2012 Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson road test
The F-150 for extroverts
Ford sells a lot of F-Series trucks, nearly 100,000 last year alone in Canada. That not only made the F-Series the best-selling truck or car in the country, it also helped Ford finish first overall in sales for the second consecutive year.
One way the American automaker ensures its popularity with truck buyers is by offering choices. Between the base F-150 and the F-450 Super Duty commercial versions, there's seemingly a Ford truck for everyone. And since the turn of the century, there's even been an F-Series for fans of Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
Ford truck priced like a luxury sedan
As a marketing tie-in with the iconic American motorcycle maker, the first Harley-Davidson-themed F-150 appeared for 2000. Within four years, the truck-motorbike marriage was successful enough for Ford to expand the theme to its larger Super Duty F-Series.
Like the motorcycles it's patterned after, the F-150 Harley-Davidson models are loud and brash — trucks for extroverts. Well-to-do extroverts, to be specific. Starting at $64,699, the 2012 Harley-Davidson is priced more like a luxury sedan, and sits at the very top of an F-150 lineup that starts at less than $20,000.
The F-150 Harley-Davidson comes only in the four-door "Super Crew" cab configuration, with the 5.5-foot short bed. Black and white are its only exterior colour choices. Part-time four-wheel-drive, the most-powerful F-150 engine available, a towing package, and almost every conceivable comfort, convenience and luxury item Ford makes available in its trucks are standard F-150 H-D fare.
Rival truck makers really don't offer anything like the F-150 H-D. Chevrolet hasn't come through with a Silverado Buell edition, nor Ram with a Ducati special. The closest we could find to comparison shop were the $58,275 GMC Sierra Denali and the $80,210 Cadillac EXT.
Topline truck gets topline motor
To help justify some of the $30,000 premium the Harley-Davidson edition demands over an F-150 Super Crew 4X4 XLT that performs the same basic functions, Ford's top truck engine has been fitted. As in the $55,999 off-road-oriented F-150 SVT Raptor (and optional in the luxury-oriented $51,213 F-150 Platinum), the F-150 H-D gets the new-last-year 6.2-litre V8.
Over the F-150 lineup's 5.0-litre V8 base engine with 360 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque, and the optional 365-hp and 420-lb.-ft. turbocharged 3.5-litre V6, the 6.2 top-dog barks out a healthy 411 hp and 434 lb.-ft. Outside a Ford showroom, the 6.2's numbers not only better the top engines from rival pickup makers Ram (née Dodge), Nissan and Toyota, but they also beat the 403 hp and 417 lb.-ft. ratings of the 6.2-litre eight found in General Motors' GMC Sierra Denali and Cadillac EXT trucks.