Canada’s best-selling vehicle, the Ford F-150, will come equipped with the world’s first mass-production 10-speed automatic, starting in 2017.

The wider range of gear ratios will improve both the F-150’s fuel economy as well as its outright performance–including its straight-line acceleration.

Long regarded as the weak link in most light-duty pickup trucks, the transmission is critical to delivering reliable hauling and towing performance–and endowing the vehicle with the most dynamic on-road driving experience possible. A strong engine is great–but if you can’t ‘put the power down,’ it is effectively useless.

Useless and annoying, at least when the transmission can’t quite figure out the right gear, resulting in near-constant up-and-down shifting, cutting power when it’s needed, holding gears too long, or delaying downshifts–only to ‘slam’ into a much lower gear without warning, jerking the truck and its load in the process.

Ford has indicated that its new 10-speed will overcome any transmission idiosyncrasies that may have surfaced when previous-generation transmissions were pushed to their limits. A combination of improved hardware and transmission shift-logic should thoroughly enhance the driving experience.

The new 10-speed transmission will arrive in concert with an updated 3.5-litre turbocharged V6 engine, now producing a best-in-class 470 lb-ft of torque.

“The 2017 Ford F-150 now delivers the best torque in the segment,” says Raj Nair, Ford executive vice-president, product development, and chief technical officer. “This class-leading torque arrives with a transformative 10-speed automatic that improves nearly every aspect of F-150 performance.”

(Ford)