boy flat out goes.
This month I had the opportunity to get a sneak peak at the new HD pickup at Ford’s proving grounds in Dearborn. I had a chance to test out the SALEEN supercharger (the same one used in the Shelby GT-500) on the test track.
The supercharger features a dual-stage water-to-air intercooler that increases the supercharger’s efficiency and adds performance by cooling the intake air.
It marks the ninth Harley-Davidson model that has been produced since Ford began the partnership in 1999. Since then, more than 60,000 Harley-Davidson F-150s have been sold.
While I got the supercharged Harley-Davidson F-150 above 100 mph, I have to admit I wimped out when it came to pushing it much beyond the century mark. The truck had plenty of acceleration left to go, but after a full morning of technical briefings, 100 mph was as fast as I wanted to drive.
I did, however, enjoy sitting in the co-pilot seat with NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Rick Crawford (No. 14) as he put the new supercharged HD pickup through its paces on the test track. Let’s just say that he had no problem taking the supercharged Harley well above my 100 mph spin. In fact, glancing over at the speedometer as we came out of the high-banked turn (which was so steep it felt like we were going sideways), he made my driving look like a Sunday outing through the park.
“It’s a fast truck,” Crawford said as he floored the accelerator into the straight-away. “Not as fast as the truck I drive on the weekend, but then again, my truck isn’t nearly as nice as this one.”
Available this summer, the new Harley-Davidson F-150 will have a base sticker price of $37,210, with a supercharger option available through Ford dealerships which will add $6,500.
The looks and appointments are absolutely stunning.
And as I mentioned earlier, this bad boy flat out goes.
And don’t forget to cheer on my new buddy Rick Crawford this season as he drives the No. 14 Ford F-150 in the Craftsman Truck Series.
While in Dearborn, I also had an opportunity for a sneak peak at some of the new features that are going to be made available on the 2008 F-Series.
I can sum it up in one word: WOW!
For starters, F-Series buyers will be able to purchase a factory-installed cargo management system.
While other manufacturers have beaten Ford to the punch on cargo management systems for their full-size pickups, the Ford version is hands down the most versatile and easy-to-use system on the market. It offers truck users a lot more options, and in most cases, you can make adjustments with one hand and no tools.
I was even more impressed with the new backup camera option for 2008. Using a rear tailgate-mounted camera with a monitor incorporated into the rearview mirror, the system helps guide the driver while backing up or hitching a trailer.
It is slick as all get-out. Not only can you see everything behind the truck, guide lines on the monitor work in conjunction with the steering wheel to help guide you to exactly where you want to go.
The monitor is only in operation when the truck is in reverse gear. During normal operation, it looks just like a normal rearview mirror.
Another “why hasn’t anyone thought of this before” feature is the Mid Box, which will be available to all consumers.
Initially designed for fleet work trucks, the Mid Box incorporates a lockable area behind the cab and just before the bed.
Consumers may configure the Mid Box to their own specifications — one side featuring shelves, the other drawers, etc. Both sides can be locked with the ignition key.
The Mid-Box will be available on regular cab F-150s with 145-inch wheelbase and SuperCab models with 163-inch wheel base. As the best-selling full-size pickup for the past 30 years, it’s good to see that Ford isn’t resting on past accomplishments. From all that I saw in Dearborn, I will say there’s a lot more coming for the F-Series in ‘08. Stay tuned.
Neal White has been covering the automotive industry for more than 15 years and is affiliated with the Texas Auto Writers Association and the Midwest Automotive Media Association. Comments may be sent to Neal at firstname.lastname@example.org.