The all-new Ford F-150 pick-up truck has been unveiled, and it arrives with a host of new productivity features for improved functionality for its core customer base. These are joined by an all-new 3.5 litre PowerBoost hybrid powertrain which adds electrification to the EcoBoost V6 engine, and the body-on-frame truck comes in regular cab, SuperCab and SuperCrew layouts.
Rated for a towing capacity of up to 12,000 pounds (5,448 kg), the 2021 Ford F-150 pairs ‘military-grade’ aluminium body construction with the high-strength steel employed for the ladder frame chassis. The exterior bodywork has been revised to be the most aerodynamic it has been, and features active grille shutters, an automatic air dam as well as new cab and tailgate geometry to reduce drag and improve fuel consumption.
The PowerBoost mill is a 3,497 cc, 60-degree twin-turbocharged petrol V6 engine that gains a 47 hp electric motor that uses brake energy regeneration, and supports power outputs of 2.4 kW or 7.2 kW for the Pro Power Onboard generator supply, fed by a 1.5 kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery located between the frame rails under the floor. Other petrol engines can be specified with a 2.0 kW output.
Here, electricity is supplied to in-cabin outlets as well as up to four cargo bay-mounted 120-volt, 20-amp outlets, while the 7.2 kW version gets a 240-volt, 30-amp outlet. The Pro Power Onboard system can provide electricity while on the move in order to charge power tool batteries in between jobs, says Ford.
The hybrid petrol V6 is joined by the internal combustion 3.5 litre EcoBoost V6 petrol, a 3.0 litre Power Stroke V6 turbodiesel, a 5.0 litre Ti-VCT naturally aspirated petrol V8, a 2.7 litre EcoBoost V6 twin-turbo petrol, and a 3.3 litre Ti-VCT FFV naturally aspirated petrol V6. Output figures for all 2021 F-150 engines are yet to be disclosed, though the new hybrid PowerBoost engine targets an EPA-estimated range of up to 1,120 km.
The 2021 F-150 also gains the most connectivity yet, with over-the-air updates functionality as standard and can include new functions and features as they are rolled out over the lifespan of the truck. This aims to support preventive maintenance and reduce trips to service centres for repairs, in order to maximise vehicle up-time. Most updates can be done in under two minutes at times of the users’ choosing, says Ford.
The cabin of the F-150 can be optioned with the Interior Work Surface for added productivity. Available in both bench and captain’s chair seating configurations ranging from XL to Limited variants, the push-button retractable gearlever folds into the centre console when in Park to allow the surface to fold out, and can be used for signing documents, usage of laptops up to 15 inches, or even having a meal when parked.
The King Ranch, Platinum and Limited variants can be had with Max Recline seats, which are exclusive to this class, according to Ford. The Max Recline seats can fold back to nearly 180 degrees as the bottom seat cushion rises to meet the back cushion, and the upper back support can rotate forward up to 10 degrees for comfort.
Rear seat utility in the F-150 hasn’t been forgotten. Here, the fold-flat rear storage adds a vault that spans the width of the rear seats, accessible by lifting the rear seat’s bottom cushion. This is suitable for long items such as fishing rods or blueprints, says Ford, and this also has divider to keep things organised.
All variants of the 2021 Ford F-150 comes standard with new cleats fitted to the sides of the tailgate, for use as tie-down points for carrying extra-long items in the cargo bed. Also added to all versions of the truck are new clamp pockets in order to secure materials for precision work. Meanwhile, a Tailgate Work Surface can also be specified, and this includes integrated rulers, a mobile device holder, cupholder and pencil holder.
Working through the night or in low-light conditions can be aided with the optional Zone Lighting setup, which enables the user to switch on or off individual sections of the F-150’s exterior lights through the SYNC 4 infotainment screen, or via a mobile device with the FordPass app.
The SYNC 4 infotainment system is accessed through a 12-inch display that allows for split-screen app or feature viewing, offering hands-free voice control. Mobile device integration supports wireless connectivity for both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as SYNC AppLink mobile apps such as Waze and Ford+Alexa.
Audio-wise, the XLT gets an eight-speaker Bang & Olufsen can be specfied from the XLT trim level onwards, while the 18-speaker Bang & Olufsen Unleashed system with speakers in the headliner and front headrests are optional on the Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum variants, and standard fitment on the Limited.
The FordPass mobile app can be used not only to unlock or start the vehicle from a distance, but also to control functions such as the aforementioned Zone Lighting, as well as Trailer Theft Alert, Trailer Light Check and Pro Power Onboard.
The 2021 F-150 adds 10 new driver assist features, says Ford, including Active Drive Assist which enables hands-free driving on more than 160,000 km of divided highways on all 50 states of the US as well as in Canada. This is courtesy of a driver-facing camera which tracks the driver’s head position and eye gaze, which allows hands-free driving when the system considers the driver to be continually paying attention to the road ahead.
The Active Drive Assist preparation kit contain the hardware required for this feature, while the software that completes the functionality will be available in the third quarter of 2021, either through a dealer visit or via over-the-air software update, and this is an additional cost option.
Further driver assistance systems include Intersection Assist, which detects oncoming traffic when the driver is attempting a left-hand turn (crossing the road’s centre line, in left-hand drive countries). If the F-150 detects a risk of colliding with an oncoming vehicle, the brakes will be applied to avoid the collision or mitigate it.
The F-150 also comes with Active Park Assist 2.0, which handles all steering, gearshift, brake and throttle inputs during a parallel or perpendicular parking manoeuvre while the driver holds down a button. Standard safety kit across the board are forward collision warning with brake support, hill start assist, pre-collision assist with AEB and pedestrian detection, rear view camera, dynamic hitch support and auto headlamps.
Built at the Dearborn Truck Plant in Michigan as well as at the Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri, the 2021 Ford F-150 will be available for purchase from the Northern Hemisphere autumn of this year, according to Ford.
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