SEMA eNews Vol. 17, No. 50, December 11, 2014

Spy Shots—Ford F-150 Rock Crawler Prototype?

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The shooters at KGP Photography spotted this interesting Ford F-150 prototype—based on the all-new ’15 model—which had them wondering if a new F-150 "rock-crawler" might be under consideration.

This prototype is wearing proper manufacturer's M-plates, and starts out right, as it appears to be outfitted with the FX4 Off-Road performance package. The FX4 package can now be added across all model designations (instead of the stand-alone appearance package on previous F-150s), adding meaningful off-road aids, such as underbody skid plates, hill descent control and off-road-tuned shock absorbers. But this prototype seems to take things a step further, with a mysterious wheel and tire setup completely devoid of any external branding, or any designations for wheel or tire size. After a thorough Internet check of a wide array of off-road truck tires, the tread and sidewall design never appeared. The lack of any distinguishing, identifying characteristics seems to suggest that this might be a special tire being developed between an unnamed manufacturer and Ford Motor Co.  

While there are no size designations to reveal the tire's specifications, it seems clear that this is a small wheel, allowing a massive sidewall design, which would aid in something geared more toward serious off-roading. The first mules for the second-generation Raptors are wearing clearly labeled BFGoodrich All-Terrian T/A with a sidewall and tread design that looks more attuned to the Raptor's mission of high-speed, Baja-busting off-road jaunts. This prototype looks like it's spec'd out for something else entirely.

This prototype also has a unique exhaust treatment, with single side-exit exhaust tips routed to each side of the truck, aft of the rear wheels. The new exhaust setup looks like it could be created to allow for the best ground clearance, providing the most favorable approach and departure angles for optimum off-road effectiveness.

Ford representatives have remained mum on any details about the make up of this particular F-150. It's uncertain exactly what's in the works, but there are some very interesting anomalies on this prototype that suggest a new F-150 variant may be in the pipeline.

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Photo credit: KGP Photography

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