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Next-gen 2021 Ford F-150 introduced with hybrid power, thoughtful in-cabin innovation

The 14th-generation Ford F-150 has been introduced.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford has revealed the 14th-generation F-150. The next chapter of the F-Series story is designed to take capability and comfort to new heights in the 2021 Ford F-150.

"Since 1948, our hardworking F-Series customers have trusted Ford to help them get the job done," said Jim Farley, Ford's chief operating officer. "F-150 is our flagship, it's 100 percent assembled in America, and we hold ourselves to the highest standard to make sure our customers can get the job done and continue to make a difference in their communities."

2021 Ford F-150The model comes with a host of new wheel options.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The truck is built on a new high-strength steel frame that resides under the high-strength aluminum body. At the front of the truck is an updated version of the Ford F-Series grille that, in some trim levels, has heritage-like leanings with a center section that calls back to 1940s era models. Eleven grille options are available.

There is a fresh LED light signature at the front that faces a body that features a domed hood and wraparound bumpers. The model rides on larger diameter wheels and tires than the previous generation. Unique tailgate appliqués are available.

The truck's available full-length power running boards run nearly from wheel to wheel.

Ford is targeting the most towing, payload, torque and horsepower of any light-duty full-size pickup. Part of that is its six-engine lineup, which includes a new hybrid 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 that's paired with a 35-kilowatt battery. All engines are paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Read more about engine and transmission specs here.

2021 Ford F-150Ford has made the truck ready for the job site.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

A variety of drive modes are available, which, when chosen, transform the driver information display to match the spirit of the model. A 12-inch fully digital driver's information display is available. A four-inch productivity screen is standard.

Among that the innovations in the model is an available Pro Power Onboard generator that is integrated into the truck body and available in a variety of power options. The most powerful of which is able to provide the same charging capacity as a Level 2 electric vehicle charger.

The interior is full of thoughtful innovations like a storable flat work surface, storable shifter, available 12.0-inch infotainment touch screen, soil-resistant seat upholstery, and more.

The front seats in the King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited models feature early 180 degrees of recline ability and are called Max Recline Seats.

2021 Ford F-150There is a flat load floor behind the front seats.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Under the rear seats is a fold-flat storage area that runs the width of the rear.

The truck's technology allows for bumper-to-bumper over-the-air updates. According to Ford, most of these updates can be completed in user two minutes.

Ford has given the truck its SYC 4 infotainment system. The system is twice as fast as SYNC 3 and features a number of new features. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto can now be accessed wirelessly. Apps including Waze and Ford+Alexa continue to be available.

Customers can access more than 10,000 hours of on-demand content, live channels, ad-free music, sports, entertainment, news and personalized recommendations, and they can search for related content with available SiriusXM with 360L satellite and streaming service.

The new eight-speaker B&O Sound System by Bang & Olufsen is available starting on F-150 XLT, while the optional 18-speaker B&O Unleashed system with speakers in the headliner and front headrests is available on F-150 Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum, and standard on Limited.

2021 Ford F-150The seats features nearly 180-degree recline-ability.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

A number of innovations are in the bed and on the tailgate. You can read more about those here.

Zone lightning allows drivers to choose which exterior lights are illuminated while the model is parked.

Trailer Reverse Guidance and Pro Trailer Backup Assist are available. Find out more here.

The truck comes with the latest iteration of Ford Co-Pilot360, which includes a number of features including pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection. There are also 10 new driver assist features including Active Driver Assist, Ford's new hands-free driving system that was introduced last week in a preview of the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E. It will have late availability and be available via an over-the-air update.

The Ford F-150 will go on sale this autumn. It is assembled at Ford's Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Michigan, and Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri.

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Lincoln will not make a performance variant to compete with Cadillac.

Lincoln

TheLincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade have been duking it out at the top of luxury SUV rankings for decades, but there’s one area of the Caddy’s development that Lincoln won’t touch. In a recent interview, a company executive told Ford Authority that it has no plans to create a performance variant of the Navigator to compete with the upcoming Escalade V from Cadillac.

2022 Lincoln NavigatorThe new Navigator features several upscale touches and excellent tech. Lincoln

That means the Navigator will stick with the powertrain it’s carried for years, which is a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine that makes 440 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with a smooth ten-speed automatic and either rear- or four-wheel drive. While there’s more than enough power to get the hulking Lincoln moving, it’s not a powertrain that inspires excitement or engagement, and though beefy, it’s tuned much more for comfort and quietness than drama.

Though more than adequate, those specs are a far cry from the numbers we expect from the Escalade V. The full-size bruiser from Cadillac is expected to get a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, similar to the unit seen in the CT5-V Blackwing and Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. We don’t know power numbers yet, but the engine should deliver horsepower and torque numbers in the high 600s.

Cadillac Escalade VThe Escalade V will be massively powerful. Cadillac

That Lincoln is taking a different approach isn’t surprising. The automaker has already announced its intention to go all-electric, so pouring more time and resources into creating a performance gas-powered SUV isn’t in line with its goals. Company executives have also expressed a desire to avoid imitating rivals, so the decision to leave a performance Navigator behind is not surprising.

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First-year Ford F-150 Lightning production numbers doubled
Ford

Ford has begun serial production of the new F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck, marking what could be one of the most important days in recent automotive history. The first trucks rolled off the assembly line at Ford's Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan today, so America's best-selling truck has finally gone electric. Ford wants to sell two million EVs per year by 2026 and have half of its global sales volume to be electric by 2030.

Ford F-150 LightningPast meets future: Ford's new electric pickup will be the F-150 Lightningautomotivemap.com

Ford has seen extreme demand for the trucks, with 200,000 reservations since the books opened. To deliver, the automaker plans to increase production to an annual rate of 150,000 units by next year, which involved huge investments in the Rouge Center and created hundreds of jobs. Ford's total investment for the F-150 Lightning crests $1 billion across Michigan alone, and has created 1,700 jobs across various facilities in the state.

Ford F-150 LightningThe first production trucks left the factory today.
Ford Motor Company

Though the Lightning starts around $40,000, the most mainstream models will cost much more than that. The F-150 Lightning Pro, while affordable, is a stripped-down truck intended for commercial buyers. It's still a forward-looking electric truck with amazing capabilities, but it lacks much of the creature comforts and features that everyday drivers expect. Higher trims get the latest driver assistance features, including BlueCruise, which is Ford's semi-autonomous hands-free driving assistant. A 12-inch touchscreen is standard, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and more.

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