New Model News

Sorry Starbucks, Ford wants the F-150 to be your new third place

The redesigned Ford F-150 features a host of amenities.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Remember the last time you went to the bathroom without a kid yelling for you? Days are spent balancing homeschooling, your normal workload, making meals, and cleaning as much as you possibly can. Add in summer camps, the usual roster of activities, grocery shopping, and there's barely enough time for some alone time.

The new, 14th-generation 2021 Ford F-150 is designed to accommodate not just a construction worker's lifestyle, but also the daily routine of a family. The truck is full of fresh ideas for making the F-150 your new third place, and there's even a place where you can hook up an espresso machine.

As part of the F-150s redesign, Ford listened to current and previous F-Series generation owners. They said that they're spending more time in their vehicles completing tasks other than driving. Sitting to talk on the phone, working on their laptop, killing time between practice sessions, grabbing a meal on the go. These are all part of the daily routine of many truck owners.

How can the F-150 help them enhance their lives? Become a part of it rather than just a passive piece of the puzzle? The design team set to work and came up with some thoughtful solutions.

Here's a few of the best innovations.

Relax in style with Max Recline Seats.

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford boasts that these class-exclusive seats fold nearly 180-degrees flat. That's enough that you can get comfortable enough for a snooze, stay hidden out of the eyesight of kids trying to figure out if you're in the truck hiding from them on a conference call, or transporting something like a ladder inside the cabin.

There's basically a mud room under the back seat.

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Available lockable, fold-flat, dividable storage container extends the width of the interior under the rear seats. Ford says that it's great for long items like hunting gear, fishing rods, or blueprints. Parents will like that you can throw wet towels, muddy shoes, groceries, or dog toys in there with plenty of room to spare.

It's espresso machine-enabled.

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

No need to worry about making campfire coffee ever again. The available Pro Power Onboard generator in its most powerful form (there's three levels) gives owners access to enough power to supply juice to 28 refrigerators, charge a bed full of electric dirt bikes, or power your espresso machine for the morning and your blender for the afternoon. If your kids need their bounce house blown up or you want to bring a fan to your tailgate, you'll be able to do so.

There's a complementary work station.

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

For when you do need to work, the truck's center console turns into a work station that provides a flat surface for your laptop. There's room on either side too so your phone, files, or notepad can be close at hand.

Listen to your own music, wirelessly.

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Coffee shop music can permeate the cabin thanks to the trucks' SYNC 4 infotainment system. If the sounds of a classical version of a Phish song aren't to your liking, you can listen to your favorite SiriusXM station, click over to a Pandora station, sync your smartphone's music catalog, hear what's being broadcast on your favorite iHeartRadio station, or access your Amazon Music library. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connect wirelessly for even more convenience.

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Ford just announced specs for the new hardcore off-roader.

Ford

After years of speculation over the Bronco's return, Ford finally pushed the revived SUV to market last year. The rumor mill immediately kicked back into action with speculation of a higher-powered Raptor version of the Bronco to match Ford's F-150 Raptor here in the U.S. We've seen teases and a short film on the SUV, but today, The Blue Oval announced specs for what will surely be a highly desirable new vehicle in 2022 and beyond.

2022 Ford Bronco Raptor The Bronco Raptor gets upgraded cooling and engine tuning to handle high-temperature operation.Ford

The Bronco Raptor gets an exclusive twin-turbo 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 that makes 400 horsepower, which is a big improvement over the standard SUV's V6 that makes an already healthy 330 horsepower. Four-wheel drive and a ten-speed automatic gearbox are standard. Ford says the Raptor also comes with a new towing mode that allows a max tow rating of 4,500 pounds - a 1,000-pound improvement over the base Bronco. Trail Control, trail Turn Assist, and Trail One-Pedal driving are also present here.

The Raptor gets seven of the standard Bronco's G.O.A.T. (Goes Over Any Type of Terrain) driving modes, including a new Baja Mode that works with the engine's turbo system to reduce lag and improve performance during high-speed runs in desert temperatures. An active exhaust allows four selectable sound modes, including normal, sport, quiet, and Baja, and the Raptor's intercooler helps keep operating temperatures at reasonable levels when running in hot weather.

Using the Bronco's modular design, Ford gave the Raptor unique front and rear quarter panels, fender flares, and door appliqués. The new body components add 9.8 inches to the Raptor's width, and removable running boards help improve rock crawling abilities. Model-exclusive amber LED running lights accent the Raptor's front end, and Raptor logos set the hardcore model apart from its "lesser" counterpart.

2022 Ford Bronco Raptor Amber LEDs and special badging designate the much-upgraded Raptor model.Ford

Inside, the Bronco Raptor gets a 12-inch digital gauge cluster with configurable view for vehicle performance and other information. Black marine-grade vinyl seats and rubberized flooring are standard. Orange accents on the dash vents, door netting, and steering wheel help break up the all-black interior, and Ford offers a synthetic suede upholstery upgrade for buyers wanting a little more comfort with their capable off-roader. A 12-inch infotainment touchscreen and 360-degree camera system are also standard.

Bronco Raptor hopefuls can start placing orders in March, but be aware that there will be a wait involved for everyone. Ford says that the majority of 2022 Bronco Raptors will go to existing reservation holders based on their reservation timestamp. It's worth noting that many 2021 Bronco buyers are still waiting for the SUVs, which are being converted into 2022 orders, so the wait time for the Raptor could be severe for anyone without a standing reservation.

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Off-road performance truck

Shelby American announces new Ford F-150 Raptor

Shelby just announced the new truck, which has a starting price of more than $124,000.

Shelby American

The third-generation Ford F-150 Raptor is a true off-road menace, with a strong turbocharged V6, beefy tires and shocks, and a luxury-level interior. Most people would consider the truck overkill for all but the hardest-core off-road enthusiasts, but the wizards at Shelby American have other ideas. As it has done with Ford vehicles for years, Shelby gave the new Raptor a performance makeover, and the finished product is quite impressive.

Shelby F-150 Raptor There's no mistaking a Shelby-tuned Raptor. Shelby American

The F-150 Raptor is already a capable beast, but Shelby turns things up a few notches. Performance upgrades include a performance intake and high-flow filter, an aluminum intercooler, a tune that pushes power to more than 525 ponies and 610 pound-feet of torque, a Shelby exhaust, and a BDS lift kit. The Shelby Raptor rides on 18-inch wheels with 37-inch BFG KM3 Mud Terrain tires.

If you’re thinking Shelby slaps a few go-fast parts on the Raptor and calls it good, think again. The truck’s interior features embroidered custom leather upholstery and exclusive floor mats. A unique serial number plate is mounted in the dash. Shelby also fits billet racing pedals, carbon fiber accents, and deep tinted windows.

Outside, the Raptor gest several touches to let everyone know it’s not a standard Ford. A special Shelby hood with intake and extraction vents is standard, along with power side steps with rock sliders. A bevy of Shelby logos and badging grace the truck’s body, and both bumpers have been replaced with steel units to accommodate light bars and additional tow points.

Shelby F-150 Raptor Shelby fits performance parts and gives the truck a tune.Shelby American

If you’re hoping to be one of the insane few to own a Shelby Raptor, get your wallet ready. The truck’s base price starts at $124,820, which includes the MSRP of the truck itself. That said, it’s unclear how extreme demand and supply chain issues will impact Shelby’s ability to get new trucks to modify.

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