New Model News

What's new: 21 interior and exterior 2021 Ford F-150 features

Ford has redesigned the Ford F-150 for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Sure, Ford has redesigned the F-150 for 2021, but what does that all mean? The team in Dearborn came up with a handy guide to show the innovations and while we could just post those two images here, that doesn't tell the whole story. Scroll down to get a more in-depth look at the 21 changes to the exterior and interior of the 2021 Ford F-150 for the new model year.

New steel frame

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford has given the truck a new high-strength steel frame. That doesn't mean that they've shied away from aluminum. The body is made from a high-strength version of the material.

Appearance packages & wheel options

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford is promising that the F-150 will come with a wide variety of appearance packages and wheel options. Though the exact packages to be offered aren't known, we do know the wheel options, which vary by trim level:

  • Standard
    • 17-inch silver-painted wheels
    • 17-inch silver-painted aluminum alloy wheels
    • 18-inch machined-aluminum alloy wheels with magnetic pockets
    • 18-inch machined-aluminum alloy wheels with ebony black pockets
    • 18-inch silver-painted aluminum alloy wheels
    • 18-inch aluminum alloy chrome-like PVD wheels
  • Optional:
    • 20-inch aluminum alloy chrome-like PVD wheels
    • 20-inch aluminum alloy premium painted tarnished dark wheels
    • 20-inch machined-aluminum alloy wheels with magnetic pockets
    • 20-inch machined-aluminum alloy wheels with light caribou-painted pockets
    • 20-inch polished-aluminum alloy wheels
    • 22-inch polished-aluminum alloy wheels

PowerBoost

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

When it's a hybrid a hybrid? When it's a PowerBoost. The 2021 Ford F-150 will be available as the only full-hybrid model in its segment. This is compared to the mild-hybrid 48-volt system that some of its competition has.

The system consists of Ford's 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine paired with a 35-kilowatt battery. Ford estimates that drivers can go 700 miles between fill ups.

The hybrid models will also have at least 12,000 pounds of maximum towing capacity.

Buyers can get the PowerBoost powertrain on any trim level F-150.

PowerBoost models have a "PowerBoost" badge on the outside bottom of the F-150's driver's side door. When the truck is powered by a the available diesel engine, the badging is changed out to "PowerStroke". When one of the traditional gasoline-powered engines is chosen, it appears that there is no badge in that area.

Pro Trailer Backup Assist

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford is continuing to give its F-150 Pro Trailer Backup Assist. Not much is new with the technology, but it does play out on the F-150's new, larger screen which provides higher resolution imagery. The knob sits in a similar position as it did in the last generation but the trailer brake controls are lower down, having been divided by a horizontal structural element in the center stack that runs the width of the interior.

Trailer Reverse Guidance

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The F-150 doesn't have as many camera angles as the Chevrolet Silverado but it does have reverse guidance, which utilizes five cameras to give drivers an idea of their obstacles and provide line guidance while backing up. The system can even tell you which way to turn the wheel.

Pro Power Onboard

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

You don't need to bring a generator with you when you opt for Pro Power Onboard, which turns the F-150 into a mobile generator. Buyers can purchase the tech at every trim level. It has a 2.0 kilowatt output on optional gasoline engines. PowerBoost models get a 2.4-kilowatt or 7.2-kilowatt system.

Zone lighting

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

When you don't need the full power of the F-150's headlights while camping, parking, or maneuvering in your driveway, zone lighting is the solution you need. The technology allows you to control the individual exterior lights on the truck.

Trailer Theft Alert

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Ford F-150 doesn't just let thieves sneak off in the middle of they night with your trailer unnoticed. The automaker's new trailer theft alert pushes an alert to your mobile device via the FordPass app if the tech senses that the trailer is being unhooked while the truck is locked.

Over-the-air (OTA) updates

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford technology has enabled the F-150 to receive over-the-air technology updates. This means that you won't have to visit the dealership or use a small disc to get the navigation system updated. Also, owners can add features to their model as the technology develops and is made available.

Clamp pockets

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

In the tailgate the F-150 are clamp pockets designed to hold down materials so clean cuts can be made and precision work can be executed.

Built-in bottle opener

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The F-150 is ready to tailgate. The design team added new cleats on the inside of the tailgate that don't just act as tie-down locations - they're also capable of acting as bottle openers.

Tailgate Work Surface

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Buyers can opt for the Tailgate Work Surface, which provides an area with built-in rulers, a mobile device holder, cupholder, and pencil holder. This isn't just good for pros. DIYers and weekend warriors will like the feature too.

All-new interior

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford has put comfort, technology, and functionality in focus in the redesigned cabin. From seats to displays to ergonomics, the company took into account interviews with current and previous-generation F-150 owners when designing the new interior.

Max Recline Seats

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The truck's Max Recline Seats fold flat to nearly 180 degrees, providing plenty of space to lay down, recline to a comfortable position while you wait for your takeout to finish cooking, and provides a fresh configuration for hauling items in the cabin.

Larger digital gauge cluster

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The F-150 is available with a customizable 12.0-inch digital instrument panel. It responds to the truck's selective drive modes and displays data that is helpful for off-roading and towing, as well as turn-by-turn navigation instructions. The easy-to-read screens feature crisp graphics. A 4.0-inch productivity screen is standard in the instrument cluster.

12-inch infotainment display

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford is giving the F-150 an available 12-inch infotainment touch screen located at the center of the dashboard. An 8-inch infotainment touch screen is standard. The Ram 1500 has a similarly sized screen, but that one is vertically oriented as opposed to the horizontally oriented screen in the new F-150.

More standard Ford Co-Pilot360 technologies

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The 2021 Ford F-150 has more driver-assist technologies than what you'll find in other full-size trucks. This includes Active Drive Assist, a new hands-free driving technology. You can see all the technologies in action here.

SYNC 4

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The new SYNC 4 infotainment system is standard. It features hands-free voice control, phone capability, navigation, and other features. The system can connect your smartphone to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto wirelessly. It has twice the computing power as SYNC 3.

Lockable rear under-seat storage

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

This one is pretty straightforward. The available bin below the back seat can be locked for storage security.

Interior work surface

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

This may be one of the niftiest inventions of the F-150. The center console is able to be opened up and used to create a flat surface to work on - a portable desk or table. The truck's shifter folds into a storage area so that it doesn't get in the way.

Trailer light check

2021 Ford F-150

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Using the FordPass app, owners can cycle through the trailer light functions to check to see if any of their lights are out and to ensure that the system is functioning properly. This means that there is no partner required to help with hookup.

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The IIHS may increase the speeds it uses to test advanced driver aids.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently announced that it is considering changing the speeds it uses to test vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention systems. The agency currently tests the systems at 12 and 25 mph, but says that the speeds don't accurately represent the types of crashes the safety tech is meant to prevent.

Front crash preventionwww.youtube.com

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is designed to notify of a possible collision and help respond with automatic application of braking. Just like a human using the brake pedal, it can stop the car, but higher speeds make it difficult to stop in time. The new tests would be conducted at 35 to 45 mph, which is the range where a large number of rear-end crashes occur. As Automotive News noted, an IIHS study showed 43 percent of rear-end crashes occur at speeds of 45 mph or less, so it's important to have a test that shows how well the tech performs at those levels.

A whopping 85 percent of 2022 vehicles earned a "Superior" rating in the current testing regime, so the IIHS will remove it from 2023 testing and Top Safety Pick award evaluations. Their view is that, since the majority of vehicles meet the criteria, it's no longer an accurate way of evaluating performance. In its place, the agency introduced a night test for automatic emergency braking systems that will begin next year.

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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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