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  • SPIED: Updated 2021 Ford F-150

SPIED: Updated 2021 Ford F-150

Minor Cosmetic Tweaks Hide Redesigned Interior, Electrified Powertrains

May 9, 2019
Photographers: SpiedBilde
Ford will likely update the F-150 pickup for 2021, giving it slight exterior alterations but significant updates elsewhere. Spotted in suburban Detroit today, the 2021 Ford F-150 is already out and about undergoing product testing.

Nip/Tuck Technic

Photo 2/26   |   2021 Ford F 150 Spied Front Quarter 05

While exterior alterations look to be kept to a minimum, Ford validation engineers clearly went to great lengths to hide the new truck's front and rear ends, suggesting there should be a slightly new design to the grille and tailgate, as well as updated lighting elements. Squint and you'll notice a more angular, technological headlight contour where it meets the grille—we bet the look will ape the recently revealed Ford F-Series Super Duty refresh. Around back, expect the same subtle enhancements, and aside from new wheel designs, we doubt the side view will alter at all.

Photo 3/26   |   2021 Ford F 150 Spied Rear Quarter 01
While we couldn't get a clear look at the interior, the smart money is to bet it will receive a more significant update. Ford's once-state-of-the-art cabin is now looking a bit outclassed next to the 2019 Ram 1500 and its available 12-inch Uconnect touchscreen, so don't be surprised to see a bit more tech in the 2021 Ford F-150 than before. There should also be plenty of luxury on offer as well, possibly including a bucket seat option for the rear.
Photo 4/26   |   2021 Ford F 150 Spied Rear Quarter Details

Modern Power

And finally, there should be no doubt that Ford will update the F-150's roster of engines and transmissions. We think the 10-speed automatic will become the default option for an F-150, even in models powered by the base 3.3L V-6. And Ford will likely give the 2021 F-150 updated EcoBoost V-6 engines—could the 3.0L twin-turbo replace the 2.7L as the one-rung-up engine?
Our sources also suggest Ford will jettison the optional 5.0L V-8, replaced instead by a unit displacing 4.8 liters and possibly light-pressure-turbocharged for improved power and torque. While we'll be sad to see the five-oh ride off into the sunset, a powerful turbo V-8 would make for a hilariously energetic top-spec option, making up to 500 hp in Raptor and Limited trim levels.
Photo 5/26   |   2021 Ford F 150 Spied Front End

Also on the horizon for Ford's volume seller are a variety of electrified powertrains. Expect a 48V mild hybrid to be the first addition, using a starter/generator to provide regenerative braking, optimized engine idle stop, and slight torque addition in certain situations. Next will likely be a plug-in hybrid, with a large battery array situated between the rear seat and the cabin bulkhead that could give the F-150 a 15-mile electric-only range. And coming near the end of the F-150's current product cycle will be a fully electric pickup, offering around 200 miles of range and all the towing and hauling capability one might need. An EV truck probably wouldn't make sense to most consumers until electric charging stations proliferate more, but for urban delivery companies, utilities providers, and other short-haul fleet companies, an all-electric pickup might be an ideal way to modernize and reduce fuel consumption.
Expect the 2021 F-150 to bow as early as the 2020 North American International Auto Show next June, although it could wait till later that year or even arrive sometime in 2021 as a late-model-year entrant.
Source: SpiedBilde Photography

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