General Motors launched its MultiPro and Multi-Flex tailgates for the GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado some time ago, each of which providing a variety of positions to suit various needs. As Ford Authority exclusively reported nearly two years ago, a Ford multifunction tailgate has also been in the works for some time, and the automaker benchmarked the Sierra, Silverado, and Ram pickups for this very reason. FoMoCo opted to launch the all-new 2021 Ford F-150 without such a feature based on customer feedback, as Ford Authority reported back in 2020, but now, some recent patent filings for a Ford multifunction tailgate seem to indicate that the automaker will indeed incorporate this feature into one or more of its pickups at some point in the future.Ford Tailgate Patent - Tailgate Assembly Having A Door And Method Of Providing Access To A Cargo Bed - January 2022
These patent images depict a tailgate that features three separate sections, with a side-hinged swing door in the center, compared to the Ram, which has the same sort of opening on one side. This center section, along with the rest of the tailgate’s components, are power-operated, though Ford doesn’t reveal how. Most likely, the tailgate will be operated using the key fob, physical controls, via the pickup’s infotainment screen, or perhaps all three.
Ford has also seemingly reinvented its “Man Step,” which deploys from the top of the tailgate along with a grab handle to make getting in and out of the bed easier. In these drawings, we can see a new design featuring a load sill behind the tailgate that swings out, revealing a step that can seemingly be used when the tailgate is open. What’s particularly interesting about these images, however, is that the old Man Step is still present and accounted for, which gives owners multiple options for ingress and egress.
Given the fact that Ford is currently the only American truck maker that doesn’t offer some sort of multifunction tailgate, this patent filing doesn’t come as much of a surprise. However, it will be interesting to see if it can come up with something that’s more useful than the existing units from GM and Stellantis.