Take a look at the rear suspension.

August 12, 2019

2021 Ford F-150 crew cab prototype (Photo: Nate W)

Here is a close look at a 2021 Ford F-150 prototype. There is a lot of talk lately about the all-electric F-150 and the F-150 Hybrid. What’s under the hood of this test truck? Let’s take a careful look.

All images you see in this post are courtesy of Nate W. This prototype was captured in Michigan.

2021 Ford F-150

The truck we see here is a crew cab with a longer bed option (possibly a 6.5-foot bed). This is one of the longest and heaviest F-150 configurations.

A closer inspection of this prototype suggests that there is indeed an internal combustion engine (ICE) under the hood. There is a “fuel drain” valve on the driver side near the rear wheel. Rear suspension appears to be a solid axle with leaf springs. (Note: the electric truck prototype we saw before has an independent rear suspension.) Finally, there is an exhaust pipe out back on the passenger side.

It’s interesting to not the kink in the roofline towards the rear of the cab. It may simply be camouflage or an aerodynamic change Ford is testing to make the truck more slippery.

The other major style change on this prototype is the lack of the front door/window kink that has been an F-150 signature style element for many years.

Ford recently published a video of an all-electric F-150 towing a train worth 1.25 million pounds. It’s clear that Ford is very serious about electrifying its most popular vehicle. Ford invested approximately $500 million into Rivian, an upcoming electric truck and SUV company. Part of the deal was sharing the Rivian electric components, technologies, and platform.

Ford also announced that an F-150 Hybrid is coming to the market soon. This truck is rumored to use a modular gas/electric powertrain system similar to that in the new 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid.

When will the F-150 Hybrid come to the market? A recently leaked 2020 Ford F-150 Order Guide does not list a Hybrid as one of the F-150 options.