Things are starting to look up for the Blue Oval. Their stock saw a slight bump in value, which was much needed from a Wall Street perspective. I’m not here to get into the financials of Ford though.
With only a few minor issues, production of the 2020 Ford F-150 is back up and running. At maximum Ford can produce one F-150 every minute. That will certainly help solve any inventory shortage for the remaining 13th-generation F-150, and it will go a long way in helping to close the gap GM had gained on Ford in sales so far in 2020.
And, as I reported, the next-generation F-150 will be officially revealed to the world on June 25. We’ve all waited a long time to see the 2021 F-150. We will finally get to see what it officially looks like, what engines it will have, what trims it might have and everything else pertinent. No more speculation! Hallelujah!
As we wait for the big reveal, I compiled a list of things I want to see carried over from the 13th Generation to the 14th generation and also some things I’d like to see end with the 13th Generation.
3 Things I Want To See Carried Over from the 13th Generation F-150 to the 2021 F-150
1.) Aluminum Body – When Ford decided to put an aluminum body on the F-150 it was a bold, high-risk move. While the competition beat them up a little with some silly and absurd tests (one involving dumping gravel from the sky, as if that scenario would ever really be practical). But the truth be told, switching to aluminum was the right move for Ford.
General Motors followed suit by adding “mixed materials” (aka aluminum) to “exterior swing panels” (doors and tail gate). In doing so, GM dropped 450 lbs. in weight from the Silverado.
Ford proved to be the leader in this, and while GM’s aluminum use isn’t an apples to apples comparison to the F-150s, it shows that dropping weight can be done, with little to no negative outcome for the customer.
In fact, in doing so, the 13th-generation, aluminum-based F-150 was Ford’s most fuel-efficient pickup truck. Even with low gas prices, that is incredibly important.
As we know, Ford is also set to launch a hybrid version of the F-150 for the 2021 model year, proving that fuel efficiency is a vital part of the truck’s long-term vision. I for one, don’t mind the lighter truck. I think it drives nicer and feels just a little more agile from the older, heavier trucks. I look forward to further weight reductions and more fuel-efficient technology in the next-generation F-150.
2.) Wide range of trims from basic to King Ranch. One of the biggest criticisms I hear is “who can afford today’s trucks”. And to be honest, there’s merit to that. A King Ranch F-150 can exceed $75,000. Even with aggressive financing, that’s almost a house payment for a pickup truck.
So what I hope Ford continues to do is provide a scope of trims that cover basic truck needs for those who seek the F-150 as a work truck, to those weekend warriors who love luxury in a truck.
Ford would be wise to not only continue having multiple trims and multiple options, but to almost turn ordering the 2021 F-150 into an ala carte type of process. Let the consumer pick and choose what they do and don’t want. Ford has made advances in that with the current generation and hopefully they expand upon that with the next generation.
3.) Underseat storage. One of the best trends in the pickup truck segment is multiple storage capabilities. Every truck has their own little niche of storage capabilities. The current F-150 has tremendous underseat storage options.
Ford’s primary competitors (Toyota, GM and Ram) all have their own iterations of interior storage. It’s clearly important to the American truck-buying consumer. Ford would be wise to not only continue this from the current generation but to take it even further for the 14th-generation.
3 Things I Don’t Want To See Carried Over from the 13th Generation F-150 to the 2021 F-150
1.) Sync 3. I admit that Ford made a huge improvement with the third iteration of their infotainment system. And I do like Sync 3. But it does have some limitations.
I briefly experienced Sync 4 in some prototypes and absolutely fell in love with that interface and it’s user-friendly technology. I first reported that Sync 4 is coming to the Mustang Mach-E and many other vehicles. Ford wouldn’t commit fully that Sync 4 was coming to the F-150, but I’d bet good money it will have Sync 4.
And it will likely integrate with over-the-air updates, which we also know will be a big part of the next generation. That plus a 12-15-inch touchscreen means, big exciting technology for the interior, and that makes me very excited, as I love technology.
2.) Gimmicky tailgate. The current-generation F-150 doesn’t really have a gimmicky tailgate like the GMC Sierra does. But there’s been rumors that the next-generation will have some more advanced tailgate technology.
I’m fine with updating the tailgate and making it even better. I love the tailgate in the Ram 1500 where it can drop down or swing out. To me, that’s intuitive and smart, without being gimmicky. It will be interesting to see what Ford has in mind when it comes to the tailgate of the 2021 F-150.
3.) 3.0-liter diesel engine. I first reported that this engine was on life support with very poor sales.
While I have an appreciation for the technology and see the merit (on paper) for this engine, Ford is not that financially stable to continue manufacturing an engine that is just not widely sought by the consumer.
To me, this is an engine that needs to be dropped from the lineup. From what we’ve learned, it will still stick around for the 2021 model year, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it doesn’t last the duration of the 14th-generation.
Okay, there’s my list, now I want to hear yours. What do you want to see carried over and what do you hope Ford doesn’t carry over for the 2021 F-150? Leave me a comment with your ideas.
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.