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  5. 2021 F-150: First Look

Derek Shiekhi | Jun 24, 20202

Exterior view of the 2021 Ford Ford F-150

The Ford F-150 doesn't let anything keep it from moving forward. We know from experience. We've used the upscale Limited to haul building materials and the King Ranch model with the Power Stroke diesel V6 to pull boats. Neither one broke a sweat.

We've splashed through mud and crawled over chunks of stone in FX4 models and flown over West Texas sand in the Raptor. Not even the current pandemic could stop the all-new 2021 F-150 from emerging onto the world stage, although it did things a little differently than usual by debuting on computer screens around the world in an event hosted by comedian Denis Leary instead of in front of a huge live crowd.

2021 Ford F-150 Exterior

Exterior view of the 2021 Ford Ford F-150

Ford's designers started from scratch with the F-150's bodywork. Every exterior panel on it is new. There are 11 different trim-specific grille options. Those sit between restyled headlights, which feature a C-clamp design that's repeated in the new taillights.

An angular trim piece with the F-150 logo and trim level on it highlights the front fenders. The cab maintains the F-150's signature drop-down beltline. There are more significant changes below, including 13 wheel design options and available full-length extended power running boards with a kick-activated switch that deploys them to ease access to the F-150's bed.

To make that an even more convenient and productive space, the Blue Oval has incorporated several changes into it. The tailgate features new appliques and comes standard with side-mounted cleats so that F-150 owners can safely tie down long cargo. Indentations in the top of the tailgate are designed to accommodate clamps, letting owners fold it down and hold building materials in place while they saw them.

An optional Tailgate Work Surface makes getting things at the back end of the F-150 even easier by equipping the tailgate with integrated rulers, a spot for a mobile device and dedicated space for a travel mug and pencils and pens.

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2021 Ford F-150 Interior

Interior view of the 2021 Ford Ford F-150

Ford completely redesigned the inside of the F-150 to not only make it more productive, but to raise its levels of comfort and technology. Many F-150 owners use their trucks as mobile offices, so Ford offers features that make the 2021 model an even better place to get work done. The new Interior Work Surface is available on all trim levels and with all front seat configurations. Using it requires pushing a button to fold the console-mounted shifter for the F-150's 10-speed automatic transmission forward and down, then flipping the surface's top panel forward to serve as a lunch table or desk for signing documents or working on a 15-inch laptop.

The front of the F-150's cab can even double as a hotel room in a pinch. King Ranch, Platinum and Limited models are available with Max Recline Seats that can be folded back to an almost 180-degree angle.

The F-150's infotainment setup gets several much-needed upgrades. An available 12-inch digital instrument cluster provides a large view of basic information, as well as navigation directions and helpful off-road data. All F-150 trim levels come with SYNC 4. In addition to twice the computing power of SYNC 3, it has wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto pairing capability. XL and certain versions of XLT trucks come standard with an 8-inch touchscreen. Higher-end XLTs and the trim levels above get an all-new 12-inch center touchscreen with split-screen functionality for controlling multiple functions at once.

Music lovers have a variety of high-end choices. XLT and above models are available with an 8-speaker B&O Sound System by Bang & Olufsen; a B&O Unleashed system with 18 speakers, including some in the headliner and front headrests, is available on the F-150 Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum, and standard on the F-150 Limited. Optional SiriusXM with 360L service provides access to more than 10,000 hours of on-demand and personalized content.

Updating the F-150's various functions and features can now be done over-the-air. Although most of them can be performed in under two minutes, updates can also be scheduled for a later, more convenient time.

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2021 Ford F-150 Powertrain

Engine view of the 2021 Ford Ford F-150

The EcoBoost engine and the F-150 have been linked for 10 years. For 2021, Ford introduces a new power source to the F-150 engine lineup, which also includes the gas and diesel power plants from the outgoing F-150.

They call the F-150's new hybrid source of propulsion "PowerBoost." Available on every grade, it combines the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 with a 35-kilowatt (47-horsepower) electric motor attached to the 10-speed automatic and 1.5-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery. If all goes according to Ford's calculations, this hybrid setup will help the F-150 cover roughly 700 miles on one tank of gas and tow at least 12,000 pounds.

When properly equipped, the 2021 F-150 has plenty of power in its bed, too. The available Pro Power Onboard system offers three levels of output that can power creature comforts for adventures far away from home and tools at construction sites. It gives gas-powered F-150s an additional 2.0 kilowatts of juice.

The hybrid F-150 comes standard with 2.4 kilowatts, but a 7.2-kilowatt version of Pro Power Onboard is optional. There are multiple ways of accessing all of that additional power, including outlets in the cab and up to four bed-mounted 120-volt 20-amp outlets. The high-output Pro Power Onboard system also comes with a 240-volt 30-amp outlet.

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2021 Ford F-150 Safety

View of safety equipment of the 2021 Ford Ford F-150

The tech fest doesn't stop there. Thanks to the Ford Co-Pilot360 2.0 bundle of features, the entry-level F-150 XL now has standard automatic headlights and high beams, Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Detection, and rearview camera with dynamic hitch assist.

Ford added 10 driver-assist features to the F-150's list of available equipment. Two of the most notable items on it are Active Drive Assist and Intersection Assist. Active Drive Assist gives F-150 owners the ability to drive on more than 100,000 miles of divided highways in all 50 states and Canada without keeping their hands on the wheel. All they need to do is watch the road ahead. Intersection Assist monitors when an F-150 driver makes a left turn through an intersection. If it detects that a collision with an oncoming vehicle is imminent, it applies the brakes to avoid or minimize impact.

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2021 Ford F-150 Overall

View of the exterior of the 2021 Ford Ford F-150

It's going to be a while until Ford releases more facts and figures related to the 2021 F-150, but given what we've seen already, they should be impressive. The truck itself will come out this fall. When it does, be sure to go to an AutoNation Ford dealership to see it up close and take it for a test drive.

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