The 2021 Ford F-150 has officially arrived, ushering in the 14th generation of the best-selling pickup in the United States. This redesign incorporates key elements of the previous generation truck, including its extensive use of aluminum body panels, with new technology, impressive productivity improvements and a revised line-up of powertrains that is anchored by a full hybrid supposed to produce peak power and torque. .
“Since 1948, our regular F-Series customers have trusted Ford to help them get the job done,” Chief Operating Officer Jim Farley said in Ford’s official announcement. “The F-150 is our flagship product, it is 100% assembled in America, and we stand at the highest level to make sure our customers can get the job done and continue to make a difference in their communities.”
The new F-150 has a new look, a new interior and several new features that will make everyday life, outdoor activities and on-site tasks easier. Let’s dive in.
Six engine offers
Like the previous generation truck, the Ford F-150 2021 will be offered with six powertrains – but not the six that were available on the outgoing truck. Although many of the options are on paper, the powertrain offerings of the new F-150 differ quite significantly in a few key cases. Note that Ford has not yet provided power or torque for any of these engine options, but most will likely be similar to their outgoing counterparts.
We will start at the bottom. The naturally aspirated 3.3-liter V6 returns as the base engine. It made 290 horsepower in the 2020 model, and that figure will likely be similar for 2021. The same goes for the 2.7-liter turbocharged V6 “EcoBoost” offered as the next step, which produced 325 horsepower in the outgoing truck .
The 5.0-liter V8 “Coyote”, which produced 395 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque in 2020 (we expect a slight bump for 2002), and the 3.0-liter PowerStroke diesel are also returning. these will likely continue to be essentially unchanged.
After that, things start to diverge. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost is back, but unlike the previous iteration, it will initially be offered in a single tuned state. Previously, it was available in 375 and 450 horsepower variants, the latter being reserved for high-end Raptor and Limited models. For 2021, we will only get one at the start. Ford hasn’t shared anything yet about its plans for the new Raptor (although its existence has been confirmed), but given the imminent arrival of the Hellcat-powered Ram TRX, we suspect Ford may have big plans for the next generation of its performance pick-up.
Then there is the resistance of the new F-150: the PowerBoost hybrid. Based on the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 and a specially calibrated variant of the 10-speed automatic, it will be the advanced powertrain for the 2021 model.
It is from this hybrid system that we can expect the peak power and torque that Ford boasts. Although the exact figures have not been published, we can comfortably say that the PowerBoost model will produce at least 420 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque; the first is the power of the 6.2-liter V8 of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra; the latter is the output torque of the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel offered in the Ram 1500.
Yes, the Ford F-150 2021 has a new look, but as with the powertrain offerings, there is a lot here that picks up the 2020 model. The dimensions of the new F-150 are quite similar (differing only in tenths from inch in most key measures, including track width and wheelbase), but Ford asked its designers to move from the outside inch by inch, and although the overall shape would be instantly recognizable by observers of trucks, the finer details have changed a lot.
Up front, the 2021 gets more complex bumper and hood pads, with more detail in the fog light surrounds and bumper covers. As we teased at the top of this section, the 2021 F-150 will have 11 grille variants, all of which are flanked by headlights in what Ford calls its new signature model “C-clamp”.
Along the flanks, the new F-150 receives slightly less pronounced wing-wing treatments and a more chiseled appearance of the character line that runs along the lower doors and bedside tables. The tailgate designs – which will likely be almost as numerous as the grille offerings – take on an aspect that effectively reverses the X-shaped stamping of outgoing models.
While the interior dimensions of the F-150 remain unchanged, the cabin benefits from several improvements in the comfort, convenience and productivity departments. The headliner here is Sync 4, which is the latest generation of Ford’s infotainment suite. Ford says it’s more than just a software update, as the system’s processing power has been increased to improve responsiveness and support new features, including the integration of wireless smartphones.
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are both supported natively, and Sync 4 is also continuing Ford’s partnership with Amazon for Alexa integration. In addition to these background improvements, there are also larger screens. The new standard screen is an eight-inch touchscreen unit; high-end fittings (XLT and more) can be fitted with a 12 inch. These larger screens are accompanied by an available 12-inch digital cluster.
Ford has a few new widgets for buyers who use their trucks as more than just transportation. For those who use their vans a lot over long distances, Ford offers a “Max Recline” front seat package on the Platinum, King Ranch and Limited models. These seats fold almost completely flat, allowing co-pilot naps or even sleep breaks.
On a practical level, the new F-150 has a few key optional features designed to help buyers equip their trucks for normal use without having to enter the aftermarket for practical solutions. The first is a full-width rear storage solution under the seat that locks and folds flat to make room for more cargo. The door-to-door footprint makes it ideal for storing longer items, says Ford, such as outdoor gear or even firearms.
Up front, those who use their trucks as office workspaces might appreciate the new Ford center console table. Nicknamed the “interior work surface”, this accessory folds forward from the central compartment, covering the space normally occupied by the gear selector and the cup holders. The gear selector stows away, folds forward in a recess, allowing the table to be folded down, creating a workspace that can accommodate a filing cabinet or notebook, or even a smaller laptop, avoiding owners to invest in complicated secondary market swing arm tables.
Discover 1:30 in the first video of this article to see the retractable speed selector and the folding work surface in action.
All exterior updates of the Ford F-150 2021 are not for cosmetic purposes. In fact, some of the key upgrades come from the practical side. A redesigned bed and exterior lighting system contribute to some of the new truck’s most impressive party rooms. The new exterior lighting system can be activated from the Sync interface or via the Ford companion smartphone app. Individual lights (front, side, back and bed) can be turned off and on as needed, providing the desired lighting for any given outdoor activity.
The real “killer app” feature offered is a new power plant in bed, which is essentially an integrated generator. This hub is available in three versions, two of which are unique to the PowerBoost hybrid model. The basic option, available even on petrol engine models, provides 2,000 watts of total power. A 2,400-watt version is standard on all PowerBoost models, and an optional 7,200-watt upgrade is also available.
The 2000 and 2400 watt versions include two 20 amp and 120 volt power outlets in the bed. The 7200 watt option adds two additional 120 volt outlets and a 240 amp 30 amp NEMA L14-30R port for those wishing to use more serious equipment. Ford says the 2,400-watt generator can run for 85 hours on a full-load fuel tank; the 7200 watt upgrade will only last 32 hours on a full tank, but given its robustness, it’s still very impressive. All three variants can be powered when the truck is moving, which is convenient for loading equipment or toys while on the go.
Continuing the “Working Surface” theme of the F-150 2021‘s interior, Ford also offers a completely flat tailgate option for those who need additional workspace. The tailgate now also includes standard cleats to secure longer cargoes and has indentations that can be used to clamp work materials.
These imprints also serve as bottle openers. Hatchback, indeed.