The new truck comes packed with a ton of clever features.
It was a pretty lengthy wait but the last of the big three American automakers has just revealed its all-new full-size truck. The 2021 Ford F-150 arrives sporting a ton of new improvements on the exterior, in the cabin, and under the hood, including the addition of the first-ever hybrid powertrain in a full-size truck. The Ford F-Series has remained the best-selling truck in America for 43 years because Ford listens to customer feedback and crafts the perfect vehicle for their needs.
During a product briefing for the 2021 F-150, Ford walked us through some of the minor improvements to this new model that were created based on conversations and interactions with real truck owners.
The optional 12-inch touchscreen display, for example, is positioned horizontally rather than vertically like the Ram 1500 because "it was unanimously preferred by the customer during research," said Ehab Kaoud, Ford Chief Designer, North America Trucks. The landscape layout allows Ford to "retain the physical buttons that our customers appreciate," he added.
The Blue Oval has also taken a page out of FCA's playbook with its own clever Easter Eggs. For example, F-150 owners will notice a small American flag etching in the door and a map of Detroit pattern on the door of the XLT Sport. "It symbolizes a sense of pride for where this vehicle was designed," Kaoud explained.
Ford has done more than just adding a larger touchscreen and some patriotic graphics. This new F-150 has some impressive new innovations such as a shifter knob that can fold down to create a flat workspace.
"We saw how owners needed to stay close to their job sites," explained Dawn Piechocki, F-150 engineering manager. "The ability to work inside the cab was important to their productivity. Nearly one-third of truck customers use laptops in the cabin but the location of the shifter can strain their ability to spread out and work. But we knew they prefer shifters over dials or push-button gear selectors."Ford also learned that many F-150 customers often need to sleep in the cab, which is why higher trim models now feature a max recline seat that can fold back 180-degrees to create a sleeping area.
Of course, some of the most important updates to the F-150 come in the bed. An available Tailgate Workspace includes integrated rulers, and holders for cups, mobile devices, and pencils. This is also the most usable F-150 ever for a variety of work tasks. "During our time with customers, we saw many of them hauling portable generators to job sites, on camping trips, and to tailgate parties," Piechocki explained. These generators are heavy to lead, which is why the new F-150 now includes a built-in Pro Power Onboard generation option.
A 2.0-kilowatt output is available on all of the gas engines and is perfect for powering hand tools, mini-fridges, and televisions. For more powerful tasks, a 2.4-kilowatt output can power a jackhammer or even a concrete mixer. If you opt for the F-150 Hybrid, a 7.2-kilowatt generator can power floodlights, plasma saws, portable air compressors, or even electric dirtbikes.