Ford previews 2021 F-150 with LED-intensive teaser image

Ronan Glon

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.

More From

  • Junkyard Gem: 1989 Honda Civic DX Sedan With 308k Miles

    In the old days, before about 1980, reaching 100,000 miles was considered quite an accomplishment for a car, so much so that just about all US-market cars — with the notable exception of some Mercedes-Benzes and most Volvos — came with 5-digit odometers. Toyota and Honda went to six-digit odometers here early in the 1980s, and I find plenty of their cars from that decade with final mileage readings deep into the 200,000s. The highest odometer reading I've ever found in a Honda came from this 1983 Accord sedan with 411,794 showing.

  • Cars, a cocktail and a celebrity: South Koreans embrace Tesla culture

    From an eponymous cocktail to eager buyers following the shipping routes of long-awaited cars, Tesla is having a moment in South Korea, particularly among tech-savvy professionals. "I am not interested in cars, but I am interested in the Tesla brand and its technology," the 39-year-old told Reuters. Kang bought a Tesla Model 3 in December, ditching the Hyundai crossover he bought only last summer.

  • This autonomous wheelchair can help people navigate airports, museums, and more

    WHILL is designed to help people navigate large areas like airports, museums, and more without having to use physical force or a joystick. Summon WHILL via its app, and use an on-board tablet to input your desired destination. On-board sensors provide collision avoidance.

  • Things rideshare drivers wish passengers understood

    Drivers don’t understand riders and riders don’t understand drivers. Here are a few things that are so obvious to drivers that they are at a loss when they realize riders really don’t know them … and they wish they did. First and foremost among the things drivers would like riders to know is that they don’t make all that much money from driving.