By on July 23, 2020


“Do everything better, and don’t be afraid of gimmicks” seems to be the mantra the 2021 Ford F-150‘s development team toiled under. Given the company’s track record with the model, it’s likely a strategy that will pay off.

Optional hybrid power (pricing of which came to light yesterday) and lie-flat front seats are things the F-150’s rivals can’t claim; same goes for on-board factory generators for both hybrid and gas-powered models. As more time passes following the model’s June debut, more secrets are being spilled.

For example, some of the niceties offered on the revamped model won’t arrive until later on, nor will they be an across-the-board option.

According to dealer order guides seen by CarsDirect, the model’s available Max Recline Seats — front buckets made for sleeping — are an affordable $340 addition, though the pricing becomes moot when you learn they’re only be available on King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited examples. A nice-to-have for lofty trims.

Per those guides, the trick seats won’t be immediately available when the new truck shows up this fall.

Another option not available at launch is something we’re already used to seeing: Ford’s 3.0-liter Power Stroke diesel V6. The same guides show that the upgrade engine, good for 250 horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque, is a late-availability option for ’21. At least the price tag hasn’t changed. Like before, going diesel is a $4,995 get when applied to a model with the base 3.3-liter V6. It’s a $3,800 or $3,000 climb, respectively, over a 2.7-liter or 5.0-liter truck.


If the idea of using your truck as a mobile power source appeals to you, you needn’t shell out up to $4,495 for the PowerBoost hybrid drivetrain. While the new Pro Power Onboard 2 kW generator is not quite as capable as the hybrid truck’s 2.4 kW unit (or upgrade 7.2 kW unit), it is usable. And at $995, it’s cheaper than going the hybrid route.

If you do plan to become a hybrid pickup pioneer, powering additional external accessories via the 7.2 kW unit is a $730 charge away.

Speaking of prices, if times aren’t tough in your household, Ford’s elevated upper-tier pricing shouldn’t annoy. For the rest, it shouldn’t surprise. CarsDirect notes that the 2021 F-150 can top $80,000 in the right configuration, with price increases far steeper than those seen with the model’s lesser trims.


Looking at high-end 4×2 Super Cabs, the Lariat starts $1,945 higher than a comparable 2020 model. A ’21 King Ranch in the same layout carries a $3,340 markup, with the Platinum trim ratcheting up the ask by $3,590. Order guides also show the top-flight Limited carrying a slightly more modest increase of $3,090; however, when combined with the newly available hybrid powertrain and a checked 4×4 box, it adds up to a Limited SuperCrew costing more than $78,000.

There are some who’ll want nothing more than to spend this sum. That said, the jury’s out on who’ll want to equip their F-150 with Ford’s Active Drive Assist, a hands-free driver-assist function arriving late in the model year. Apparently it can only be had on Lariat Super Cab and loftier models, and only with a pricey technology package in attendance. According to CarsDirect, the necessary hardware the system needs to function also requires purchase of a towing or 360-degree camera package, further boosting the option’s otherwise sensible price tag.

This means the cheapest model equipped with Active Drive Assist carries a price north of $55k — a serious climb even from a stock Lariat. As additional standard content piles up further up the trim ladder, the system’s actual ask (technically, it’s $995 to activate via an over-the-air update) will drop.

[Images: Ford]

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19 Comments on “2021 Ford F-150 Spills More Secrets...”

  • avatar

    Can’t wait to see a $100,000 pickup in Canada! Wonder if Ford is considering 10 year financing yet.

  • avatar

    The base truck is still around $30k. Or you can add 250% (zoiks!) and get a loaded one.

    • 0 avatar

      With this being the most popular vehicle sold today they want to make sure they cover every possible option.

    • 0 avatar

      Well yeah but the base truck is a whole different other animal. The BMW M3 is also a 250% price bump over the base 3-series, and if you squint a little, most or all of the difference goes away.

  • avatar

    “Max Recline Seats…only available on King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited examples.”

    From the website:
    “Loading bricks. Chopping wood. Baling hay. And after all the hard work? New available Max Recline Seats fold almost completely flat to help you take a well-deserved break.”

    Another shining example of Ford’s proud 117-year tradition of bringing innovation to the masses… /S

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah it’s amazing no other manufacturer has offered reclining seats before.

      Ford Explorer s such an innovator

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Yeah clearly Ford has zero understanding of the pickup truck market. None at all.

      • 0 avatar

        If they did, the F-150 wouldn’t be saddled with archaic technology like leaf springs or high strung, gas guzzling V6s, etc. They wouldn’t need gimmicks to sell like trailer steering or ads that boast about pencil whipped capability ratings. They also wouldn’t rely on fleet dumping.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s a nice feature – my point was more about the availability by trim. Draw a Venn diagram of brick loading/wood chopping/hay baling vs. King Ranch/Platinum/Limited. There are are some people in that union – but there are more outside it.

      I wonder if Lear has been pushing this for awhile.

      And there are other totally legitimate reasons to want fully-reclining seats (beyond hay baling) – but it’s interesting to see how Ford marketing has positioned the feature.

  • avatar

    It seems as if all these gimmicks are just a way to mask the fact this is a very weak realism of the last generation.

    And only Ford would have the arrogance to charge you for seats that recline. Unbelievable

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      The intelligence here is staggering.

      • 0 avatar

        Wow. Dripping with jealousy. I get it though. Sometimes I get jealous of myself

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          Ohhh yeah, that must be it. I must’ve missed in all of the materials about this truck that the base seats are fixed back and don’t recline at all.

          • 0 avatar

            It’s a simple question:

            Is Ford charging money for seats that recline?

            The answer is yes, they are.

            Now tell me where you get lost in that?

          • 0 avatar

            No Ford is not charging extra for seats that recline, they are charging extra for seats that recline more than any other seat on the market and it isn’t just the seat back that moves the base does too.

            Yeah it is a gimmick but gimmicks sell and do so with a nice fat profit.

          • 0 avatar

            “No Ford is not charging extra for seats that recline, they are charging extra for seats that recline…”

            Got it. Thank you

  • avatar

    I missed the fact that they’re going to offer optional on-board generators in these trucks back when they had the rollout.

    You COULD almost live out of one of these, since they’re almost the price of a starter home in some parts of the country! Of course, how much cash will be on the hood even at the start of sales?!

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