The all-new 2021 Ford F-150 is here
With new styling, more tech, and a new hybrid powertrain, the 14th-generation of the F-150 is here to flex some great American capitalist decadence.
The 2021 Ford F-150 pickup truck has finally arrived after much speculation and many spy shots. With the previous truck's reign coming to an end after roughly six years on sale, this all-new 14th generation F-150 arrives in time to challenge the current crop of Rams, Silverados, and Sierras with modern tech, a fancy hybrid powertrain, and some good ol' fashioned indulgence.
Styling is different, but undeniably familiar. It may even appear as just a mere facelift of the old truck.
While the styling appears similar to the last F-150, it is actually all-new as is much of the truck. It still retains a steel frame beneath an aluminum body, and many powertrain options carry over including the 3.3L V6, 2.7L EcoBoost V6, 5.0L Coyote V8, 3.0L Power Stroke diesel V6, and 3.5L EcoBoost V6. All choices come mated to the familiar 10-speed automatic, the one sliver of peace in the Ford-GM war that was introduced in the last generation's facelift.
What's special about this new truck is the addition of a "PowerBoost" hybrid option that features much more aggressive hybridization than Ram's eTorque. The PowerBoost makes use of a 3.5L EcoBoost V6 paired to a 35-kW motor powered by a 1.5 kWh battery. The hybrid wizardry is integrated within the 10-speed transmission and can add a 47 hp boost. The PowerBoost hybrid is standard with rear-wheel drive, but four-wheel drive is an option, and Ford is targeting a 12,000 lb towing capacity and 700-mile fuel range with this powertrain.
Trucks with either EcoBoost engine or the 5.0L V8 come with a "Pro Power" onboard 2.0-kW generator for powering 120V 20A outlets in the bed. Hybrids use a 2.4-kW generator, and a 7.2-kW unit is available for powering the standard bed outlets plus a 240V 30A outlet.
Horsepower and economy numbers for all the powertrains are yet to be announced, but Ford has informed media outlets that power for the carryover engines will be about the same as before.
The interior has plenty of questionably useful goodies such as a folding desk in the center console for all your in-car desk needs.
Because hardly anyone wants a basic work truck these days, Ford is allowing buyers to spoil themselves with a nicer interior that, like the exterior, is familiar yet all-new. Nicer materials such as new leathers, soft touch plastics, and bright silver trim are abundant. Leather is standard on the Lariat trim and above, and there are three color combos available for that, two for the Platinum and King Ranch models, and one for the Limited.
Tailgates have integrated measuring rulers and cutouts for holding phones and pens near the handy bed outlets, and the center console has a folding desk for signing papers or placing a laptop. Useful tidbits for busy contractors or those who just think a mobile office would be cool as hell... Because it is. I would love to write a DriveTribe article from the desk of an F-150 about how Tundras and Rams don't have built-in desks. A release button on the shift lever allows it to fold away to make room for the nifty writing space.
Spouse kicked you out of the house? No problem.
Available on the King Ranch, Limited, and Platinum models are Max Recline seats that fold 180 degrees flat into a sort of faux-bed. Talk about utility when your truck can double as an RV for long trips or when the spouse kicks you out for spending what may be a ludicrous chunk of change on a luxury truck with 180-degree recliners.
At least your temporary quarters will have fine ambiance with music controlled via the optional 12-inch infotainment screen running SYNC 4. That includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, over-the-air software updates, and a 4G LTE hotspot (perfect for streaming Netflix on your laptop resting on the center console desk) . There are three digital gauge clusters to choose from as well including an 8-inch, 12-inch, and 12.3-inch unit. An 8-inch center infotainment screen is standard with a 4-inch gauge cluster display. A Bang & Olufsen sound system comes in either an 8-speaker or 18-speaker configuration.
Ford's Co-Pilot safety suite is available featuring all sorts of goodies including bling spot monitoring, adaptive cruise, lane keep assist, lane centering, speed limit recognition, and other niceties that would be rendered irrelevant if people just learned to drive properly. However, trailer backup assist, trailer reverse guidance, and a trailer anti-theft feature are some very useful additions for enthusiasts who are perhaps looking for a new tow rig.
There are two available infotainment screens, two B&O audio systems, and three digital gauge clusters to choose from.
Like power and economy, pricing is yet to be announced for Ford's new volume seller. The newest crop of F-150 including the PowerBoost hybrid arrives this fall ready to push back against its evolving competition. Initial trims are the XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, and range-topping Limited.
As Ford's biggest breadwinner here in the States, any new F-150 is a very important product to Ford and the half-ton pickup market. They have stood strong in the six years that the last-gen F-150 was on sale, but with only a single facelift, it was arguably beginning to slip as more innovative competition arrived. Ford had no counter to Ram's Tesla-like screen or the Sierra's... Um... Folding tailgate table thing. With the new F-150 on the way, however, as well as the inevitable Raptor and highly-rumored electric variant, Ford's F-Series may be poised to remain the best-selling vehicle in America and land a strong blow to GM and Fiat-Chrysler.
From: Kelly Blue Book, Car And Driver