When the next Ford F-150 arrives on American roads, you'll recognize it immediately even if you can't see the emblem on its grille. The company published a preview image that reveals the truck's LED lighting signature.
Posted on Twitter, the blacked-out photo is our first official look at the next-generation F-150 due out for the 2021 model year. It confirms the front end receives two pairs of LEDs that create the outline of a rectangle when lit. The top bars frame the headlights and stretch into the grille, while the lower bars underline the fog lights.
Our spies have regularly sent us images of camouflaged F-150 test mules taken all over the United States, so we have a decent idea of what to expect from the truck, and the preview image reveals nothing that we don't already know. It wears a tall hood with sculpted sides, vertical headlights, and rectangular mirrors. Its design is more of an evolution than a revolution, but Ford hinted it's making significant changes under the body panels.
Following a convoluted trail of leaked documents, patent filings, insider indiscretions, and spy shots leads us to several nuggets of unofficial information about the new F-150. It will allegedly offer a much bigger screen for the infotainment system, a fully digital instrument cluster, a sleeper seat for the front passenger, and an on-board generator capable of powering tools and toys far off the grid. The list of electronic driving aids will grow, too.
On the powertrain front, the F-150 will launch with familiar six- and eight-cylinder engines, including a twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter V6, a 3.0-liter turbodiesel V6, and a 5.0-liter V8. Rear-wheel drive and a 10-speed automatic transmission will come standard, and four-wheel drive will be offered at an extra cost. Ford has confirmed plug-in hybrid and electric variants will join the line-up a little bit later in the production run. At the other end of the spectrum, the mighty, desert-taming Raptor will return and it might get its V8 back.
Ford will introduce the next-generation F-150 online on June 25. The event starts at 8 pm eastern time, which is 5 pm in California. Production will begin in September, and the first examples will arrive on dealer lots in the fall. The F-150 has been America's best-selling vehicle for the past 38 years, and it's hugely profitable, so it's one of 2020's most important new car launches. It will be joined in showrooms by the hotly-anticipated 2021 Bronco, which is scheduled to make its debut on July 9. We may learn more about it during the F-150's unveiling, though.