April 8, 2020

When it comes to modern truck design, technology is becoming just as important as out-and-out performance and capability. Now, thanks to these photos posted on F-150 Gen-14 forums, we get a chance to take a closer look at the interior, where we can see some of the technology that will make its way into the next-generation Ford F-150.

Specifically, the poster calls these out as the Lariat trim — as evidenced by the leather dashboard emblem shown below. These photos show a major departure from the current truck, which is certainly no bad thing. Ram moved the goal posts with its latest generation trucks when it comes to interior look and feel. The current crop of F-150s, as popular as they are, just aren’t on the same level when it comes to remarkable displays of technology like the 12-inch screen Ram uses.

From these photos, though, that’s about to change. For reference, here’s the current F-150 interior to compare to the spy shot above and how it compares to the competition from Toyota, Nissan, Ram and Chevrolet:

The next-generation F-150 looks like it will move leaps and bounds beyond the current generation, shown here. [Photo: Ford]

Right now, the largest touchscreen you can get in an F-150 measures out to 8 inches. The 2021 Ford F-150 Lariat stands to get a much larger touchscreen — at least 13 inches or so, judging by the photo above. It also looks like a much sharper, crisper display with a glossy touchscreen, in contrast to the SYNC 3 system that’s available now. That won’t help with fingerprints, mind you, but it should make the truck feel less plasticky and more upscale to match Ram’s interior, among its other competition. If the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe is anything to go by, GM’s trucks also stand to take on a major interior refresh in their next generation of half-ton trucks.

As you’d expect, the new F-150 does look like it will get Ford’s new SYNC 4 infotainment system.

A digital instrument cluster?

One area where the new F-150 looks like it will leap ahead of the competition is in the all-digital instrument cluster. Ram does have a nice multi-function display in their current trucks, but that’s still flanked by analog gauges. At least on the upper trims, Ford appears to be dropping the old-style clusters entirely for a purely digital approach.

Even though it is a blurry picture, this does confirm the F-150 will have a digital instrument cluster, at least on higher trims.

Beyond that change, the 2021 Ford F-150 Lariat looks like it will have an updated steering wheel with repositioned controls, as well as a relocated start button, updated center console controls and a new shift knob.

Fortunately, it seems Ford is keeping all the buttons you’d want accessible off that huge infotainment display. Climate and volume controls, heated and ventilated seats, and even stereo equalizer controls can still be accessed through buttons, rather than having to dig through infotainment screen menus. Ford also kept the drive mode switch and trailer brake controller close to the driver, as well as the Pro Backup Assist knob.

However, with the rearranged layout one knob that isn’t obvious the one to engage four-wheel drive and the two-speed transfer case. This could well be a two-wheel drive truck, or Ford may move the 4WD control knob over to the left side of the steering wheel, as GM has it in their trucks.