A pickup with 700 miles of range, 7.2 kilowatts of exportable power and it can drive itself? You can get it all in Ford’s 2021 F-150 PowerBoost hybrid.
Ford’s latest pickup is part of its all-new F-150 lineup which was revealed Thursday night at Ford’s historic Willow Run factory where B-24 Liberators rolled out for the Allies during World War II.
In addition to drastically improving mpg, Ford reports that its first hybrid truck is set to claim best-in-class horsepower and torque. Though performance ratings are not yet official, Ford did report that its hybrid F-150 will tow at least 12,000 pounds. That’s under the current top contender Ram 1500 eTorque mild hybrid which is rated to tow up to 12,750 pounds.
Ford’s F-150 hybrid is powered by the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine which is mated to Ford’s 10-speed transmission which includes a 35kw electric motor that will generate the equivalent of 47 horsepower.
A liquid-cooled 1.5 kW lithium-ion battery is mounted between the chassis rails under the back seat. Cargo space is not affected by the battery.
The drive towards increased electrification continues with electrically assisted brakes and an onboard generator. The Pro Power Onboard generator is available as 2.0-kilowatt option on gas F-150 while hybrid F-150 comes standard with a 2.4-kilowatt version that can upgraded to a 7.2 kW unit.
“Available Pro Power Onboard means customers can leave the generator at home and free up cargo space; there’s enough energy to power 28 average refrigerators, charge a bed full of electric dirt bikes or run an entire job site worth of tools,” Ford states in its press release.
Though electric truck prototypes have presented impressive levels of exportable power, Ford will be the first OEM to offer a 30-amp, 240-volt outlet in the back of a pickup bed with its 2021 F-150 hybrid. Other outlets, including those inside the cab, will offer 110 volts.
The push towards even greater electrification will continue to grow with the F-150.
“Electric powertrains are a big part of our future across many of our vehicles and certainly a big part of the new F-150,” Mark Laneve, Ford’s vice-president of U.S. marketing, said during the online reveal. “In fact, within two years, we’re going to have a zero-emissions, all battery-electric F-150 and it’s going to get built at the historic Rouge assembly facility. I have driven the prototype. It will blow your mind. The power and torque that we’re able to get out of a non-ICE is going to be really exciting.”
Self-driving tops the tech list
If the notion of a self-driving pickup seems too far-fetched, think again. Through Active Drive Assist, Ford provides drivers with the opportunity of hands-free driving in the 2021 F-150.
The system, which works on over 100,000 miles of roads in all 50 states, features a driver-facing camera that tracks head position and eye movement to enable hands-free driving. The system only permits self-driving in this mode if driver awareness is detected.
“It allows owners on certain sections of pre-mapped, divided highways to drive with their hands off the steering wheel – if they continue to pay attention to the road ahead – granting them an additional level of comfort during long drives,” Ford states.
All-new F-150 offers the latest driver-assist features as part of Ford Co-Pilot360 2.0. More features are now standard on XL, including Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Detection to help avoid a possible collision with another vehicle or a pedestrian, rearview camera with dynamic hitch assist, auto high-beam headlamps and auto on/off headlamps.
All-new SYNC 4 is standard, helping keep owners connected and make their days more productive with more natural voice control available as well as real-time mapping and customizable information on demand. The technology builds on more than 10 years of SYNC innovation by helping minimize distractions with hands-free voice control as well as core features such as making phone calls and selecting music. With twice the computing power of the previous-generation system, new SYNC 4 can wirelessly connect smartphones without the USB cord for seamless integration of Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility as well as SYNC AppLink apps like Waze and Ford+Alexa.
F-150 introduces an all-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 touchscreen can be operated while wearing gloves.
A new customizable 12-inch digital instrument panel uses graphics and animations to display various drive modes, off-roading information, turn-by-turn navigation and other truck data.
For model year 2021, An 8-inch touch screen is now standard on XL and XLT standard and mid-series trucks. 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.
Pro Trailer Backup Assist continues with its computer-aided, steer-by-knob feature that’s designed to make backing up trailers easier. New for 2021 F-150 is Trailer Reverses Guidance which provides five high-res camera views along with helpful on-screen graphics to take some of the anguish out of driving in reverse. For additional peace of mind, trailer theft alert will send a mobile alert through the FordPass app if decoupling is detected.
Trailer light check uses the FordPass app to allow for a one-person light check prior to hitting the road.
If parking a ½-ton truck is a problem, turn to Ford’s Active Park Assist 2.0, which handles all steering, shifting, braking and accelerator controls during a parallel or perpendicular parking maneuver while the driver holds down a button.
Over-the-air updates keep Ford’s latest tech up and running in peak performance and allow for new features to be added.
Stepping up their game
Ford focused on customer feedback more than ever before while designing the all-new 2021 F-150. Changes are evident from stem to stern.
Tailgate functions continue to evolve on F-150 which now comes with tie-down cleats that double as bottle openers, recessed pockets for c-clamp use (handy for pinning down lumber for cutting), built-in rulers, mobile device holder and pencil holder. No worries when the sun goes down. Zone lighting allows for controlled exterior lighting.
Accessing the bed has gotten easier with Ford’s extended running boards which now fold out under the bed just ahead of the rear tire. A toe switch enables more convenient operation.
Each body panel on the 2021 F-150 has been redesigned and the wheels have been pushed out ¾-inch for a wider stance. Eleven grille options and a 13-wheel lineup pave the way for more exterior style choices.
Fuel economy is always on the minds of truck buyers and so Ford responded with its most aerodynamic pickup yet. Active grille shutters and an active air dam below the front bumper will automatically adjust depending on driving conditions. The air dam can fold up completely to get it out of harm’s way while off-roading.
The cabin has been completely redesigned with more materials to choose from, more color choices and more storage.
A mini desk between the front seats comes courtesy of some clever design work. Push a button to fold the shift lever forward and then flip the top half of the center console lid towards the dash to provide a flat surface for a laptop or lunch. (A shift lever between the seats? Customers steered Ford away from offering a dash mounted shift knob.)
Max recline seats in the front fold flat to nearly 180 degrees to allow for a snooze on the go.
Panels that provide lockable, under seat storage in the rear can be folded flat to provide more storage options.
Ford has not yet released prices and other details on the new 2021 Ford F-150, such as mpg, horsepower, torque and payload. The all-new F-150 will be available this fall.