The new 2021 Ford F-150 is here and it comes with impressive specs. Ford Motor is raising the bar high with a new level of technology to its 2021 F-150 pickup to catch the attention of new buyers and at the same time please its loyal customers with new features made for them. Ford describes F-150 as having the ability to bring a seamless and personalized driving experience.
It’s a brave move since its F-Series trucks like the F-150 and its bigger siblings make up a substantial amount of the company’s profits. Why make big changes when the current formula is working well? The auto manufacturer is currently undergoing an $11 billion restructuring plan as it shifts its focus on emerging technologies like all-electric and autonomous cars. The automaker has already introduced to the public traditional and hybrid versions of the pickup, and they’ll be available on the market this fall.
A segment-first hands-free highway driving system, over-the-air updates and 12-inch screens are among its new unique features. The new F-150’s interior also comes with new materials, unique colors and patterns. Ford promises that its hybrid model will offer the best of two worlds: impressive performance and great fuel economy. On top of that, Ford says that the new F-150 is the safest, most powerful and advanced pickup it has ever built with its myriad of options and features that were never offered before. But while there are big changes to the exterior and under the hood, the interior still did not fail to impress.
Ford gave a lot of time in redesigning the pickup’s interior to be more functional in terms of tech and appearance. It is all about storage and optimizing space. According to Ford’s Chief Engineer of the F-150, they knew that our customers now spend much of their days and sometimes, even nights in the vehicle so they wanted to increase the functionality for their customers to be more productive inside the cab and now they offer a stowable gear shifter allowing a flat surface between the passenger and driver for laptops or other needs. Front seats can also be folded nearly 180 degrees allowing more comfortable sleeping arrangements. For a more detailed description of all the changes read on:
Design: Better Materials
New changes found in the exterior of the 2021 Ford F-150 are subtle, but the interior of this truck is entirely new. Ford offers a unique combination of fresh materials, color and patterns designed to give the cabin a more contemporary and luxurious appearance. And that new upscale look is apparent by checking out at the middle stack. The 2021 F-150 comes with two new touchscreens up top with a nice silver surround and strategically arranged buttons and dials beneath them.
Better quality materials are used on the door panels, dash and center console – which comes in leather or soft-touch plastic which will depend on the trim model you choose. Leather seating comes standard on Lariat trim and trims above it. There are three color options for that model, two color combos for Platinum, two for King Ranch trim, and one for Limited. Ford is yet to release all the available leather and palette options, but we are certain that the Lariat Sport trim gets its own unique burgundy interior finish which is all new for 2021.
Features: More Goodies
Ford F-150 comes with a bunch of features in its cabin. One of the most hyped options is what Ford dubs as “Max Recline” seats. This feature is what was mentioned earlier, one that allows you to fold the front seat to nearly 180 degrees flat, with the bottom cushion elevating to meet the back cushion, and the upper back support rotating forward up to 10 degrees. This makes your truck suitable for sleeping when necessary. This option is available on the King Ranch, Platinum and Limited models. And then there’s the gear shift lever which folds flat to give room for a collapsible table called Work surface extending out from the center console.
Automakers like Fiat Chrysler’s Jeep brand are adding more hidden design elements also known as “Easter eggs” to new vehicles. Ford F-150 comes with a few Easter eggs too, such as an American flag emblem on the outer air vent near each door (which is a not so obvious jab at pickups from its rivals GM and Fiat Chrysler which both manufacture some of their pickups in Mexico while Ford does not). According to Ford’s chief designer, Ehab Kaoud, this serves as a reminder that every F-150 is built in the U.S. of A every time you open a door. On the Limited trim, a new badge on the console with the VIN of the vehicle. Other special design elements are found on F-150 King Ranch trims which include an etching of the first such model placed on the instrument panel, while XLT Sport trims include a Detroit map on the door. Kaoud said that it symbolizes a sense of pride where the vehicle was designed while the map represents an exploration of new places.
Another new feature for 2021 is ProPower Onboard generator which is an integrated power generator located in the box of the pickup. This allows you to power plenty of electrical appliances through plugs in the bed. You can also recharge things like tools while the vehicle is running. The power output depends on the generator.
ProPower comes in three different capacities: 2.0 kilowatts on the gas-only F-150, 2.4 kilowatts on the Hybrid model, or 7.2 kilowatts an option for the gas-electric. The two standard setups have twin 120-volt outlets and then the 7.2-kW arrangement comes with four 120-volt plugs and a single 240-volt outlet. The generator works by obtaining energy from an onboard lithium-ion battery. The truck’s engine may need to be on to assist when charging the battery. This technology is not meant to be flashy but more on the practical side. There’s been a trend recently for pickup trucks to be mainstream and more focused on technology.
Passenger Space and Storage: Still Offers Generous Space
Although the 2021 F-150 comes with several updates, almost all the measurements of the interior and the cargo space from the previous model have been carried over such as the legroom, headroom, hip room, shoulder room and cargo capacities. The width between the wheelhouses did increase for the 2021 model. The 2020 F-150 model has 50.6 inches while the latest model has 51.1 inches. Other than that, most of those figures stay the same since F-150 has not really grown much externally and it’s just marginally bigger (and in some aspects, smaller) than the previous model across the board.
The new F-150 also provides Rear Seat Storage and Locking Under Seat Storage. Keep your valuables secure with the available, folding lockable under-seat storage. It is also integrated with the floor making it ideal to store loose items aside from other things you want to keep hidden and secure. It is also easier to load and large items in the vehicle with its rear flat load floor.
TECHNOLOGY: Larger Screens, More Safety Tech
An 8.0-inch central touchscreen and 4.0-inch digital instrument cluster come standard to the 2021 Ford F-150. The new standard touchscreen is two times bigger than the one found in the 2020 model and supports the newest Sync 4 infotainment including Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, AppLink, and over-the-air updates. The FordPass Connect app also comes standard and is downloadable. This app allows you to lock and unlock their vehicle’s status, and set remote start times – all from your smartphone.
The latest F-150 also has an optional 12.0-inch touchscreen and the option of two larger digital instrument clusters, one which measures 8.0 inches and the other measures at 12.3 inches. The latter digital cluster takes the place of the base analog gauges. That enormous new touchscreen, meanwhile, comes standard with Sync 4, a 4G LTE wi-fi hotspot, pinch-and-zoom navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Its Voice-Activated Navigation makes it easier to search for locations you want to go to or avoid. Craving for some burgers, or want to avoid heavy traffic? All you need to do is ask. The new SYNC 4 comes with an integrated cloud-based connectivity and conversational voice recognition to your daily life.
You can also choose between two option speaker setups. You can choose from either the 8-speaker B&O System & Olufsen that has HD Radio or the 18-speaker B&O Sound System Unleashed by Bang & Olufsen with HD Radio. But you have to spend more money if you want to get any of these two options.
Ford also did not hold back when it comes to the 2021 F-150’s safety technology. The F-150 comes standard with forward collision warning, a rearview camera with dynamic hitch support, automatic emergency braking that has pedestrian detection and automatic high-beam assist. Also available as an option with extra cost are Ford’s complete Co-Pilot360 safety suite and Active Driving Assistant. The Co-Pilot360 has the following features: blind spot monitoring that cross-traffic alert and trailer coverage, lane keep assist, lane centering, distance alert, parking assist, evasive steering assist, reverse braking assist, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, post-collision braking, speed sign recognition and trailer reverse guidance.
The speed sign recognition you stay up to speed even if you fail to notice the sign. For blind spot monitoring, it also has telescoping trailer tow mirrors which give you a better view of what you are towing to give you a stronger sense of security when changing lanes and making turns.
The “Active Drive Assist” system can control the vehicle’s speed, braking and steering through a radar, a system of cameras and other sensors on 100,000 miles of pre-mapped divided highways in the US and Canada. The bigger screen of the Ford F-150 behind the steering wheel will be assisting in communication with the optional hands-free driver-assist system which is similar to GM’s Super Cruise or Tesla’s Autopilot.
You can choose to buy a pickup with the hardware for the system later this year, but you will have to wait until the third quarter of 2021 to actually use the technology. Ford is planning to release the software that period to allow the technology via remote, or over-the-air update. Installation can also be done at a dealership.
According to Ford, the vehicle capability for over-the-air updates will be vital in assisting in expediting safety recalls and other updates. This can help in conducting preventative maintenance, reducing repair trips and providing improved performance overall.
Another notable feature available is the intuitive digital owner’s manual that can be found in your touchscreen. It provides in-depth information about your vehicle’s features, streamable videos and so much more.
Aside from the new interior and exterior designs, the 2021 F-150 also has new six available engine options which include a 3.0-liter diesel and 3.5-liter “PowerBoost” hybrid V6 engine. All engines come with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Ford indicated that the new hybrid model is designed to achieve roughly 700 miles on a single tank of gas and has at least 12,000 lb max towing capacity. That’s similar or better than current models having V6 engines.
Ford is expecting the hybrid version which has the most premium powertrain to make up about 10 percent of sales. In comparison to its “Ecoboost” V6 engines, which currently make up 60 percent of sales. Hybrid versions come standard with a new integrated power generator that has 2.4 kilowatts power output and as an optional 7.2 kilowatts power output. The standard model is capable of charging everything for a tailgate party or a jackhammer as well as a compact concrete mixer.
Expect an all-electric F-150 sometime in the next two years which is in line with or a bit later than new electric pickups from Tesla, GM and start-up automaker Rivian. Jim Farley, Ford’s Chief Operating Officer, has said that the upcoming all-electric pickup is a “spectacular product.”