The all-new Ford F-150 has arrived with a refreshed exterior, more high-tech interior, and new hybrid powertrain.
The thirteenth-generation Ford F-150 has only been on sale for six years, but competition in the fast-moving and highly profitable full-size pickup truck segment means Ford needs to keep the F-150 as fresh as possible to retain its status as America' best-selling vehicle and compete with the recently renewed Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado. As such, the 2021 Ford F-150 isn't just a mild refresh, it's a complete redesign.
Every panel of the exterior is new including the redesigned headlights, a new power dome hood, and wrap-around bumpers, giving the new F-150 a bolder look. Higher front fenders, a tucked-in midsection, and larger tires also make the 2021 F-150 look more aggressive. Eleven grille options are available across the lineup along with new tailgate decorations. Other exterior upgrades include available LED headlights and taillights and available full-length extended power running boards with a kick switch providing better access to the truck-side cargo box.
Under the hood, the 2021 Ford F-150 is available with an all-new 3.5-liter PowerBoost hybrid V6 powertrain on every trim. Power figures haven't been revealed, but Ford claims this new hybrid powertrain delivers "the most torque and horsepower of any light-duty full-size pickup." It has an EPA estimated range of approximately 700 miles and a maximum towing capacity of at least 12,000 pounds - equivalent to the average weight of 43 NFL linemen.
A 41-hp electric motor is integrated into the ten-speed automatic transmission and regenerative braking energy helps recharge the 1.5 kWh lithium-ion battery, which is packaged underneath the truck to increase the cabin space.
Other engine options include a 3.3-liter V6, 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, 5.0-liter V8, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, and a 3.0-liter V6 diesel, but power specifications haven't been confirmed. For outdoor enthusiasts, Ford is offering an available onboard generator available with a 2.0-kilowatt output for gasoline models and 2.4 kilowatts or an optional 7.2-kilowatt output for the hybrid.
Thanks to new active grille shutters, a new automatically deploying active air dam, and new cab and tailgate geometry that reduce drag and improve fuel economy, Ford claims the 2021 model is the most aerodynamic F-150 yet.
Inside, the interior is completely redesigned with enhanced materials, new color choices, and more storage. As we saw in leaked photos, the 2021 Ford F-150 is available with a larger 12-inch screen with Ford's latest SYNC 4 infotainment system, which is standard on XLT high series trims and above, allowing customers to split the screen and control multiple functions such as navigation, music, or truck features. An eight-inch touchscreen is offered as standard on XL and XLT and mid-series trucks with an optional 12-inch digital gauge cluster.
For the first time in a full-size truck, over-the-air updates will add new features to the 2021 F-150 throughout its lifecycle. With twice the computing power of the previous system, the updated SYNC 4 infotainment system supports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Waze and Ford+Alexa.
To help improve productivity, the 2021 F-150 features a new optional interior work surface. Available in both bench and captain's chair seating configurations on XL to Limited trims, the new work surface is "ideal for signing documents, working on a 15-inch laptop or enjoying a meal when parked" according to Ford. A stowable shifter that folds into the center console also allows for easier access to the work surface.
King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited trims come with Max Recline seats that fold flat to nearly 180 degrees, while available lockable, fold-flat rear storage adds a vault that extends the width of the rear seats. Every F-150 also comes standard with new cleats mounted to the sides of the tailgate that act as tie-down locations for extra-long items in the bed and new clamp pockets are built into the tailgate allowing owners to hold materials down.
An available flat tailgate work surface includes integrated rulers, a mobile device holder, a cupholder, and pencil holder. Available zone lighting allows occupants to turn individual sections of exterior lights on and off through the Sync 4 screen or remotely with the FordPass app on their phone to provide illumination when camping or working.
The all-new F-150 is the only light-duty full-size pickup to offer an available trailer reverse guidance and pro trailer backup assist. Ford's trailer reverse guidance uses the truck's cameras to provide multiple views and graphics that tell drivers which way to turn the steering wheel while backing up.
New standard driver assists for XL trims include pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection. 10 new driver-assist features are available including an active drive assist that will be added via an over-the-air update in Q3 2021 supporting hands-free driving on more than 100,000 miles of highways in the US and Canada. Other new assists include an intersection assist and active park assist 2.0.
Sales for the 2021 Ford F-150 will begin this fall.