When I heard about the 2015 Ford F-150’s seamless sliding rear window, I thought, “Why hasn’t this happened before?”
A former truck of mine had the old-school split-opening rear window. It was a great feature when you wanted to cruise with the windows down because it reduced wind buffeting around in the cab. You could actually roll the windows down and arrive at your destination with decent hair. What a concept!
The downside to that setup was it made the truck’s primitive security measures a joke. One solid strike of the palm dead-center on the outside of the window could cause the center latch to pop open inside the truck. From there, it would only take a few seconds for a would-be thief to gain entry.
Single-piece sliding glass seemed to be a safer alternative, and many of them had better latching systems than my old Nissan Hardbody’s two-piece design, to boot, but they still could be seen as a point of weakness. Enter power sliding rear glass. I’ve experienced that on a number of trucks, and while it does seem safer, its aesthetics leave something to be desired.
A press release from Ford said the design of its seamless power sliding rear window creates a perfectly smooth surface when viewed from outside.
The seamless power sliding rear window was developed by Magna International, according to Ford. Reportedly, it not only looks nicer than sliding rear windows have been known to look, it also uses less moving parts. Quoth the release:
“Delivering the latest in innovation and technology to our customer is a top priority for Ford,” said Noah Mass, Ford body mechanisms manager. “The seamless sliding rear window is another great example of the intricate detail that goes into producing the next-generation F-150, setting it apart from any pickup on the market today.”
Standard sliding rear windows typically contain three pieces of glass – left and right panes that don’t move plus the sliding portion in the middle, all held together by a support structure that requires numerous components. The seamless sliding rear window uses only two pieces of glass – the exterior surround and the sliding portion, reducing build componentry and complexity. The window’s opening is the same size as the outgoing design.
In addition to its streamlined looks, the window’s two-piece design enables continuous uninterrupted defrost capability for the larger surrounding glass.
The new design also contributes to vehicle weight savings, as the seamless power slider uses a lighter window control module. Overall, up to 700 pounds have been saved through the use of smarter design and advanced materials, helping the all-new F-150 tow more, haul more, accelerate quicker and stop shorter, and contributing to efficiency.
“We designed the seamless sliding rear window to deliver not only a new look and improved functionality, but also to start a trend in the truck sliding window market,” said Troy Tooker, design engineering manager for Magna International. “With pickup sliders being one of our core products, we wanted to show our leadership and raise the bar on the new F-150.”