2023 Ford F-150 Rattler: A Simple 4×4 Pickup With Skid Plates and a Locking Diff

Yes, you can spec it with a V8.

If you’ve been driving pickups for 30 years or more, or consider yourself akin to those who have, you might not be a fan of gadgetry. Trucks are more complex (and comfortable) than they’ve ever been before, and while I doubt anyone would rather have a stiff ride than a plush one, there are plenty who could do without active suspension and the like. That’s the kind of person Ford had in mind when developing the new F-150 Rattler.

It’s a barebones, XL-based truck that does without gizmos while still offering upgrades like off-road shocks, a dual exhaust, and a locking rear differential. Sure, the diff locks electronically, but that’s okay—it’s not like we’re still in the age of manual locking front hubs. (But how cool would that be?) Nevertheless, it takes the essentials from Ford’s FX4 package and applies them to a simpler formula.

You get all-terrain tires on the F-150 Rattler, of course, and they look to be Toyos. They’re wrapped around painted 18-inch aluminum wheels, which you don’t have to feel so bad about scuffing up. This all provides better traction for going up steep and rocky inclines, while hill descent control makes it easier going down ’em.

Ford confirmed to me that you can get a Rattler with any powertrain the F-150 offers, except for the ultra-base, 3.3-liter, naturally aspirated V6. That means the Blue Oval will build them with the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, 5.0-liter V8, 3.5-liter EcoBoost, or even the hybrid 3.5-liter PowerBoost. Think of it as a Tremor lite, except you can spec it with a Coyote engine if you so choose.


And look at the interior—no massaging seats here, pal. Yes, that’s cloth you see, plus a column-mounted shifter. Ford says Rattler trucks require the XL 101A 4×4 equipment package, and they can be optioned in extended cab or crew cab configurations; all have a 145-inch wheelbase.

Pricing hasn’t been announced yet for the 2023 Ford F-150 Rattler, so look for that closer to launch. You can bet it’ll be cheaper than an XLT with the FX4 package while edging out a normal XL 4×4 by a bit. The package will be available to order this fall.

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