The Petersen Automotive Museum displays Ford’s limited production “Liquid Carbon” supercar. When you read the story about the Petersen Automotive Museum’s display of the 2021 Ford Bronco design prototype, you may have noticed that Ford’s resurrected SUV was sharing lobby floor space with a remarkably contrasting vehicle. The second-generation Ford GT is one of the wildest designs to wear the Blue Oval badge—and the special Liquid Carbon edition takes it one big step further.
Available hybrid option
Thoughtful exterior design
Desert-shredding Raptor model
Disappointing brake feel on the hybrid
Not as luxurious as the Ram 1500
The F-Series pickup is Ford's best-selling vehicle by a country mile, so a new F-150 is a big deal. That's exactly what we have on our hands for 2021, as Ford reveals the 14th-generation F-150, replacing its predecessor that was introduced for the 2015 model year. There's a new Raptor, too. The F-150 sits above the Ranger and below Super Duty F-Series trucks. Upon its release, the new truck will compete with the Ram 1500, Chevrolet Silverado, Toyota Tundra, and Nissan Titan.
2021 Ford F-150 sets the bar even higher
If you thought the old Ford F-150 was impressive, wait until you get a load of this.Arguably the biggest news this year is the availability of an onboard generator, something that came in handy earlier this year when a good chunk of Texas was without power. My test truck has a 2-kilowatt generator with two 120-volt, 20-amp outlets, which is perfect for tailgating or running smaller tools on a job site. A 2.4-kW generator is standard on F-150 PowerBoost hybrid models, and a larger 7.2-kW generator is optional, with four 120-volt, 20-amp outlets, and one 240-volt, 30-amp plug. Ford says you could set up a mobile welding shop with this much juice.
The F-150 is fully redesigned for 2021
PowerBoost Hybrid V-6
10-speed automatic replaces six-speed
The Raptor returns
What We Think
Although it's not as posh as the Ram 1500, there's a lot to like about the new F-150. Along with impressive technologies, the Ford F-150 has a wide range of powertrains, including a capable new hybrid. In our First Test of this variant, we praised its strong handling and body control, as well as its linear steering. It's also quick—acceleration is on par with the previous-gen F-150 Raptor. Unfortunately, a wooden brake feel marred the overall driving experience. That said, we were quite impressed with the mobile generator that was able to power our space heater and chain saw.
As before, the F-150 is available with a twin-turbo 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6, which seems powerful and capable enough for all but the toughest jobs. Our test team recorded slight improvements in acceleration and handling compared to previous F-150 trucks with this engine—and even slightly quicker than a V-8-equipped 2021 F-150.
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Ford says the new F-150 Lightning EV pickup is the smartest truck the company has ever made. It also happens to have the full weight of Ford’s electric future riding on its battery-laden frame. Sure, the Mach-E was a nice place to start, but the electric F-150 is the true litmus test for Ford. Can Dearborn build an electric truck that's authentic to the brand's heritage, equally as capable as its gas counterparts, and appealing to hardcore truck fans? Only time will tell.
Nevertheless, when we tested a V-8 equipped F-150, we were also impressed with its acceleration and handling. One of our favorite things about the truck that the V-6 can't match? Its delicious engine note has some clear Mustang influence. Our test team noted significant dive under hard braking, however.
We're most looking forward to spending time with the 2021 F-150 Raptor, not to mention the not-yet-revealed V-8 Raptor R set to square off against the Truck of the Year winning Ram TRX.
2021 Ford F-150 Configurations
Like the truck it's replacing, the 2021 F-150 will be offered in a multitude of cab and bed configurations. You'll be able to order the new truck with a Regular Cab, SuperCab, or SuperCrew passenger cabin; seating capacity ranges from three to six passengers.
Likewise for cargo, the new F-150 can be had with multiple bed lengths. Regular and SuperCab models offer 6.5-ft and 8.0-ft bed options, whereas SuperCrew examples are available with a 5.5-ft or a 6.5-ft bed.
Timberline off-road sub-brand makes debut on 2021 Ford Explorer
Timberline is a new Ford SUV sub-brand that gives its customers more off-road capabilitiesInterestingly, Ford research indicates a growing number of these SUV buyers are taking their vehicles off road. They’re not using them for extreme rock bashing – Ford has several models, such as the new Bronco, the F-150 Raptor and its Tremor lineup of trucks, that are capable of rugged off-road thrashing – but these weekend adventure seekers are getting off the beaten path to access camping sites, fishing holes, kayaking and other outdoor activities.
Raptor models are available in a SuperCrew configuration with a 5.5-ft bed.
Among Ford's many engine choices is a new hybrid V-6. All engines are paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. RWD is standard and 4WD is optional.
3.3-liter naturally aspirated V-6 — 290 hp / 265 lb-ft
2.7-liter twin-turbo V-6 — 325 hp / 400 lb-ft
5.0-liter naturally aspirated V-8 — 400 hp / 410 lb-ft
3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 — 400 hp / 500 lb-ft
3.0-liter turbodiesel V-6 — 250 hp / 440 lb-ft
3.5-liter hybrid twin-turbo V-6 — 430 hp / 570 lb-ft
The wait is over: the formidable F-150 Raptor has returned. Ford developed a new five-link rear suspension specifically for the desert runner, promising improved high-speed performance off the beaten path. New Fox shocks are the largest ever for the Raptor, and are designed to react even faster to terrain changes.
For the first time, Ford is making the Raptor available with either 35-inch or massive 37-inch tires. Under the hood, a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 will deliver 450 hp and 510 lb-ft, the same as the previous Raptor. Ford expects the Raptor to travel more than 500 miles on a tank of gas. For even more power (but likely less driving range), look for a higher-performance, Ram TRX-fighting Raptor R as part of the 2022 Ford F-150 lineup.
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The amount of interior and cargo volume on offer depends on your cab and bed combo. Although Regular Cab examples only seat three across the front bench, SuperCab and SuperCrew F-150s can seat five or six with two rows of seating. In terms of cargo capacity, the 5.5-, 6.5-, and 8.0-ft beds hold 52.8, 62.3, and 77.4 cubic feet of volume, respectively.
Towing and Hauling
Maximum towing capacity for the 2021 F-150 is provided by the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine, which can pull up to 14,000 pounds in RWD SuperCab configuration with the Max Trailer Tow package. The F-150's maximum payload capacity of 3,325 pounds is enabled by models with the 5.0-liter V-8 in regular cab, RWD, eight-foot bed configuration. Here's how much the F-150 can tow and haul with each of its engines.
2021 Ford F-150 Maximum Towing Capacity
3.3-liter V-6: 8,200 lbs
2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6: 10,100 lbs
5.0-liter V-8: 13,000 lbs
3.0-liter Power Stroke V-6, turbo-diesel: 12,100 lbs
3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6: 14,000 lbs
3.5-liter PowerBoost V-6, hybrid: 12,700 lbs
2021 Ford F-150 Maximum Payload Capacity
3.3-liter V-6: 1,985 lbs
2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6: 2,480 lbs
5.0-liter V-8: 3,325 lbs
3.0-liter Power Stroke V-6, turbo-diesel: 1,840 lbs
3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6: 3,250 lbs
3.5-liter PowerBoost V-6, hybrid: 2,120 lbs
The 2021 F-150 will come standard with an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment display and a 12.0-inch display is available on higher trims. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included on all models. Running Ford's newest infotainment software, Sync 4, the F-150 will also have the capability for over-the-air updates. For you audiophiles out there, Ford will also offer multiple premium audio options with up to 18 speakers.
Ford Tremor vs. Raptor: What’s the Difference Between These Off-Road Pickups?
If you go with the 2021 F-150 Raptor, a 12.0-inch digital gauge cluster and 12.0-inch touchscreen infotainment display are standard.
More on the 2021 F-150:
2021 Ford F-150 Trim Levels: What You'll Get From Every Version
2021 Ford F-150 vs. Chevy Silverado 1500, Ram 1500: How the Big Three's Specs Compare
2021 Ford F-150 First Look: Best-Selling Truck Gets a Stealth Redesign
2021 Ford F-150: Maximum Towing and Payload Capacities
Chevrolet Silverado 1500
GMC Sierra 1500
2021 Ford F-150 Raptor First Drive: The Original Baja-Ready Pickup Returns .
The Ford F-150 Raptor enters its third generation for 2021 with much the same muscled-up, off-road-ready full-size pickup recipe it has deployed to much effect—and, until the recent introduction of Ram’s 1500 TRX, without any competition since 2011. That continuity doesn’t mean Ford hasn’t improved things. The latest Raptor gets an all-new five-link rear suspension, next-generation Fox shocks, and optional 37-inch factory tires.