Competition among “half-ton” pickup trucks is always a fierce game, and Ford has just announced their latest offering, the 2021 Ford F-150. While rumors of a fully-electric F-150 continue to swirl, for 2021 Ford has confirmed a hybrid drivetrain option on all trim levels. Every 2021 F-150 will come with a host of standard and optional technology that not only adds some glitz, but is useful for owners doing Truck Stuff as well.
2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid Power
New for 2021, the Ford F-150 will offer a hybrid drivetrain that Ford calls PowerBoost. Based on the current 3.5 liter EcoBoost V6 engine, PowerBoost engines add a 35 kilowatt electric motor between the engine and 10-speed automatic transmission. This 47 horsepower motor is turned by a 1.5 kwH (kilowatt-hour) battery that lives under the truck.
Ford claims the 2021 F-150 PowerBoost hybrid is targeting an EPA-rated 700 miles of range on one tank of gasoline, and will tow “at least” 12,000 pounds when properly configured. Total horsepower and torque figures aren’t yet available, but Ford is targeting the highest numbers “of any full-size light-duty pickup” alongside best-in-class towing and payload.
The PowerBoost hybrid drivetrain will be available on every 2021 F-150 trim, from XL to Limited.
2021 Ford F-150 Active Driver Assist
You read the headline right, Ford claims the 2021 F-150 will offer hands-free driving capabilities. No vehicle is truly “self driving” right now – even Tesla requires driver intervention – but Ford’s Active Driver Assist sounds like a great help for long road trips. It relies on 100,000 miles of pre-mapped highways throughout the United States and Canada.
Per Ford, “Its advanced driver-facing camera tracks head position and driver eye gaze to enable hands-free driving when available. 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.”
Now, will it work when a trailer is attached?
Other Neat Updates
Hybrid power and advanced driver assistance technology are the headliners, but Ford indicates they’ve put thought into keeping the F-150 fresh and innovative elsewhere, too. Every 2021 F-150 will come with a center touch screen – 8″ on base XL and lower-spec XLT trims, and 12″ on higher-specced XLT and above. A 12″ digital gauge cluster is also offered. Sync 4 will power the infotainment system no matter which screen(s) you choose.
Speaking of interesting interior updates, the gearshift now… folds away. It’s still located in the center console, but can be folded flat at the push of a button. This allows the optional “Interior Work Surface” to unfold and cover the entire console in a flat table-like space when in Park.
Moving back outside, that fancy PowerBoost hybrid drivetrain can be paired to “Pro Power Onboard” generator functionality, offering up to 7.2 kilowatts of output in both the truck bed and cabin. Ford says this is enough to power “28 refrigerators, charge a bed of electric dirt bikes, or run an entire job site worth of tools.”
Ford is also adding what they call “Zone Lighting,” which allows drivers to choose which sections of exterior lights are illuminated while parked. This sounds handy for those times where you need some lighting at night, but only at the front or rear of the truck and perhaps not full intensity.
Of course, there will be a plethora (smattering?) of new grilles (11), tailgates, paint and interior colors. Pricing has not been announced, but Ford expects the 2021 F-150 to go on sale this fall. We’re excited to get behind the wheel!