This is just one of three patents that we've uncovered showing how Ford aims to make the Mega Frunk even more useful.
Ford wants to make the front trunk (frunk) of the F-150 Lightning even more practical by adding some shade, a slide-out work platform with a drawer, and even a new mounting system for a flatscreen TV. CarBuzz discovered three separate patents for the Ford electric truck, all filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
We'll start with the least complex patent and work our way up to that fancy television set. As you might know, the Ford F-150 Lightning already has a useful frunk. Ford put a lot of thought into the so-called Mega Frunk, which is why it already comes with cool features like a drainable floor, lamps, and USB chargers. But what we love most about the F-150 Lightning is its 2.4 kW power source, increasing to 9.6 kW with the Extended Range battery.
That's why you'll often find someone at the front of a Lightning, clacking away on a laptop, making a smoothy at a campsite, or using the socket to power a grinder. Ford wants to make spending time in front of the frunk more pleasing by throwing some shade.
In the Lightning, the hood and grille are connected, and lift as one unit. The angle between the hood and the blocked-off grille is fixed. In Ford's patent for a frunk with more headroom and shade, the application mentions adding a rotating assembly to the grille so it can move in a direction away from the ground surface when open.
As you can imagine, having the ability to move the grille upward will create more headroom, which has multiple benefits, including less chance of bumping your head against the body when loading or unloading kit. You can also adjust the angle of the grille as the sun moves, keeping your head and shoulders out of direct sunlight.
Ford's patent for a movable platform within the frunk is a bit more complex but possibly the one most customers will be excited about. It will also be the most difficult to implement as it will require Ford to redesign the front of the car.
As you can see in the images, Ford suggests that the lower flat portion of the frunk (that people use as a work surface) be updated to slide out. This will give the owner a larger surface to work on, so this feature is obviously aimed at those interested in the base work truck, though we can also see advantages for lifestyle users.
The large portion that slides out also contains a drawer for storing stuff. In this case, Ford illustrates the usefulness of having an additional storage unit by putting tools in there, but it can just as easily hold cold-weather clothes, tents, or whatever you can fit in a box. If Ford adds power outlets, perhaps Rivian's Camp Kitchen could be reinvented; the possibilities are endless.
The third patent is for people who love a bit of glamping. Rivian came up with something similar recently, but Ford's system seems more straightforward. According to the patent, you can sit back and watch a movie in your Lightning's frunk in two ways.
The first is a simple housing with a screen that rises out of it when the hood is open. The second method is a rolled-up screen, similar to what Rivian wants to offer. It rolls out, and you hook it to the top of the hood. Images or video will be displayed via a projector mounted inside the grille.
It's a cool feature for families who want to watch scary horror movies while camping in the woods, but we can also see it being used by project managers to give presentations on construction sites.
Will any of these patents make it to the production car? The Lightning has only been around for 2.5 years, which means it's not scheduled for a significant overhaul yet, but we hope to see all of these features available as optional extras when the time comes.