Ford rumored to be working on a multi-function tailgate
In July, after the debut of the 2021 Ford F-150, Ford Authority asked the automaker why the 14th-generation pickup didn’t get a multifunction tailgate. F-150 engineering manager Dawn Piechocki told FA that customer feedback indicated F-150 buyers were more interested in using the back bed area “for projects, whether it construction or DIY, working, helping with community.” That led the team’s decision to install more features to make work easier, like adding cleats, clamp pockets, and the optional slide-out Tailgate Work Surface. A new report in Ford Authority suggests that Ford is tired of waiting on the sidelines now that the 2022 Chevrolet Silverado is slated to get its own multifunction door, a move that would leave Ford as the only truck in the room without an Erector Set tailgate. Either that, or Ford’s been working on a system for a while and simply didn’t put it on the new F-150. FA cites “sources familiar with the project” for news that the Blue Oval is “hard at work on a multifunction tailgate.”
2021 Chevrolet Silverado could lift tow ratings for 2.7T and 3.0
There are a bunch of detail changes coming to the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado, and it appears the most useful change is the one we understand the least. GM-Trucks reports that GM’s August Consensus Report sent to dealers included a full page of imminent changes for next year’s 1500 series lineup. One line read, “2.7L Turbo and 3.0L Diesel Max Towing Enhancements,” without explanation. Last year, a GM engineer told Muscle Cars & Trucks that teams were “looking at upgrading some of the materials around (the engine bay) to see if we can maybe raise our tow rating.” Speculation on the consensus report is that GM will finally do that for next year.
Chevy’s put out a long list of detail changes to the Silverado 1500 range for 2021, but the brand hasn’t revealed next year’s tow ratings. According to the 2020 Chevy Trailering Guide, the 2.7-liter turbo four-cylinder maxes out at 6,800 pounds, the 3.0-liter diesel at 9,300 pounds. As for the diesel competition, the Ford F-150 Power Stroke will pull 11,400 pounds, the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel leads the category at 12,560 pounds.
Ford F-150’s FX4 off-road package: $100 more buys you a key new feature
Ford’s new, 14th-generation F-150 will reach showrooms in fall 2020 as a 2021 model, and information about the trim level hierarchy is beginning to emerge. An ordering guide sent to Autoblog by a dealer who asked to remain anonymous confirms the off-road-oriented FX4 package will return, unsurprisingly, and it will offer adventurers a new feature in exchange for a slightly higher price.
FX4-equipped trucks will receive an additional driving mode named Rock-Crawl, according to the documents we received. It’s a hand-me-down from the Super Duty Tremor introduced for the 2020 model year. In the Tremor, Rock-Crawl operates in 4×4 Low and modifies the transmission and traction control settings, among other parameters. It notably detects when one of the front wheels loses traction and uses the truck’s brakes to send power to the wheel that still has grip. We expect the F-150 will receive similar technology.