The Ford F-150 learns some performance tricks from its Mustang cousin
By Steve Turner
Photos courtesy of Ford Motor Company
You have to hand it to Ford for letting its engineers be creative. By providing an environment that rewards coloring outside the lines, we get cool stuff like the heads-up-display shift light in the Shelby GT350. Another product of that creativity is porting the company’s Sport driving mode from the Mustang to the F-150 pick-up.
Since engineers were often driving Mustangs and F-150s during the testing of both vehicles, the idea germinated that the newly lightened F-150 could benefit from a Sport mode like its Mustang cousin.
“Our team realized how well the new F-150 handled and responded to acceleration due to its reduced weight,” Karl Jungbluth, Ford transmission calibration engineer, said. “So we decided we could adapt the Sport mode capabilities of the six-speed automatic transmission from Mustang to F-150 to enhance the overall driving experience for truck customers.”
By engaging the Sport driving mode, the truck stays in the powerband’s happy place by holding the transmission in the lower gears for a longer period of time. Not only that, but then you don’t have to step on the gas as often to get peak torque from the engine, which is said to make the truck feel like it is running an aftermarket calibration. It also includes the ability to match revs on the downshift just like the Mustang.
“Sport mode keeps the engine operating in the desired power and torque ranges, or what we like to call the ‘sweet’ spot,” Karl added. “It makes Mustang come alive, and we feel it does the same thing in F-150.”
Sport Mode is standard on all 2015 F-150s with the six-speed automatic transmission and any of the four available engine options.