Despite the F-150's continued popularity, it's in store for another refresh. We've seen our first glimpses of the 2021 F-150, and it gives us a glimpse of what updates we can expect on America's favorite pickup. Though we know that we can also expect an electric F-150, it would seem that even the traditionally fueled pickups will be getting some exciting new features.
First off, credit must be given to both Car and Driver and KGP Photography for these spy shots. Two different versions of an F-150 test mule were spotted in full camo, and these publications have been kind enough to share them with everyone so that we can speculate on what might be coming for the F-150.
2021 F-150 Changes
Even though these test mules are mostly obscured by their camouflage, it doesn’t seem that much is going to change in terms of appearance. The overall contours of the vehicle match the current generation of F-Series trucks, and the small differences (the window sill on the front windows and the odd hump on the back of the cab) are most likely quirks exclusive to the mule. Given the amount of research and development that went into crafting the aluminum body of the F-150, it’s not likely that Ford will completely scrap the design for a new one this soon.
2021 F-150 Confirmed to Have Single Rear Axle
These spy shots do clarify a question that has been floating around the truck world. Some of the recent spy shots of the electrified F-150 show that test mule driving around with an independent rear suspension. This was big news as IRS is not generally used on trucks. However, this F-150 appears to have a solid rear axle. So, IRS isn’t likely the norm for future F-series trucks, but it is rather a suspension set up specifically meant to deal with the extra weight of the batteries.
Possible New V8 Option
This is about all we can currently see about the 2021 F-150. There are some speculations about the upcoming pickup’s powertrain, however. Rumors have been floating around for a while about the 4.8L V8 engine. This engine will provide a bump in power over the current 5.0L V8, and will most likely come with tweaks to improve fuel economy (auto start-stop and cylinder deactivation). Regardless, it will be exciting to hear about this new V8 engine, as it will likely find its way under the hood of a Mustang eventually.
All in all, there's a lot left to be learned about the next iteration of F-150s. Pickups have been rapidly developing the last couple years, from torque values breaking the four-figure threshold, to carbon fiber-lined beds. Ostensibly, there is much more to be uncovered about the 2021 F-150s.