The all-new Ford F-150 is designed and engineered to be "Ford Tough" with the comforts of home. Visteon's contributions can be seen, felt and heard from the instrument panel to the steering and climate systems, and from the audiophile sound system to the solid chassis that defines the truck's character. Visteon worked with the automaker and managed more than 100 suppliers in the process of designing and engineering various features and functions of this truck.
"We are pleased to have played a key role in the development of the all- new Ford F-150," says Peter J. Pestillo, Visteon's chairman and CEO. "Improving truck noise, vibration and harshness and durability are a key part of our heritage. We believe in working closely with our customers, applying our expertise and remaining focused to help make them successful."
The Visteon team's system expertise helped with the development of steering and climate systems for the truck, and Visteon worked to support Ford engineers as the F-150 moved through development in just 36 months. This rapid development is the result of collaboration and state-of-the-art engineering, testing and design tools.
The audio system
The audiophile sound system in the F-150 was designed and enhanced in Visteon's sound management laboratory in Dearborn, Mich. Visteon's engineers ensure the audio system performs to specific levels, given the materials and design of the interior. The J.D. Power audio quality study ranked Visteon highest in audio quality. Visteon's factory-installed AM/FM/single CD player systems demonstrated the fewest reported problems among those evaluated in J.D. Power's survey.
Ride and handling
Consumers consider vehicle ride and handling as important factors in their purchase decision. A key contributor to consumers' perception of performance is the Powertrain Control Module (PCM). The PCM directs solenoids to alter the oil flow in the hydraulic cam timing mechanism, which rotates the camshafts in relation to their drive sprockets. The unit can shift between fully advanced and fully retarded in milliseconds.
The ability to control valve timing, as well as spark timing, allowed Ford engineers to design a combustion chamber with a higher compression level than in the two-valve V-8 engines while still using regular gasoline octane levels. A higher compression ratio produces greater efficiency, delivering more power and improved combustion efficiency.
While exterior styling is key to drawing consumers to a vehicle, in the end, the actual purchase decision is often based on how it looks and feels, the features offered and interior functionality. Visteon's overall vehicle knowledge and integration expertise deliver interior harmony, style and craftsmanship. The durable instrument panel, manufactured at Visteon's Saline Plant in Saline, Mich., serves as the interface between the electronics, the climate systems and the driver.
The portable dynamometer
Visteon's vehicle knowledge and its self-contained mobile dynamometer assured that Ford met its targets for minimizing noise, vibration and harshness. The Ford launch team asked Visteon to work on-site as the first production prototypes were built at Ford's Norfolk, Va., Assembly Plant. The engineers evaluated to identify vehicle and component resonance, system balance and performance.
Visteon's portable full-vehicle dynamometer "fingerprinted" the F-150 at speeds ranging from 20 to 90 mph in as little as 20 minutes. The dynamometer also can do performance horsepower measurement, two-plane system balancing, cruise speed evaluations and subjective ratings in less than one hour. In addition, the portable dynamometer can perform data archiving for future vehicle comparisons and benchmarking of vehicle drivelines and powertrains.
"We are committed to leveraging our engineering resources across our product portfolio," says John Kill, Visteon's vice president of Product Development. "Adding value means having the expertise to help our customers achieve their goals. Visteon's engineering expertise can optimize systems and components."
Visteon Corporation is a leading full-service supplier that delivers consumer-driven technology solutions to automotive manufacturers worldwide and through multiple channels within the global automotive aftermarket. Visteon has 75,000 employees and a global delivery system of more than 180 technical, manufacturing, sales and service facilities located in 25 countries.