Ford Authority

2021 Ford F-150 Platform, Frame Significantly Modified Over 13th Gen Model

FoMoCo has made it a point to emphasize that the 2021 Ford F-150 is an all-new vehicle, representing the 14th generation of its perenially best-selling pickup. That includes all-new body panels, a new interior, and a host of innovative new technology features. And even though the 2021 Ford F-150 platform – the Ford T3 Platform – is the same as its predecessor, it’s been heavily revised as well.

“From an architecture standpoint, it’s heavily modified,” Dawn Piechocki, F-150 vehicle engineering manager, told Ford Authority executive editor, Alex Luft, in a recent interview. “The frame is significantly modified. So is the chassis, with wheels moved out, resulting in an inch wider track width.”

Piechocki also told us that the 2021 F-150 frame, while still made from high strength steel, now has accommodations for new content, including packaging for the new PowerBoost‘s hybrid battery. The cross-members have also changed, and moving the wheels further outboard necessitated lower control arm attachments and revised bracketry.

The geometry points, or suspension points, have changed significantly. The truck sits a little lower, which helps improve its aerodynamics. On the exterior of the new F-150, all the body panels were touched, as previously noted. But while the body panels are all-new, Ford didn’t significantly modify the truck’s floor pans.

These changes help make the all-new F-150 the most aerodynamic model in its illustrious history. Ford accomplished this feat by using new active grille shutters, an automatically deploying active air dam, and new cab and tailgate geometry, all of which work together to reduce drag and improve fuel consumption.

Dimensionally speaking, the cab is the same size as the outgoing 13th gen F-150. Cabin volume remains the same, as does the wheelbase. And as we previously reported, the 2021 Ford F-150 platform also utilizes an all-new electric architecture that enables OTA updates and various other new features.

We’ll have much more on the 2021 F-150 soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford F-Series news, Ford F-150 news, and continuous Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. Kimo

    So they copied RAM on everting you mention in the article…

  2. powerstroke

    Ford is seeing the combined sales of Chev and GMC creeping up on them—they are fighting like a Mad Man to stay ahead—with modification and updates to current models every year.
    Makes me giggle.

    1. DOC

      You can buy a nice crew cab Chevy 1500 for thousands less than the equivalent F150.

      Ford can’t compete for sales numbers and raise their prices at the same time.



  4. Gregory R Faulkner

    Well both comments above are laughable. Firstly, to suggest that Ford is behind Ram in pickup truck engineering when Ram still hasn’t offered new power trains since before Ford offered up three new ones in 2015 and revised agian in 2018, save the Ecodiesel which Ram didn’t design; just bought off the VMI Motors shelf. Sure, Ram focused on the interior and ended up putting a well-put-together interior for sell in the new Ram and employed Ford’s 2015 use of high strength steel frame four years after F150 had it. It is true that Ford and GM had to learn the hard way that somehow, suddenly a pretty interior is now the most important feature of a pickup which baffles more than the minds of OEM execs; but that’s hardly a tough engineering hurdle for Ford to crack to be caught up with Ram in one insignificant way. Where is the Ram Hybrid; where is the Ram that offers great performance, mpg, and capability all in the same package. A truck that achieves good mpg but with only 269 peak ft pound torque is easy to do. So easy that one day a Tundra may achieve this.

    And then the second comment…As if Ford is the only pickup manufacturer giving all they have to stay relevant and keep market share. They all give it everything they have in this segment, and even so, there are still losers like Tundra and Titan, but certainly Ford handles all this pressure as good as any of the others and is overall ahead from am engineering standpoint even before the 2021 arrives; Ram’s nice interior withstanding.

  5. Steve

    You guys are like little kids arguing over who’s dad has more muscles. Buy what you like.

  6. James

    As a life- long Ford pickup owner I have to say I’m extremely disappointed in Ford and seriously considering trading it in for a dodge. I own a 2018 that just rolled over 15k miles. I hate driving it with this crappy 10 speed transmission. Even worse is how little Ford cares. It will drop into neutral when accelerating and frequently won’t downshift. It feels dangerous to pull into traffic. Sound Ford told me they don’t have time to look at it. It’s normal… I tried another dealer, they reprogrammed it but it didn’t change anything. They said Ford was aware and would contact me when there is a fix. A year later it sits in my driveway…

    1. powerstroke

      You hate driving it’s a 2028 with 15000 miles? And you have issues? Like 15000 miles with a 2 year old truck–this is a joke–people put more miles on their bicycles.

      1. James

        It is a 2018 ecoboost 10-speed with 15k, no joke just a pos to drive.

    2. Chris

      Curious, what engine do you have? I also have a 2018 fx4 3.5 with the 10 speed and have had zero issues with mine. I am not sure if they are having issues with one more then another?

      My tune is stock, but I have done a full exhaust including the turbo adaptors and a cold air kit along with an oil separator.

      The only complaint with the way it shifts is that it tends to skip from 1st to 3rd and then go to 4th and so on. This seems normal especially since I have 3.55’s so it can skip a gear or two

      It downshifts incredibly fast for how many gears it drops and the “manual” mode works fast and responsive.

      I do not drive in sport, tow, or eco mode but will use the “snow” for the winter here in ohio but otherwise just leave it in normal mode.

      I’ve heard of people having issues with the transmission in the Ford. I don’t believe GM is having this problem. So far, mine hasn’t. 16,700ish miles so far

      1. James

        I do use eco mode on a long drive at freeway speeds. I don’t use sport mode. It’s a 2.8l ecoboost, no complaints about power from that perspective it runs great. It’s the 10-speed trans I hate. Like I said it doesn’t feel safe to drive. It drops into neutral at times, when accelerating. It then slams into gear but at that point the gap in traffic is gone. It also doesn’t downshift unless I floor it. I can literally be at 35-40 mph and it won’t drop out of 8th gear unless I stand on it. Makes it dicey to pass anyone…

  7. Chris

    I’ve tried eco mode a few times but it just seems to go slower off the line in my truck. Highway speeds it doesn’t do too much.

    I know a few people with the 10 speeds and no one is having trouble with it. We all have the 3.5 though. I wonder if this is just an issue with the 2.7?

    Does it happen in all modes? Or mostly in the eco mode?

    I almost bought that just for the little bit better fuel economy. Couldn’t really tell the difference between the 2.7 and the 3.5 until I opened it up on an on ramp!


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