Ford has announced the unveiling of an all-new 2004 F-150 pickup line. According to Ford, the F-Series is America's best-selling truck for the 26th consecutive year and the nation's favorite vehicle for 21 years running. In addition, Ford says the line is extremely important to the company's bottom line accounting for nearly 28 percent of Ford division sales and 23 percent of Ford’s total US sales. The company says numerous changes have been made to the effectively all-new 2004 model - 30 percent of parts are carried over. Ford says the F-150's fully boxed frame is approximately nine times stiffer torsionally than its predecessor, for improved durability, driving dynamics, and ride refinement and quietness. The model has a maximum tow rating of 9,500 pounds and maximum payload capacity of 2,900 pounds. The company further says that Regular Cab and SuperCab models have a passenger compartment that is 6 inches longer. For SuperCab models, that extra length means increased rear-seat comfort for three adults in the rear seat and 13 inches of secure storage space behind the seat in regular cab models. According to Ford, the 2004 F-150 lineup includes three cab choices - Regular Cab, a single row of occupant seating and rearward-swinging access doors that reveal a behind-seat stowage area up to 13 inches wide; SuperCab, a two-door extended cab version featuring a second row of seating accessed by two rearward-swinging doors; and SuperCrew, a crew cab that features two rows of seating and four forward-swinging full-size doors. Eight-foot, 6 1/2-foot, and 51/2-foot box lengths are offered and the F-150 SuperCab 5 ½- foot box is a new offering and a full-size pickup truck exclusive. Two different box styles, Styleside and Flareside, are available, according to the company. Ford says there are two engine choices - the 5.4-litre Triton V8 and a 4.6-litre version. Matched to the new 5.4-litre V8 is a new 4R75E four-speed automatic transmission, an evolution of the 4R70E used on the current F-150. It is upgraded to handle the torque of the 5.4-litre engine, while taking advantage of patented upgrades to the 4R70E. The laterally stiff new rear suspension is very resistant to side loads, so trailer influence on the truck (in crosswinds, on rutted roads or alongside 18-wheelers) is minimal, says Ford.