2014 Detroit Auto Show Live: Ford F-150 image

Probably the most important announcement of 2014 for the second biggest US automaker is the legendary F-150 truck. The company envisions it as the “toughest, smartest and most capable F-150 ever.”

As we all know, the model is hotly anticipated in showrooms when it debuts later this year on American soil and before its unveiling today it was previewed by the Atlas concept; it has an evolutionary design that draws styling cues from 2015 F-Series Super Duty. The most prominent new and distinctive features are its new headlights and taillights.

Inside we see no revolution, as the new model just upgrades the materials and introduces new technologies. Ford has yet to unveil full details, but confirmed the truck can be equipped with SYNC, MyFord Touch and an 8-inch “productivity screen” in the instrument cluster. Other highlights include a rear view camera, trailer brake controller, a 360-degree camera system and high-wattage power outlets.

Of course, the F-150 has lots of other goodies on board, like the bed with integrated loading ramps and a “smart trailer tow module” which can “inform the driver of potential trailer connectivity issues including burned or unlit trailer marker lamps, and brake light and trailer battery faults.” We also note the trailer hitch assist, LED bed lights, a remote tailgate (lock/unlock, release) and a BoxLink system, which has metal brackets and custom cleats for securing cargo.

The real revolution comes underneath the metal, as the 2015 F-150 has a fully boxed ladder frame with more high-strength steel and it also uses a number of aluminum components that enables it to weigh up to 700 lbs (317 kg) less than its predecessor.

At the moment, four different engine configurations are known, ranging from an all-new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 to the 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V8. Ford said the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 will have start/stop technology and the “same power as some mid-range V8s”, while the company also expects to seriously upgrade its fuel rating.