The Ford F-150’s New Design Tricks: Fold-Out Work Surface, Lie-Flat Seats, Tailgate Workbench

The Ford F-150’s New Design Tricks: Fold-Out Work Surface, Lie-Flat Seats, Tailgate Workbench

Ford has done something unusual with the just-announced 2021 F-150: They went with a new exterior design that looks much the same as the last design. In other words, they undertook the expense of re-tooling for all-new body panels, yet did not gain the benefit of a fresh look. That has me scratching my head, and I’m guessing the exterior designers were frustrated.

The interior designers, however, got a chance to shine. When research showed that many F-150 owners use their trucks as mobile offices, leading to these kinds of uncomfortable set-ups…

…the designers came up with this fold-out interior work surface:

And for drivers who spend long hours in the truck and want to take a nap, or overnight it, the designers cooked up some lie-flat seats:

The engineers got to do their part, too. Research showed that a number of customers haul portable generators around to power their tools on-site…

…so to lighten their load, the engineers turned the truck itself into a generator, offering up to four bed-mounted 120-volt 20-amp outlets. The highest-wattage option provides 7.2 kilowatts and adds a 240-volt 30-amp outlet.

Now that truck design tailgate wars are ongoing (check out a variety of manufacturer’s designs here), I was curious to see what Ford would come up with. They haven’t quite gone GMC-MultiPro-Tailgate-crazy, but added a tablet/phone stand, a flat surface to eat lunch or write off of, a ruler debossed into the surface, two clamp pockets in the tailgate top for holding workpieces and tailgate-mounted cleats for strapping down long loads:

The new F-150 will roll out this fall.