Even though 2020 isn’t even here yet, vehicle production schedules mean 2021 models are already out testing. One of these is the 2021 Ford F-150. Camouflaged test mules have already been spotted, and a proposed design rendered, but few concrete details have emerged. However, Motor1 recently obtained some new spy photos, courtesy of a reader. Although Ford has not commented on the photos or the render, Ford Authority has some information to share about the rumored engine.
2021 Ford F-150: What We Know So Far
Previous spy photos have suggested that the 2021 F-150 won’t look too dissimilar to the current truck. It is difficult to say for certain—which is why manufacturers use camouflage techniques in the first place—but several notable design elements appear to have been preserved. Most notably, the notch at the lower part of the front door panels. Mules have also been spotted with extended roof spoilers. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to determine if that’s an intended feature for improved fuel efficiency or just some disguise trim.
Car and Driver has spotted what are apparently two different test vehicles. One, most likely an upscale trim version, had larger 22” wheels and a rear differential resembling the F-150 Raptor’s. At the moment, no publication has yet managed to obtain a clear shot of the interior. However, Ford has confirmed the 2021 F-150 will come with the latest version of the company’s Sync software. Owners will be able to interact with the system using either 12” or optional 15.5” touchscreens. It’s likely higher trim levels of the F-150 will get the larger screen, which tracks with other rumors MotorBiscuit has heard.
There are also no new details about the mules’ suspension. Consumer Reports has criticized the current-gen F-150’s ride, something to which Ford engineers would most likely pay close attention.
Finally, although TFLNow captured video of a 2021 F-150 towing a trailer, nothing has emerged about the truck’s towing or payload capacities. There have been rumors of a 4.8-liter V8 replacing the current 5.0-liter, but as you’ll soon see, that may be all they are.
New 2021 Ford F-150 Photos
The new photos Motor1 received unfortunately do not reveal many new details. According to Motor1, the mule spotted still wears the disguised front fascia of previously spotted trucks. However, the new photos do show what Motor1 presume to be 22” wheels, supporting at least in part what Car and Driver had previously gleaned.
Also, the reader didn’t have any information about what could be under the 2021 F-150’s hood. But it probably won’t be a 4.8-liter V8.
2021 Ford F-150 4.8-Liter V8 Miscommunication?
Although Car and Driver suggested a 4.8-liter replacement for the current 5.0-liter V8 was possible, and Motor1 has alleged rumors of potential power figures, it appears news of a 4.8-liter V8 were greatly exaggerated. Or rather, potentially mistaken.
Ford Authority had also reported rumors of a 4.8-liter V8 in the past. However, the site has since clarified these rumors. Allegedly, the initial rumors stem from a Reuters news report. In 2016, Reuters reported that Ford was investing $447 million into the company’s Windsor, Ontario engine plants. Part of this investment, according to two anonymous sources, was for updating the 5.0-liter V8 built at the Essex Engine Plant. Reuters claimed that this update was “expected to be a 4.8-liter V8 for the F-150 pickup truck.”
Ford Authority has now reported that this statement was incorrect. The site claims that while the investment was used to update the 5.0-liter engine, no 4.8-liter version was ever planned. Instead, part of the money was used to give the existing V8 direct fuel injection.
Ford Authority did not provide a source for this information. And as of now, Ford still has not officially commented on these rumors or photos. But, with Ford’s position in the truck market looking increasingly insecure, the 2021 F-150 is going to be under increasing scrutiny.