A CNET reviewer tested out one of Ford’s newest King Ranch trims, but it wasn’t a typical Ford F-150 truck. It’s the PowerBoost we’ve been waiting for. What is the PowerBoost, what will it come with, and will it gain any attention? Let’s look at what CNET had to say.
What exactly is the PowerBoost?
Ford’s F-Series pickups have always run on gasoline engines or, at times, diesel. The newest offering is a bit of a surprise, though. Ford’s 2021 F-150 now has the PowerBoost, a hybrid powertrain.
You don’t typically see hybrid pickup trucks. In fact, it’s only just recently that all-electric truck designs began. The PowerBoost runs on a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine paired with a 35 kW electric motor and a 1.5 kWh battery. CNET’s reviewer felt the acceleration time for his King Ranch trim model had to be around 5 seconds for a 0-to-60 run.
The tester hybrid model can go approximately 700 miles before you have to fuel up again. Fuel economy ratings for the hybrid Ford F-150 are about 24 mpg on city roads and highways, which is much better than the traditional truck’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost.
What else does the PowerBoost come with?
The PowerBoost comes with many features found in traditional gas-electric trucks have. Ford isn’t skimpy on the interiors of its pickups. The same is true of the hybrid. Leather material is used throughout the cabin and looks luxuriously rich. Everything is high-quality.
On the lower trim levels, you’ll find an 8-inch touchscreen displaying the brand’s Sync 4 system. The higher trims get a 12-inch display with the infotainment unit. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available features on the Ford F-150.
Each trim has the over-the-air update technology. Anytime the system’s software or hardware needs a patch or update, Ford can send them wirelessly to the pickup’s computer without the need to set up any appointments.
The biggest issue the hybrid has is the added weight from the battery and electric motor technology. This, unfortunately, reduces payload and towing ratings.
Ford rates some F-150s with a 12,400-pound towing capacity, about 1,500 pounds lighter than the regular gas engine models. The payload capacity for the hybrid is about 270 pounds lighter than that of the traditional truck.
Will it satisfy most Ford F-150 owners?
Other hybrid trucks have tried to gain ground in the pickup market, but they have yet to spark enough interest to warrant continued production. The Ford F-150 PowerBoost could be the exception to the rule.
Sure, it has impressive fuel economy and can go far on one fill-up. With this pickup, small things can make big impacts, like wind and road noise. Those annoyances are greatly reduced in the PowerBoost over the traditional truck.
The combined gas and electric motors allow the PowerBoost to generate 430 hp and 570 lb-ft of torque, which is the most powerful engine on a Ford F-150. Surprisingly, it beats out the diesel, the king of motors.
Another feature that will grab pickup enthusiasts’ attention is Pro Power Onboard, a built-in generator. It will come with a couple of outlets located in the cabin and the truck bed. This will allow you to plug in your favorite items for road trips, off-road camping, or backyard parties.
This system will offer four 120-volt outlets, the same as what you have in your home, along with one 240-volt hookup. You’ll get enough power to run a small construction site, according to CNET’s reviewer. Of course, the generator option isn’t exclusive to the hybrid, but it seems more appealing when paired with all the hybrid features.
The PowerBoost, Ford’s F-150 hybrid model, looks to be an attention-getter in the pickup market. Not everyone will consider buying one because of its towing capacity, but others will be interested in the fuel savings.