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6 Things you should be most hyped about in the 2021 Ford F-150

The redesigned Ford F-150 has a lot to like.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

When the Ford F-150 received a generational update for the 2015 model year, the truck's engineers and designers promised that there'd be faster refreshes and newer technology coming. As part of the upgrades, not only did Ford switch to an aluminum F-150 body, which was the big story, but it focused on creating an architecture that would help it stay ahead of the competition.

Since that update in 2015, the F-150 received incremental updates each year, and some body changes in 2018. Now for 2021, the F-150 is receiving another generational update.

The 2021 Ford F-150 updates take what's already great about the truck and adds to it. It's clear that Ford talks to their customers and pays attention to how customers use the truck. To the untrained eye, some features may seem gimmicky, but nearly every addition and change Ford has made has been to make the life of the truck owner easier, safer, and more productive.

There are some things to really get excited about in the new F-150. Here's a sampling of what I'm looking the most forward to.

​On-board generator

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Getting power to a job site isn't as difficult as it used to be, but that doesn't mean it's always easy. Ford is integrating a new generator – they call it Pro Power Onboard – that can provide up to 7.2 kilowatts of power anywhere you can take the truck.

How much is 7.2 kilowatts? It's similar to the amount of power a Level 2 electric vehicle charger disseminates. That's enough to power 28 average refrigerators at once or charge a bed full of electric dirt bikes, according to Ford. It could even power your entire jobsite. The system has a NEMA L14-30R plug for 240 volts at 30 amps.

Hybrid availability

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The F-150's hybrid powertrain option takes Ford's potent 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 and adds a 35-kilowatt electric motor. Adding more capability to a high-performance motor is always welcomed. Ford isn't providing final numbers yet, but they indicated that it will be the hybrid that achieves the truck's maximum towing and payload numbers.

What's really exciting about the hybrid powertrain is the availability across the lineup. It's not limited to King Ranch or Platinum or Limited. If a buyer of an XL work truck wants the hybrid, they can get the hybrid.

Hands-free driving

The first pickup truck to offer SAE Level 2 ADAS with driver monitoring for hands-off operation isn't Tesla. It's not General Motors (even though their SuperCruise technology does this and has been around for a while, it's not available on the Chevrolet Silverado or GMC Sierra). It's the 2021 Ford F-150.

Called Active Drive Assist, a camera monitors the driver's attention, and on roads that are mapped properly will allow the driver to remove their hands from the wheel. The driver still, obviously, has to pay attention, but this system is more advanced than what any other truck maker currently offers. This is the same technology that was announced for the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E.

It won't be available right at launch, and at this point it doesn't support trailering, but an over-the-air update next year will enable a feature that should make road trips a lot easier.

New workspace

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Working with a laptop in a pickup truck can be surprisingly difficult. Some owners will even buy aftermarket setups, similar to what you'll find in police and emergency vehicles, to hold the computer so they can work on the job site more comfortably. However well the mounts work, they generally aren't the most aesthetically appealing.

Ford created a new workspace in the center console by creating a mechanism for flipping over the lid of the console storage to a flat workspace. Since the gear shifter is in the way, Ford made it so the shifter can just fold away.

According to Ford, truck owners don't want to have a rotary dial or push button transmission. So, their solution is unique and effective. Maybe not as effective as just having a column-mounted shifter like in Super Duty, but effective, nonetheless.

The tailgate also has workplace tools to help. In addition to the optional tailgate step, the rear tailgate can become a work bench. It has a ruler, and can be used as a saw horse for a do-it-yourselfers and contractors alike.

Nap time

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Maybe you want to stretch out and relax for a few minutes. Maybe you're on a road trip and need to catch a few winks of sleep. There are many reasons why you might want to have a seat that folds nearly completely flat, some of which we won't discuss here, but the new 2021 Ford F-150 can accommodate.

The front seats recline back farther than any other pickup truck seat, maximizing comfort and taking advantage of all the space afforded by the massive SuperCrew cab.

F-150 Raptor

Ford didn't announce a new Raptor. But that doesn't mean there isn't an updated Raptor in the pipeline. While getting a Ford representative to talk about future product is about as difficult as launching a pebble into space with a centuries-old catapult, Ford has said that Raptor isn't going away. Ford reminded me, when asked, that Raptor has always come after the rest of the line updates, and that this time won't be any different.

Yes. Give me a Raptor with the on-board generator, Active Drive Assist, Fox LiveValve and the supercharged 5.2-liter V8 from the GT500, please.

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New off-roader

Ford Bronco Production Officially Begins

The Ford Bronco is finally ready for primetime.

Ford

The time is finally here. After years of speculation and several months of pandemic-related delays, the Ford Bronco is starting to roll off the assembly line. The SUV marks the first new Bronco model in Ford's lineup in 15 years, not counting the Bronco Sport, and is one of the most hyped and sought-after vehicles to hit the market in quite some time. Ford's announcement that production has begun will be accompanied by a special YouTube presentation that Ford says will include interviews with the Bronco team and with reservation holders at the automaker's new Modification Center.


2021 Ford Bronco Ford added 2,700 jobs to support Bronco production.Ford


Bronco production has driven Ford to invest $750 million into its Michigan Assembly Plant, and the automaker says it has added 2,700 jobs to support the rollout. Ford's push to begin production can't come soon enough. Over 125,000 Bronco orders have been placed, and multiple delays have pushed the vehicle's arrival back, meaning there is considerable demand for the off-road legend.

Ford is ready to capitalize on the craze and will offer several ways to customize the new vehicle. At its 1.7 million square-foot Modification Center, The Blue Oval will factory-install several optional modifications that include equipment such as a front bumper safari bar, graphics packages, roof racks, and more. That's on top of more than 200 factory-backed accessories that can be installed at the dealer, either at or after the time of purchase.


2021 Ford Bronco Delays and production difficulties have pushed the Bronco back.Ford


If you are hoping to get behind the wheel of a new Bronco, it could be a while. Even buyers that have been in line for a while now might not see their new vehicle until late 2021 or 2022, and the vehicle's official rollout will almost certainly re-spike demand. Even so, many feel it's worth the wait, and Ford's vehicle configuration tool is live, so go check it out for yourself.

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New compact pickup truck

Three things to know about the 2022 Ford Maverick

The Maverick will be hybrid-first and can return great fuel economy.

Ford Motor Company

Last week, Ford confirmed the name of its new compact truck and set a date for its official reveal. Today is that day, and the Maverick is finally out in the open for all to see. Ford's compact pickup features an interesting mix of powertrain tech and functionality, so we're here to help you get a feel for what makes the new truck tick.

Here are three things to know about the 2022 Ford Maverick.


2022 Ford Maverick The Maverick will likely be all the pickup most people ever need.Ford Motor Company


It'll be hybrid-first

The 2022 Maverick will be offered with two powertrains, but the standard fixture is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a 94kW electric motor. The two combine to produce 191 horsepower and send the power to the front wheels. The base hybrid models get a continuously variable transmission and can return as much as 40 mpg on the highway. Yes, it's a hybrid, but there's some real truck capability hidden in the Maverick's specs. It will be able to tow up to 2,000 pounds and can carry a payload of up to 1,500 pounds. That's enough to pull a small boat, a couple of jet skis, or a camper trailer.

The optional gas powertrain includes a 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Maverick models equipped with this powertrain can tow up to 4,000 pounds when properly equipped.


2022 Ford Maverick The Maverick's bed and tailgate will help owners carry more with less overall space.Ford Motor Company


It's bigger than you think

Ford's marketing materials and even tweets from prominent members of its PR staff suggest that the Maverick is tiny, but that's not the whole story. The truck rides on a platform shared with the Ford Bronco Sport and Ford Escape, but is just ten inches shorter than the Ranger and around 32 inches shorter than an F-150. It's compact, sure, but it's not the tiny toy truck you might be envisioning. Beyond fuel economy, the Maverick's dimensions help it maneuver tight spaces, so much so that Ford says it needs just a 40-foot diameter to turn in a complete circle.



2022 Ford Maverick Trucks don't need to be huge to get the job done.Ford Motor Company


It will be relatively affordable

Vehicles of all types are becoming more expensive, especially trucks. The Maverick bucks that trend, at least in most of its forms, and comes in with a starting price of around $20,000 after destination charges are applied. The midrange XLT model starts at $22,280 before destination and the range-topping Lariat starts at $25,490 before destination. Any model can be upgraded with the 2.0-liter gas engine and the Lariat trim is available with a First Edition Package that adds exclusive wheels, paint colors, and a moonroof.

If you're hoping to get your hands on a Maverick, you can reserve one now on Ford.com. The automaker says that the truck will start hitting dealers' lots in fall 2021, so there are just a few months to wait if you're in the market.

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