Trucks & SUVs

The 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost Can Boogie

 The Ford Raptor has been the focus of the muscle-truck world for quite a while. It is dramatic, sporty, tough, and capable. Although it is the poster child for the tough-guy truck fans, it only has 20 more horsepower than the new 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost hybrid. This unflared out, non-dramatic work truck has just about topped the list of power trucks. 

How powerful is the 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost?

As seen on MotorTrend, the new Ford hybrid starts with a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 EcoBoost engine with a ten-speed automatic transmission. Paired with the V6 is a 44-hp, 221-lb-ft electric motor that makes 430 hp and 570 lb-ft of torque. Compared to the fan-favorite Raptor, the F-150 PowerBoost is only 20 hp behind it but beat it by 60 lb-ft of torque. All this power and torque makes the massive work truck run 0-60 mph in just 5.3 seconds. 

Where does the PowerBoost fit in the F-series lineup?

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The PowerBoost comes equipped with sport mode that engages the auto-four-wheel-drive function. As to be excepted by any pickup truck, the 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost couldn’t do much other than spin tires when in rear-wheel-drive mode. Compared to the rest of the F-150 lineup, the PowerBoost’s 0-60 mph is pretty outstanding. MotorTrend lays out the other F-series models as follows; “the base 3.3-liter, 3.0-liter diesel, and 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 engines, to 6.3 for the V-8 and 6.1 seconds for the gas-only 375-hp/470-lb-ft 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6.”

The 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost has some weak spots

The PowerBoost makes a shift from vacuum brakes to electric power brakes. MotorTrend says the brake feel still needs a little work. Ford set out to blend friction braking with regenerative braking, which didn’t fully land. The pedal is reported to feel stiff and not nearly as dynamic as it should. The lack of linear application makes any sort of dynamic braking hard to pull off without jerking the driver around. 

The PowerBoost can get around a corner surprisingly well 

The 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost can throw itself around the twisties with surprising grace. This is not the Raptor. However, the F-150 PowerBoost is still a big, heavy work truck, yet the body roll and suspension stay tight and flat around corners. While the steering is still a bit loose, the motion is perfectly linear and predictable. Lastly, the ride on a pickup (particularly empty ones) can be pretty jarring with the heavy-duty suspension that most of them come with. The 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost’s ride is surprisingly smooth even with a light load. 

A grey 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost towing a boat on highway
2021 Ford F-150 towing a boat | Photo via Ford

How does the hybrid power system help efficiency 

Remember the big horsepower number? This is an over 5k lb truck making 430 hp, and the EPA says it should get a combined 24 mpg. I’d say the little electric motor is lending quite the hand to the V6. That is the same EPA rating as a base Ford Fusion. 

The Ecofriendly vibes don’t end there

As I said, unlike the Raptor or other fast pickups, the 2021 F-150 PowerBoost is an actual work truck that is also pretty fast. This new F-150 comes with a built-in generator.

This is the best idea any truck has ever had. The MT tester says he ran an electric heater while working with a chainsaw and the truck’s motor only turns over to power the generator intermittently. The generator has a ton of handy features like a simple on-off switch, low-power outlets, and safety alerts for when the engine might start if you are working inside—what a strong feature for any utility vehicle.