Last week, Ford Authority exclusively reported that FoMoco was working on a new multifunction tailgate. Now, new spy photos corroborate our report that a new Ford tailgate is in development.
The photos in question show a team of Ford employees prototyping a new tailgate on the outgoing, 13th-generation F-150. The particular prototype barn-style Ford tailgate seen here features an 80-20 split, with a pull handle toward the passenger side of the vehicle.
Sources familiar with the project tell Ford Authority that The Blue Oval has benchmarked the multifunction tailgate offerings, including the GMC MultiPro tailgate offered on the GMC Sierra as well as the Multifunction barn-style tailgate offered by Ram. Incidentally, rival trucks with these tailgate offers are present and accounted for in these spy shots.
According to Ford Authority sources, another design currently being considered is a barn-door-like layout with three vertical sections (not pictured here). 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.
It’s unclear whether this particular proposal will make it to production, or whether Ford will instead continue with the 80-20 layout seen in the photos.
Exact timelines for launch are currently unclear, but we have been told that the new F-150 will be the first to receive it once it’s ready for production.
It’s worth reiterating that 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.