Ford is hard at work on a multifunction tailgate, Ford Authority has learned.
Sources familiar with the project tell FA that The Blue Oval has benchmarked the multifunction tailgate offerings offered by GM on the GMC Sierra (GMC MultiPro tailgate) and by FCA on the Ram Pickup (multifunction tailgate), and is now prototyping several new ideas.
One of the design proposals currently being considered is a barn-door-like layout with three vertical sections. These three sections would be capable of being opened individually in thirds – left to right or right to left. Alternatively, the three sections could theoretically be dropped down in unison, much like a traditional drop-down tailgate.
Sources also told us that Ford is using several rapid prototyping techniques like packing foam and even plywood to quickly test the new multifunction tailgate. The Dearborn-based automaker used packing foam to quickly develop the basic concept behind the 2021 Bronco.
If it passes all the necessary steps and durability tests, then the new multifunction Ford tailgate will first make its way as an option on the F-Series, starting with the new F-150. Exact timelines for the launch of the feature are murky as of this writing.
Ford did not include a multifunction tailgate on the 2021 Ford F-150. In doing so, it is the only one of the “Big Three” truck makers to not offer such a feature on a full-size truck. Instead, FoMoCo updated the traditional drop-down tailgate with cleats to act as tie-down locations for extra-long items in the bed.
Additionally, the 14th-generation F-150’s tailgate features new built-in clamp pockets that can secure materials when working from the tailgate. A Tailgate Work Surface is optional, and includes integrated rulers, a mobile device holder, and a pencil holder. Also optional is a power up and down tailgate on some models.