When people think of hybrids they think of pokey little Toyota Prius-like vehicles. So when it was first reported that Ford was putting a hybrid engine in the 14th generation F-150, there were skeptics to say the least. But the more I read about it and the more I read the tea leaves, the 2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid is not anything like a Prius, as a I reported a couple weeks ago.
In fact, if the average truck buyer would look at the hybrid F-150 with an open mind and look at the numbers that matter, they may just be won over. But, knowing what I know about the truck consumer, this will be a hard sell for Ford – although it shouldn’t be.
Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of the 2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid.
3.5-liter Powerboost hybrid powertrain
Ford has raised the bar and pushed the envelope when they advanced their six-cylinder Ecoboost technology. Of course this engine was and is, met with derision by some of the old-school “my truck must be a V8 crowd.” Truth be told there’s no swaying those folks.
And thankfully, Ford is still a V8 engine for the 14th generation F-150 to appeal to those buyers too. But the mating a hybrid powertrain with the ultra-powerful ultra-efficient Ecoboost stalwart seems like a win-win to me.
The all-new 3.5-liter PowerBoost full hybrid V6 powertrain is targeted to deliver the most torque and horsepower of any light-duty full-size pickup. And, even better, it’s available on every trim level of the 2021 F-150 from XL to Limited. This is the first full-size pickup to have a full hybrid system.
Showing that it’s no Prius, will deliver at least 12,000 pounds of available maximum towing. Additionally, PowerBoost combines Ford’s proven EcoBoost engine and 10-speed SelectShift® automatic transmission with a 35-kilowatt (47-horsepower) electric motor integrated into the transmission, as well as software calibrated specially for truck use, including drive modes like tow/haul mode to help customers better manage towing heavy trailers.
What Is The Fuel Economy For The Hybrid Ford F-150?
The electric motor assist not only boosts the torque, but according to Ford, it is targeting an EPA-estimated range of approximately 700 miles on a single tank of gas. And it doesn’t require a charge or to be plugged in.
Projected EPA calculated range. Actual range will vary. Final EPA-estimated ratings available later in the 2020 calendar year.
Mixed Reviews Of The Hybrid F-150
As Ford revealed the 2021 F-150 last night, the initial response regarding the hybrid was mixed amongst critics and definitely lukewarm amongst fans of the Blue Oval. But, I’m here to say that the hybrid F-150 is revolutionary and is a game changer for Ford. Just as Ford shook things up when they changed to an aluminum body with the last generation, adding a hybrid, and eventually an all-electric F-150 will shake up the industry again.
I respect Ford for moving the envelope and challenging the truck market. There will be grousing, there will be complainers. There always will be. But this quote from Craig Schmatz, an engineer who worked on the 14th-generation F-150, says it well.
“We see it as our duty to deliver not just what our customers want and need, but what they might have never thought possible,” said Schmatz.
It may not be the truck you wanted, but give it a chance, and it might just be the truck you really like.
What say you? I want to hear from the old schoolers who will likely reject this truck, but I also want to hear from the open-minded truck buyer too. Is this a contender for you? Leave me a comment.
Jimmy Dinsmore has been an automotive journalist for more than a decade and been a writer since the high school. His Driver’s Side column features new car reviews and runs in several newspapers throughout the country. He is also co-author of the book “Mustang by Design” and “Ford Trucks: A Unique Look at the Technical History of America’s Most Popular Truck”. Also, Jimmy works in the social media marketing world for a Canadian automotive training aid manufacturing company. Follow Jimmy on Facebook, Twitter, at his special Ford F-150 coverage on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can read the most of Jimmy's stories by searching Torque News Ford for daily Ford vehicle report.