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Ford Presents a Substantially Updated 2021 Ford F-150

Ford presents its next-generation 2021 F-150.

Virtual presentations of new models are becoming the norm in the new 2020 reality; Thursday night it was the turn of Ford’s cash cow product to make its screen debut.

While Ford would sorely have liked to have journalists on hand for the event so they could get behind the wheel, that is just not an option right now. Instead, the company drew a partial portrait of what the new generation of the F-150 truck is all about. That consisted of the model’s broad outlines, but many details are still to come, especially with regard to the technical specifications.

Broad outlines they may have been, but to cover them all for you here would turn this into a novelette. Here, in a nutshell, is what Ford has been up to in redesigning and upgrading its F-150.

2021 Ford F-150, profile
Photo: Ford
2021 Ford F-150, profile

Styling
Ford says it redesigned its pickup from bumper to bumper, although the finished product still looks more like an evolutionary step forward than a revolution. Still, all the panels are brand-new. In total, the variants offered will feature 11 different grilles and 13 wheel designs. The signature of the front end is easily recognizable thanks to those familiar hook-shaped LED headlights. At the rear, the tailgate offers a multi-function surface and to avoid having to carry a generator, a power supply kit integrated into the bed will be available.

This element sets the tone, actually, for the over-riding point of the revisions: everything new on this F-150 is designed to make life easier for workers, contractors and weekend handymen using the truck.

2021 Ford F-150, hatchback
Photo: Ford
2021 Ford F-150, hatchback
2021 Ford F-150, interior
Photo: Ford
2021 Ford F-150, interior

A redesigned interior
On board, everything has clearly been modernized and the presentation is downright spectacular. A 12-inch touchscreen dominates the dashboard and is present in more than 50 percent of the variants. In terms of user-friendliness, there are a few new elements worth noting. In the centre console, the gear selector can be tilted and folded away to allow for unfolding the arm rest to create a table able to accommodate a computer or other work object. Both front seats can also recline 180 degrees to form a bed. That's right - a bed. In the back, a huge storage bin spanning the width of the vehicle is well-hidden under the seat.

Connectivity is also taken to another level, notably with the integration of the Sync5 system and an integrated Internet network. Even updates to the model can be done over the airwaves. It’s easy to imagine recall fixes being done virtually when software updates are required.

2021 Ford F-150, multimedia screen
Photo: Ford
2021 Ford F-150, multimedia screen

The mechanics
Under the hood, six configurations will be offered at the start, but Ford was careful not to reveal too much about them. We do know all will use a 10-speed automatic transmission; the engines include a 3.3L V6, 5.0L V8, 2.7L EcoBoost turbo V6, 3.5L EcoBoost turbo V6 and 3.0L Power Stroke V6 turbo-diesel.

We also know the sixth configuration is the PowerBoost hybrid powertrain; it uses the 3.5L EcoBoost turbo V6 engine with the 10-speed transmission, along with a 35 kW electric motor tied to a 1.5 kWh lithium-ion battery. The real excitement on that front, however, will come in the next two years, when Ford promises to have the all-electric version ready.

The company is also promising – though not detailing just yet - new standard-setting capabilities regarding load capacity, towing capacity and torque.

More details are to come regarding the engines that will serve the model. Some of them are known entities, but it’s not known how far Ford has pushed their specifications forward. Stay tuned.

2021 Ford F-150, front
Photo: Ford
2021 Ford F-150, front

On paper, the 2021 Ford F-150 sets a bunch of new standards in the light-duty pickup domain. The extent of the changes reflects the importance of the model within the Ford lineup. This is the model that makes all other projects possible because of the profits it generates.

The next step, after Ford has filled in the missing details on the model, is the opportunity to get into it and drive it. Hopefully that will happen sooner rather than later.

2021 Ford F-150, rear
Photo: Ford
2021 Ford F-150, rear
Photos:Ford
2021 Ford F-150 pictures