Everyone knew when Ford revealed the 14th-gen, 2021 F-150 that it'd be the most powerful and capable yet. As the Blue Oval released Tuesday morning, the half-ton truck will boast a best-in-class max tow rating in 3.5-liter EcoBoost guise while also offering more payload capacity than any other light-duty, full-size truck. And then, the F-150 PowerBoost hybrid provides 18 times more exportable power than any other vehicle in its category. Oh yeah, it also produces 430 horsepower and 570 pound-feet of torque.
If you're looking for the most powerful 2021 F-150, sans Raptor, the PowerBoost is it. It packs an extra 30 horsepower and 70 pound-feet over the normal 3.5-liter EcoBoost, which sees a jump of 25 horsepower and 30 pound-feet for this generation. The 5.0-liter V8 is also juiced up with a 5 hp and 10 pound-feet surge to 400 and 410, respectively. For the first time since its release, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost is equal to the V8 in horsepower, though this time around, it boasts a 90 pound-feet advantage.
Power ratings for the base 3.3-liter V6 (290 hp and 260 pound-feet), 2.7-liter EcoBoost (325 hp and 400 pound-feet) and 3.0-liter PowerStroke diesel (250 hp and 440 pound-feet) remain the same for 2021.
Now, you might expect the F-150 PowerBoost to also tout the highest tow rating given its power advantage, but that's not the case. Instead, properly-equipped F-Series trucks with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost can pull a maximum of 14,000 pounds—800 pounds more than the outgoing model. V8-powered F-150s with the Max Trailer Tow package are rated to haul 13,000 pounds while the PowerBoost caps out at 12,700 pounds.
Five of the 2021 F-150's six available powertrains are capable of supporting at least 10,000 pounds of towing with the lone exception being the 3.3-liter V6, whose max is listed at 8,200 pounds.
Finally, the payload crown belongs to the 5.0-liter F-150 as it can haul 3,325 pounds in the bed when spec'd correctly. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost is close behind with 3,250 pounds, and the 2.7-liter EcoBoost sneaks its way into third with a 2,480-pound rating. As for the PowerBoost, it settles for 2,120 pounds—this comparatively low number is likely due to all the equipment located underneath the truck's bed, including its 1.5-kilowatt-hour battery and Pro Power Onboard generator.
Entry-level work trucks with the 3.3-liter V6 can support 1,985 pounds in the bed, though trucks optioned with the 3.0-liter PowerStroke diesel are limited to 1,840 pounds. For reference, that's 200 pounds less than the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel.
Across the board, the 2021 F-150 touts impressive truck tech that can't be matched by its mid-cycle half-ton competitors. With these power and work figures out in the open, we see that it's also more capable in the most important metrics. It'll be up to Chevrolet and Ram to fight back in the coming years but, for now, the country's best-selling truck sits atop the cutthroat hierarchy.
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