Usability was an engineering focus.
Pickup tailgates have been a major area of innovation in the truck segment in recent years. The 2019 GMC Sierra was forward-thinking with its Multipro tech, and the Ram 1500 then arrived with the Multifunction design that could open outward like barn doors. Ford opted for a different, somewhat more traditional layout with the new F-150.
"What we saw from our customers is that there is a lot of usage on and around the tailgate. In the feedback we received, usability was a key element," F-150 engineering manager Dawn Piechocki told Ford Authority.
Don't think the F-150's tailgate is old-fashioned, it's just that the focus is on different things. The available Tailgate Work Surface offers a space for jobs like cutting lumber and making measurements. There are even dedicated spots for C-clamps to prevent damage like on previous generations of Ford's pickup.
Gallery: 2021 Ford F-150
"Many customers used tailgate for projects, whether it [is] construction or DIY, working, helping with community. These improvements made sense compared to a different or more radical tailgate," Piechocki told Ford Authority.
The other cool feature in the F-150's bed is also near the tailgate. The Pro Power Onboard generator offers 2.0 kW of electrical capacity on gas-powered trucks. The Hybrid model has a standard output of 2.4 kW or 7.2 kW as an option. Even the least powerful version can make tailgating easy by powering things like a TV, portable speakers, and even an electric heater to keep warm. The 7.2-kW version even has a 240-volt outlet.
Inside, the new F-150 has even more nifty features. For example, the gearshift can fold away, and a work surface can take its place. When it's time to rest, there are Max Recline seats that can recline to nearly 180 degrees.