Building on 43 years of pickup leadership and 38 years of sales victories, the 14th generation of the Ford F-150 was introduced last night via a live broadcast at a historic setting, the automaker’s famed Willow Run plant where it built more than 8,600 B-24 Liberator Bombers during World War II. Talk about a perfect environment to debut a tough pickup truck.
The new F-150, Ford says, is purpose-built to be the toughest, most-productive version ever and targeted to be the most powerful light-duty full-size pickup truck on the market. The lineup includes a hybrid-electric variant for the first time, as well.
Available in dealerships this fall as a 2021 model, the all-new F-150 is being assembled at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant and Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Mo.
“Since 1948, our hardworking F-Series customers have trusted Ford to help them get the job done,” says Jim Farley, COO at Ford. “F-150 is our flagship, 100 percent assembled in America, and we hold ourselves to the highest standard to make sure our customers can get the job done and continue to make a difference in their communities.”
The automaker says the new truck raises the standard for the segment. It targets the most towing, payload, torque, and horsepower of any light-duty full-size pickup. The F-150 introduces new features to increase customer productivity and has new connected vehicle innovations such as over-the-air updates that help keep F-150 at the forefront of purposeful technology.
The automaker says the available hybrid is targeted to deliver the most torque and horsepower of any light-duty full-size pickup. It couples a 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost engine with a 35-kilowatt (47-horsepower) electric motor integrated into the 10-speed SelectShift transmission. The system is called PowerBoost and includes software calibrated specially for truck use, including drive modes like tow/haul mode to help customers better manage towing heavy trailers.
Ford expects its hybrid F-150 to get approximately 700 miles on a single tank of gas and will deliver at least 12,000 pounds of maximum towing. Ford says it likely will bring an all-electric F-150 within two years.
“We see it as our duty to deliver not just what our customers want and need, but what they might have never thought possible,” says Craig Schmatz, chief engineer for the Ford F-150. “The F-150 will be tougher than ever, and with fully connected over-the-air updates, it opens up a much wider range of potential enhancements – from system upgrades to feature offerings.”
The F-150 gets its toughness from its foundation – a fully boxed high-strength steel frame with a high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy body. Every panel of the exterior has been redesigned while maintaining its signature look, including an updated headlamp design, new power dome hood, and wrap-around bumpers. Higher front fenders, a tucked-in midsection, and larger-diameter tires pulled out three-quarters of an inch create a stronger, more powerful stance on and off the road, Ford says.
There are 11 grille options available across the series lineup, all differentiated in their design, plus new tailgate appliqués. Functional upgrades throughout include available LED headlamps and taillamps, and available full-length extended power running boards with a kick switch that provide better truck-side cargo box accessibility.
According to the automaker, the new F-150 is the most aerodynamic of its line. New active grille shutters, a new automatically deploying active air dam, and new cab and tailgate geometry all work together to reduce drag and improve fuel consumption on every truck.
The interior also is redesigned to elevate the truck owners’ experience with style, comfort, utility, and technology. Featuring enhanced materials, new color choices, and more storage, it is built around the functional needs of truck customers. More soil-resistant two-tone seats for XL and the new standard dual glovebox are examples.
F-150 introduces a new 12-inch center screen – standard on XLT high series and above – that allows customers to split the screen and control multiple functions simultaneously, including navigation, music, or truck features. The landscape design is meant to strike a balance between demands for technology accessibility and the greater convenience of physical buttons.
An 8-inch touch screen, standard on XL and XLT standard and mid-series trucks, means every customer gets touch-screen functionality and better rearview camera vision. Both screens feature access to the new digital owner’s manual, which can help all customers find the information they need more easily, including how-to videos for additional explanation.
An available new 12-inch digital gauge cluster features a large information-on-demand area, along with truck-specific graphics and animations that respond to the F-150’s selectable drive modes and can display off-roading data and turn-by-turn navigation.
Th new F-150 has six powertrain options, including the new hybrid, five of which have been carried over from the previous generation. As with its predecessors, the 2021 F-150 can be equipped with a choice of four gasoline engines and one diesel.
Other features on the new F-150 include:
- Available bench and captain’s chair seating on XL to Limited models.
- Stowable console shifter.
- Max Recline Seats available on King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited models.
- Available lockable, fold-flat rear storage.
- Cleats mounted to the sides of the tailgate to act as tie-down locations for extra-long items in the bed.
- Clamp pockets built into the tailgate so customers can hold materials down for precision work.
- Available flat tailgate work surface also includes integrated rulers, a mobile device holder, cupholder, and pencil holder.
- Available zone lighting that allows occupants to turn on and off individual sections of exterior lights through the SYNC 4 screen or remotely with the FordPass app on their phone, so they never have to work, camp, or do anything in the dark.
- Available Trailer Reverse Guidance and Pro Trailer Backup Assist.
- Standard SYNC 4 connectivity.
- Available on certain models driver-assist technologies including pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, rearview camera with dynamic hitch assist, intersection assist, which detects oncoming traffic while the driver is attempting a left turn and applies brakes if necessary, and auto high-beam headlamps.