2016 Ford F-150Enlarge Photo
The Raptor is the F-150 to get if you enjoy performance driving as much as hauling stuff around, but even the standard F-150 comes with a few performance-oriented features thanks to technology sharing with the Ford Motor Company’s [NYSE:F] Mustang program.
We’ve already seen how the F-150 gets a new air curtain system similar to the one on the sixth-generation Mustang to help improve its aero. Now, Ford has revealed that its popular workhorse also gets a driver-selectable Sport mode—technology that has also been borrowed from the Mustang.
The Sport mode affects the programming of the standard six-speed automatic transmission and is activated by pushing the Tow/Haul mode button twice. A letter S lights up in the instrument cluster to indicate that the Sport mode has been activated.
The Sport mode causes the transmission to hold gears for longer, keeping the engine in its ideal power and torque range for longer. It means less shifting on engaging drives, such as twisty roads with rolling hills, though it also means you’ll see your fuel consumption rise. Ford says activating the Sport mode makes the truck feel more responsive and quicker in acceleration.
The Sport mode is similar to the F-150’s Tow/Haul mode, which also changes shift points under acceleration, keeping the truck at a higher rpm and further up in the power range for improved towing. In this case, the technology limits the transmission from shifting up when the vehicle crests a hill, and provides downhill brake support that allows engine-compression braking to slow the vehicle and maintain a steady speed.
The F-150’s transmission also has the ability to match engine rpm as it downshifts in slowing for a corner. Electronics calibration for this feature comes straight out of Mustang, according to Ford.
For more on the F-150, read the in-depth reviews over at The Car Connection.