Potential New 2021 Ford F-150 Trim Level Shows Up In New Spy Shots: Exclusive

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Those following Ford Authority will know that Ford is hard at work on an all-new F-150. Set to launch in the second half of 2020, the 14th-generation F-150 is expected to deliver a complete overhaul of America’s most popular vehicle and pickup truck, with new looks, an all-new cabin, new tech, and even a new hybrid model. But one thing that we have yet to learn about Ford’s bread-and-butter truck is the model lineup. Luckily, we have just uncovered a clue about the the 2021 Ford F-150 trim level structure.

2021 Ford F-150 prototype with curious lettering on tailgate
2021 Ford F-150 prototype with curious lettering on tailgate

While driving around metro Detroit yesterday, we spied a developmental prototype of the 2021 F-150 in tight-fitting “swirl” camo – the same one that Ford uses on all prototypes nearing the end of the development process. As we followed the prototype, a piece of the swirl camo detached from the tailgate, revealing a curious element: the letter “N” debossed on the tailgate.

The “N” clearly visible

In addition to the “N”, we can also partially see a piece of the preceding letter – which appears to be either an “L” or an “E.” It would appear that the “N” is the very final letter in whatever word hiding under the camo, since the tailgate sheetmetal to the right of it seems to be empty.

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The sighting has us somewhat perplexed, since the current Ford F-150 lineup does not offer a model with an “N” at the end of its name. Take, for instance, the current F-150 trim level and models:

  • XL
  • XLT
  • Lariat
  • King Ranch
  • Raptor
  • Platinum
  • Limited
  • FX4 package
The leading theory is that the “N” is part of “Platinum”

We did consider that the possibility that the “N” belongs to the “N” in Platinum, and it’s currently the leading theory behind what we’re seeing here. However, it’s worth noting that the current F-150 Platinum has a chrome panel behind the letters, whereas this prototype clearly doesn’t. Eschewing the chrome plate for the upper-end trim would seem like a strange departure from norm, though it’s certainly possible. Additionally, this theory doesn’t explain the character/letter immediately to the left of the “N.”

It’s also worth noting that this prototype didn’t seem to be a high-end model based on the sparing use of chrome, as well as its wheels and exhaust configuration.

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A different 2021 Ford F-150 XLT prototype undergong testing
A different 2021 Ford F-150 XLT prototype undergong testing

According to our intel, the 2021 Ford F-150 was already supposed to have been revealed in April, but the COVID-19 pandemic has clearly delayed those plans. At this point, we expect the truck to be revealed in the very near future, potentially as an online debut, with the very first units going into production in the second half of 2020, around September. We’ll be here to cover all the F-150-related developments every step of the way. If you don’t want to miss a beat, subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford F-Series newsFord F-150 news and around-the-clock Ford news coverage.

A different 2021 Ford F-150 XLT prototype undergong testing
A different 2021 Ford F-150 XLT prototype undergong testing
2021 Ford F-150 Photos
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Written by Alex Luft

Ford Authority founder with a passion for global automotive business strategy.

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20 Comments

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  1. One option that has been doing the rounds here is a new street hero like the lightning but this time as a Saleen so Ford can regain the title for the world’s fastest ute/truck.

    • We did talk about that possibility internally. However, a few things dispelled that theory:

      1. This was clearly a Ford vehicle based on the styling.
      2. We have not heard of such a Lincoln truck being in the plans, and our sources confirmed this to be the case.
      3. The “N” seems to be a bit too far to the right / off center for it to spell out “Lincoln”, though maybe that’s just my eyes playing tricks on me.

  2. I think ithe spacing would be for an 8 letter word….maybe 9.
    The letter next to N could also be an O or G.

    CHAMPION would fit. So would EXCURSION

    • Mystery or not I appreciate the Ford Authority shining some light on this. Things have been a little too quiet from Ford on about the next F150. Not sure this is the Platinum… it doesn’t have enough bling to represent.

      • Todd – as I noted in the article, the truck looked more downmarket than the Platinum. There is also a strange character right before the N, plus the lack of a bright panel behind the lettering that casts doubt on the Platinum theory.

    • The spacing on the letters is all wrong for this to be a platinum. That would be an odd spacing between the “N” and the supposed “U”.

  3. What about something “Edition”. For example, King Ranch Edition, with “Edition” on the second line of text

  4. I would put my hand in the fire and it doesn’t burn , that if it is the Saleen it’ll be the hybrid one cause of the power of powertrain.

  5. The truck is black. Look at the cab. The tailgate panel is not. New silver colored platinum tailgate panel to match the grille. After all, platinum grills are silver not chrome. (take a look at the 2018 model)

    The body lines to the right of the “N” continue on the left, it’s not another letter. The lines continue between each letter. PLATINUM

    Also does this have larger towing mirrors? They look like the super duty mirror shape…

  6. Look at the ‘O’ before the ‘N’
    My guess is:

    Harley
    Davidson

    It is a blacked out F150 after-all.

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