The exciting debut of the new 2021 Ford F-150 pickup truck showcased many of the new features for the redesign. This is the 14th generation of Ford’s F-series trucks, which date back all the way to 1948. With its latest model, Ford has made huge advances in technology, features, and powertrain. Though many details are still under wraps, we learned a lot about the new pickup from their reveal.
Here are some of the main highlights and features for the 2021 F-150:
- The new PowerBoost powertrain is a full hybrid system that targets best-in-class horsepower and torque. It should get over 700 miles of range on one tank of gas.
- The PowerBoost hybrid provides 7.2 kW of electricity to use at the campsite, job site, or anywhere you might need it.
- SYNC 4 will come standard on all models. 12-inch touchscreens will be an option.
- Some models will feature hands-free semi-autonomous driving with Active Drive Assist.
- There will be an optional fold-down shifter and center console for a flat workspace in the cabin.
- The tailgate transforms into a workstation with an integrated "measuring tape."
- Lockable underseat storage below the rear bench will be an option.
- Optional Trailer Reverse Guidance uses rear cameras to provide additional viewing angles.
- Reclining seats fold nearly flat for sleeping.
2021 Ford F-150 Exterior and Styling
Despite being a new generation, the styling of the 2021 F-150 represents a gentle evolution of the previous truck. This isn’t a bad thing. With so many loyal fans, there’s no need to do anything disruptive. Instead, the 2021 F-150’s style is a sleeker, more modern interpretation of the outgoing model. Ford calls it a "tougher, more planted look." The wheel arches are larger than before and the truck is a bit wider overall.
Despite looking similar, every exterior body panel on the 2021 F-150 is new. It’s the most aerodynamic F-150 ever created. There are 11 different grilles and 13 different wheel options to give owners plenty of choices for customization. There are also several new paint colors in addition to some returning favorites.
The headlights still have Ford’s signature "C-clamp" design, and now the taillights do as well. On the sides, power running boards can be kick operated to lower them if you don’t have your key on you. This is handy for grabbing something out of the bed.
We don’t know all of the details on trim levels yet, but we do know the XL will be the base and the Limited will be at the top. This doesn’t account for any special editions that are released. XLT and Platinum are also confirmed trim levels. Ford noted that the XLT is their highest volume trim by models sold.
2021 Ford F-150 Interior Features and Technology
One of the most interesting new features for the F-150 is its interior workspace. Instead of switching to a rotary dial or push-buttons for the shifter, Ford kept the traditional lever. However, it has a neat trick. It folds down into a recessed area. This allows the center console to fold forward, creating a completely flat workspace.
This is perfect for using a laptop at a job site or being able to have a desk while you’re working away from the office. Ford says that nearly one-third of truck owners use their laptops in their cab. The 2021 F-150 will be the first truck to make it truly easy and comfortable to do so.
Another feature is lay-flat driver and passenger seats, which can recline to nearly 180-degrees. This can give you another lodging option if you’re out camping or on a long trip. Ford noted that they’re "not to be used while driving."
There are tons of outlets all over the truck for plugging in devices. The rear seat area has a flat floor for cargo and an optional locking underseat area for storing valuables. Removable dividers will make it easy to store smaller items as well.
2021 F-150 Infotainment
One of the biggest surprises is that SYNC 4 will be standard on all 2021 F-150 models. The all-new 12-inch touchscreen is not standard but will be included on over half of new F-150s. The base touchscreen is an 8-inch unit. The new screen is designed to work even if you’re wearing work gloves.
2021 F-150 Driver Assist Technology
The 2021 F-150 will be the only truck in its class to offer true hands-free driving with Active Drive Assist. Similar to GM's Super Cruise, it will monitor the driver’s eyes and can only be used on designated highways.
It will also offer a class-exclusive Intersection Assist, which helps prevent crashes when the driver is making a left turn. It can automatically apply the brakes to avoid an accident.
Trailer Reverse Guidance, previously only found on Super Duty trucks, will now be available on the F-150.
The XLT and above trims will come with more standard safety features than any other truck in their class. The 2021 F-150 will also be the first truck to receive over-the-air updates. They’ll be downloaded seamlessly in the background, so the driver shouldn’t even notice it.
2021 Ford F-150 Engine and Capability
In its various configurations, the 2021 F-150 will offer best-in-class towing, payload capacity, horsepower, and torque. This allows Ford to offer "a truck for every customer." There will be six total engine options, with five carried over from the previous generation. These carryover engines may see small bumps in power due to tuning but are otherwise unchanged.
2021 Ford F-150 Engine Options
|3.5L PowerBoost Hybrid (new)
||470 hp (est.)
||525 lb-ft (est.)
|3.5L EcoBoost Twin-Turbo
|3.5L EcoBoost Twin-Turbo (High-Output)
|3.3L TI-VCT V6 (Duratec)
|3.0L Power Stroke Turbo-Diesel
|2.7L EcoBoost Turbo
|5.0L TI-VCT V8 (Coyote)
*These are 2020 model year numbers, which may change slightly. We will update them as we receive more information.
The biggest release with the 2021 F-150 is the new 3.5L PowerBoost hybrid powertrain. It will be the only full-hybrid system in its class. The Ram 1500 uses a mild-hybrid system.
Impressively, Ford says the PowerBoost is targeted to have the highest horsepower and torque in its class. Plus, it will feature a 12,000+ lb max towing capacity. It’ll be great for long road trips as well with an estimated 700 miles of range per tank of gas.
2021 Ford F-150 Tailgate
The tailgate of the 2021 F-150 offers new options that turn it into a workstation. There are plenty of power sources for tools. Special clamp points have been integrated into the tailgate to hold wood in place for sawing. There are even measuring lines to help you cut more accurately.
2021 Ford F-150 Pro Power Onboard
The PowerBoost hybrid F-150 also has the capability to give owners an extra source of electricity. Ford noted that many F-150 drivers carry generators in their trucks. Not only do they take up space, but they add weight and are often stolen. Pro Power Onboard replaces the need for a generator. It provides electricity for power tools, camping gear, and tailgating accessories. This is another standout feature for both work and play.
Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait a bit longer for the fully-electric F-150. Ford says it will be coming "within the next two years."
Besides the gasoline and hybrid options, diesel remains a choice as well.
2021 Ford F-150: What’s Next?
The new F-150 falls somewhere in between evolutionary and revolutionary. This latest generation builds on the things that’ve made it America’s favorite truck and adds some new features to keep things fresh.