Edmonton Sun - - DRIVING - MATTHEW GUY Driv­

Ear­lier this year, Ford showed off the re­designed 2021 F-150, set to hit deal­er­ships this fall. At the time, we learned about its new gee-whiz tech and stud­ied its kinda-sorta new styling from ev­ery an­gle. Now, we have de­tails about the 2021 pow­er­trains — all six of them.

Given the ever-es­ca­lat­ing horse­power and torque wars among the Detroit Three in terms of their prof­itable half-ton trucks, we ex­pected a hike in to­tal out­put on F-150’s most pop­u­lar engines, and Ford didn’t dis­ap­point. For tra­di­tion­al­ists, the ven­er­a­ble 5.0-litre V-8 gets a bump of five horse­power and 10 pound-feet of torque, up to 400 hp and 410 lb-ft of twist. The 3.5-L EcoBoost V-6 is also rated at 400 hp — a jump of 25 hp — but checks in at a tow­er­ing 500 lb-ft of grunt. That’s 30 more than last year.

Putting the EcoBoost V-6 and tra­di­tional V- 8 on the same foot­ing in terms of horse­power re­moves one of the few re­main­ing log­i­cal rea­sons to opt for the oc­topot — save for the ex­haust roar, which will al­ways sound bet­ter than a blown V-6. Is the Blue Oval set­ting us up for a fu­ture where we won’t be able to buy a Ford truck with eight cylin­ders? Check back in about five years.

Speak­ing of the fu­ture, Ford ini­tially an­nounced the first-ever fac­tory hy­brid pow­er­train for F-150 a cou­ple of months ago. Its specs are very ro­bust: the 3.5- L Pow­erBoost full hy­brid draws a line in the sand by check­ing in as the most pow­er­ful F-150 for now, mak­ing 430 hp and 570 lb-ft of torque.

Not only does it de­liver the most torque ever in an F-150, its stan­dard Pro Power On­board fea­ture brings ex­portable power that lets you run tools and the like. The stan­dard kit pro­vides 2.4 kW of power, but op­tions ex­ist to juice this to 7.2 kW — enough to power 28 aver­age re­frig­er­a­tors. Doc Brown, your truck is ready.

With all this extra power, you would ex­pect top tow­ing and pay­load num­bers have also gone up — and you’d be ab­so­lutely cor­rect. Max­i­mum con­ven­tional tow­ing rises to a stag­ger­ing 14,000 pounds, a num­ber that was solely the do­main of heavy duty pick­ups not that many years ago. As a bonus, this num­ber doesn’t show up only on some weird sin­gle-cab spec that no one buys.

Cer­tain two-wheel-drive Su­perCabs and Su­perCrews, when equipped with the 3.5-L EcoBoost V-6, are good for the 14,000-pound fig­ure when equipped with ei­ther a 3.55 or 3.73 rear end, de­pend­ing on the ap­pli­ca­tion.

Good news for those of us who pre­fer four- wheel drive: these same trucks lose only 100 to 200 pounds of con­ven­tional tow­ing ca­pac­ity. A 3.5-L EcoBoost Su­perCrew 4x4 short box, for ex­am­ple, which is a very pop­u­lar com­bi­na­tion, can tow 13,900 pounds when equipped with the Max Trailer Tow pack­age.

Ford went ahead and rated the new Pow­erBoost hy­brid as well. De­pend­ing on axle ra­tio and cab con­fig­u­ra­tion, con­ven­tional tow­ing maxes out be­tween 11,000 and 12,700 lbs. The pop­u­lar body style listed in the above ex­am­ple can haul a max­i­mum of 12,400 lbs. when op­tioned cor­rectly.

Given the amount of elec­tric­ity this pow­er­train can pro­vide to house­hold ap­pli­ances, and its propen­sity for tow­ing heavy loads, the F-150 Pow­erBoost should prove to be very pop­u­lar with week­end campers and RV own­ers. How­ever, please view all of these max tow­ing ratings with a crit­i­cal eye.

Pay­load is an im­por­tant part of the tow­ing mix, be­cause roughly 10 per cent of the trailer’s weight rests on the hitch and counts to­ward the pay­load mass. The Pow­erBoost ex­am­ple given above has a pay­load rat­ing of just over 1,800 lbs. If you con­nected a maxweight trailer, it would leave less than 600 lbs. for passengers and cargo.

The num­bers are much more favourable for EcoBoost, where our ex­am­ple truck has a max­i­mum pay­load rat­ing of 2,640 lbs. when prop­erly equipped. With a 13,000- lb. trailer lashed to its hitch, there is still 1,340 lbs. of pay­load ca­pac­ity left for peo­ple and their stuff — a much more re­al­is­tic num­ber.

If you’re still with us af­ter that bl­iz­zard of num­bers, give your­self a gold star. We’ll have a full road test of the 2021 F-150 later this year.


The 2021 Ford F-150 will come with a choice of six power plants. They range from a tra­di­tional 5.0 litre V-8 to the 3.5-L EcoBoost V-6 full hy­brid.

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