The automotive domain never lacks for rumours. Some prove to be true, others not so much. In the case of one recent one involving Ford’s iconic F-150 pickup, we can only hope the reports turn out to be so much hot air. Or at the very least, there will be some explanation to bring some nuance to it.
The rumour involves a range of only 15 kilometres for the much-anticipated plug-in hybrid version of the Ford F-150. Worryingly, it comes from a report from renowned media outlet Car and Driver magazine, not usually in the habit of indulging in idle gossip.
The 2021 version
The F-150, we already know, is getting a facelift in 2021. We've also known for a long time that a plug-in hybrid version is due. This has generated a lot of hope among enthusiasts since its announcement, as it represents an interesting compromise choice. The model could deliver at least some all-electric range while preserving the vehicle's regular capabilities for longer trips. It’s also no secret that Ford is working on an all-electric F-150 as well as a regular hybrid variant.
But a 15-km range for the PHEV version? It’s enough to dampen the enthusiasm of the most ardent fan.
Car and Driver reported that the range will probably exceed 15 km in electric mode. But the caveat is that would happen when the vehicle is empty. And even then, are we talking 20 km? 25, 30 km? And what will it be once the vehicle is loaded with cargo? Will it be limited to 15 km?
If so, no one will be going very far in electric mode. Better than nothing, you say? Yes, but at what cost? That's the other question that needs to be answered.
The electrified version of the F-150 will benefit from an electric motor located between the turbocharged V6 engine and the 10-speed automatic transmission. Beyond that, we’ll have to wait until Ford releases all the technical details concerning the renewed 2021 F-150. At which point we’ll know if the Car and Driver report is based in fact.
In any event, the launch of the F-150 PHEV will mark the arrival of the first plug-in hybrid pickup truck on the market. That's something.