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Ford F-150 gets a fancy new tailgate and more standard tech

None of these tweaks should jeopardize the F-150’s place as America’s best-selling truck

Published: 13 Sep 2023

The Ford F-150 pickup is America’s best-selling vehicle by a long shot, and has been for the past four decades. So you can’t really blame Ford for never reinventing the wheel when it comes time to update the F-150. Seriously, why fix what isn’t broken?

This week, Ford showed a new F-150 at the shell-of-its-former-self North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. You might notice the truck’s new grille designs, standard LED headlights, or spiffy new wheels, but the big changes are found underneath this macho skin. A revised powertrain lineup, more standard tech, and a new tailgate design are the big talking points, and hey, the bro-tastic F-150 Raptor gets a few little tweaks, too.

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Ford discontinued the F-150’s base 3.3-liter V6, so the 2.7-liter twin-turbo V6 is now the truck’s standard powertrain. This engine makes 300hp and 425lb ft of torque, which is plenty, though Ford still offers more powerful 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 and 5.0-liter V8 options, each of which crank out 400hp. On top of that, there’s the PowerBoost hybrid option, which makes 430hp and 570lb ft, and lets you fit the F-150 with a 7.2kW generator that can power worksite tools, TVs, margarita makers, or hell, even your whole house. A lighter-duty 2.4kW generator is also available, and hey, gas-only F-150s can now get in on the juice-up-your-life action thanks to an optional 2.0kW power supply.

The fully electric F-150 Lightning is an entirely different model, and Ford won’t confirm any updates to that truck just yet. Stay tuned.

As for the F-150 Raptor and Raptor R, those trucks will continue to use 450hp 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 and 5.2-liter supercharged V8 engines, respectively. Ford won’t confirm the output of the Raptor R just yet, only saying this truck will get a small power bump, and wouldn’t it be an interesting and totally not-planned coincidence if the Raptor R now makes upwards of 702hp, surpassing its soon-to-be-discontinued foe, the Ram 1500 TRX.

Speaking of the Raptors, a new set of two-valve shocks that improve compression and rebound are available on trucks fitted with 37-inch tires (35s with compression-only shocks are standard). Recaro seats are tied to the 37-inch tire pack, too, and there’s a new set of graphics available for the Raptor R, which, yikes, look way too “thin blue line” for our tastes.

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Walk around the back of the F-150 and you’ll see the optional Pro Access Tailgate, which has a middle side-hinged cut-out that can be opened 37, 70, or 100 degrees, meaning you don’t have to awkwardly lean over the flipped-down tailgate to reach items in the bed. Don’t worry, the F-150’s tailgate still has its integrated step, writing surface, and ruler, and there are all sorts of dividers that can be placed inside the bed to better organize your belongings.

What else is new? Every F-150 now has a standard 12-inch digital gauge cluster and 12-inch multimedia touchscreen, the BlueCruise hands-free driving can now change lanes automatically, there are blacked-out exterior design packs for most models, and the rough-and-tough F-150 Tremor is now only available with the 5.0-liter V8, and comes with an integrated winch, to show everyone how off-road-y you are.

Ford says the updated F-150 will start around $36,000 when it goes on sale in the coming months, which is a few thousand bucks more than before. Ford strangely (sorry, stupidly) wouldn’t tell us full model line pricing ahead of time, but it’s all live on the company’s consumer site right now, where you can build, price, and pre-order a new F-150. Go wild.

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