2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid First Test: Powerful USP

The burly-fendered, desert-marauding Ford F-150 Raptor is taking a breather this 12 months, however may its killer efficiency be eclipsed by a mild-mannered, Walter-Mitty-esque new 2021 Ford F-150 hybrid? To search out out, we borrowed a 2021 Ford F-150 Lariat Sport 4×4 PowerBoost, strapped our gear to it, and have been frankly amazed that—even with out fender flares, warmth extractors, clearance lights, or another extroverted design particulars—it’s able to race Raptors for pinks. However by the top of our three days with this F-150, it was the ability within the pickup field, not beneath the hood, that the majority impressed us.



How Highly effective Is the 2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid?

Sandwiching a 44-hp, 221-lb-ft electrical motor in between the 394-hp, 492-lb-ft 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6 EcoBoost engine and the 10-speed computerized transmission boosts complete output to 430 horses and 570 lb-ft. For reference, the outgoing Raptor made 20 extra horses however 60 fewer lb-ft of torque. That makes this the torquiest F-Collection this facet of a Super Duty Power Stroke diesel.

How Fast Is the PowerBoost Twin-Turbo V-6?

Our modestly outfitted midlevel Lariat SuperCrew four-door pickup tipped the scales at 5,832 kilos. That’s 171 kilos heavier than our most up-to-date SuperCab Raptor, which implies every of our PowerBoost’s 430 horses caries an additional pound relative to these pulling the Raptor. However the brand new truck does take pleasure in a torque benefit of virtually 1 pound per pound-foot. It shouldn’t shock anybody, then, that the brand new truck runs practically neck and neck with the Raptor. It zips to 60 mph in 5.Three seconds on the best way to a 13.8-second, 102.1-mph quarter-mile run. It’s price noting that Sport mode returned one of the best outcomes because it engages the auto-4WD operate. Runs in regular rear-wheel-drive mode with traction management off generated an excessive amount of wheelspin, and makes an attempt to manually shift nearer to redline additionally slowed the truck down (energy peaks at 6,000 rpm, and there’s little must rev greater).

The Raptor’s slight energy benefit and 10 p.c shorter axle ratio (4.10:1 versus our truck’s 3.73:1) give it the benefit at decrease speeds, serving to it hit 60 mph in simply 5.2 seconds. After that time, the PowerBoost’s superior torque dominates, because the Raptor’s 13.9-second, 97.3-mph quarter mile point out. The time distinction stretches to a couple seconds by 100 mph.

For reference, the 0–60 mph instances for different mainstream F-150 powertrains we’ve examined vary from the sevens for the bottom 3.3-liter, 3.0-liter diesel, and a pair of.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 engines, to six.Three for the V-Eight and 6.1 seconds for the gas-only 375-hp/470-lb-ft 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6. These different powertrains stay unchanged for 2021, apart from the bottom V-6 upgrading from six to 10 transmission speeds.

One beef I’ve with the PowerBoost engine is its sound. One way or the other, this twin-turbo V-6 manages to moan like a five-cylinder diesel UPS truck. The genius(es) liable for the two.0-liter Bronco Sport’s faux-V-Eight engine observe must be reassigned to this staff, stat.

What About Braking, Experience, and Dealing with?

For 2021, Ford has switched from vacuum to electrical energy braking, and—not less than on this hybrid, which makes an attempt to mix regenerative and friction braking—the texture wants work. At metropolis speeds, the pedal feels picket and the response just isn’t as linear or predictable as one expects. A number of instances I went for the pedal, felt alarmed on the lack of response, pressed tougher, and bought an excessive amount of braking (plus an incredulous look from my passenger). At velocity on a twisty street this sensation is much less noticeable. Ford’s been within the hybrid recreation for too lengthy to excuse nonlinear hybrid braking really feel like this.

My finest cease from 60 mph required 136 ft, which is on the excessive finish of our current F-150 stops, which have ranged from 118 to 140 ft. Some blame could also be because of the barely knobby Goodyear Wrangler Territory tires (275/65R18), although they managed to generate 0.75 g lateral grip, nailing the F-150 common. The extra probably perpetrator is that 5,832-pound curb weight, which is 185 kilos greater than our subsequent porkiest non-Raptor—a Platinum SuperCrew diesel that recorded that 118-foot cease on its 275/55R20 freeway all-season tires.

As for dealing with, the F-150 ran round my favourite dealing with loop remarkably effectively for a tall, hefty truck carrying galoshes. Physique management was surprisingly cheap, and the steering usually felt good—sluggish however completely linear. I by no means felt myself micro-managing the helm midcorner. Experience high quality was additionally fairly good for a truck with a 7,350-pound gross automobile weight score and 12,400-pound towing capability.

How Environment friendly Is the Ford F-150 Hybrid?

Properly, the EPA reckons it’ll return 24 mpg within the metropolis, 24 mpg on the freeway, and—shock—24 mpg mixed. A base Ford Fusion 2.5-liter earned 24 mpg mixed. So does a low-spec F-150 Energy Stroke diesel, however that engine prices $500 greater than the PowerBoost possibility ($4,995 versus $4,495 on XL; $3,800 versus $3,500 on our Lariat), and diesel gasoline is at the moment $0.31/gallon dearer, evaluating nationwide averages.

Your outcomes will differ—perhaps by so much, in the event you incessantly pattern that 5.2-second acceleration or run with site visitors at 80 mph on the freeway. That mentioned, throughout one 75-mile drive that consisted of 45 miles of freeway cruising at 80 mph and 30 back-road miles averaging 60 mph, the journey laptop self-reported 20.Zero mpg. My 3-hour 169-mile drive that encompassed all instrumented testing and a vigorous run round my favourite 14-mile rural street circuit averaged 17.7 mpg; and on over 608 miles with a number of media drivers flogging it, the truck reported 16.6 mpg. That’s not unhealthy for Three tons of truck and driver—and heaven is aware of it’s approach extra environment friendly than a Raptor can be if pushed equally.

How Does Energy Professional Onboard Work as a Cell Generator?

To reply this burning query, I drove as much as my cabin on a cold autumn day, plugged in a 1,500-watt house heater and my 14-inch McCulloch chain noticed (880 watt). The heater ran for five minutes on the vitality saved within the 1.5-kWh lithium-ion battery earlier than firing the engine. Then after I began slicing firewood, nonetheless with the heater on, the engine nonetheless solely switched on for transient durations to high up the small battery. There’s a button on the Energy Professional Onboard panel within the pickup field that turns the ability on and off (saving you unplugging your chain noticed when adjusting chain stress), and there’s a button inside on the sprint that means that you can disable the plugs or set them to a low energy mode. The display screen this prompts warns that the engine will periodically swap on and admonishes customers to not function the truck indoors. A lot of this performance may be monitored and managed by a smartphone app, too.

Is PowerBoost Value It?

To recap pricing: PowerBoost is offered on SuperCrew variations of all F-150 trim grades. Costs for the hybrid and cellular generator tech vary from $4,495 on XL and XLT, to $3,300 on Lariat, and $2,500 on King Ranch and up. That’s all the time $500 lower than the Energy Stroke diesel and $1,900 greater than the gas-only 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6. In the event you’re largely seeking to save gasoline, my hunch is that the majority F-150 house owners will do higher with the diesel, although gasoline financial savings are extremely unlikely to ever pay for both engine possibility.

What can extra simply pay for itself is Energy Professional Onboard. MotorTrend owns a terrific Honda EU3000iS generator. I’ve recently used it and located that it’s a lot sturdy sufficient to run my heater and chain noticed. It retails for greater than $2,000 and weighs 130 kilos. That’s so much to hoist into and out of a pickup mattress when the necessity arises, or to lug out of the storage or shed when your energy fails and it’s essential to maintain the fridge and TV operating. Energy Professional Onboard as a novel promoting proposition is each bit as compelling as Ram’s air- or coil-sprung rear suspension. The truth that it additionally delivers Raptor efficiency is scrumptious icing on a chic cake.

2021 Ford F-150 Lariat Sport 4×Four PowerBoost
BASE PRICE $58,490
VEHICLE LAYOUT Entrance-engine, 4WD, 5-pass, 4-door truck
ENGINE 3.5L/394-hp/492-lb-ft twin-turbo DOHC 24-valve V-6 plus 44-hp/221-lb-ft elec motor; 430 hp/570 lb-ft (comb)
TRANSMISSION 10-speed computerized
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 5,832 lb (60/40%)
WHEELBASE 145.Four in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 231.7 x 79.9 x 77.2 in
0-60 MPH 5.Three sec
QUARTER MILE 13.Eight sec @ 102.1 mph
BRAKING, 60-Zero MPH 136 ft
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 140/140 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.81 lb/mile

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