Hybrid 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost Targets 700-Mile Range, 12,000-Pound Tow Rating

极品美女写真America's favorite vehicle is indisputably the Ford F-150, and when Ford reveals a revamped version of its bestselling pickup like it did today, the entire world stops to stare. And the world has extra reason to gawk this time around because the 2021 F-150 has changed more substantially than any model prior. It'll have interior and tailgate workstations, a wirelessly updated new Sync 4 infotainment system that speaks Apple CarPlay and Android Auto alike, and late next year, the ability to drive hands-free on over 100,000 miles of American highways. But most importantly, the F-150 will, at last, be available with a hybrid powertrain, one which Ford says should offer "the most torque and horsepower of any light-duty full-size pickup."

极品美女写真Potentially fulfilling that promise will be Ford's new PowerBoost drivetrain, which is more or less the proven 3.5-liter, twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 with a 47-horsepower electric motor grafted on. It deploys power from a 1.5-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery embedded between the frame rails near the rear axle, which is in turn recharged under regenerative braking. Their combined power (which Ford hasn't yet disclosed) travels through a 10-speed automatic transmission to either the rear wheels or, via an electronically actuated transfer case, all four.

Ford
2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid

Ford hopes the PowerBoost's added efficiency will turn its 30.6-gallon tank into 700-plus miles of range, which equates to just under 23 mpg, or four better than a 2020 EcoBoost V6 model. That won't come at the expense of capability either, as Ford targets at least 12,000 pounds of towing capacity for 2021 F-150s equipped with the Max Tow Package.

Ford
2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid

Opting for the PowerBoost motor will also enhance one of the new F-150's cleverest upgrades—the available Pro Power Onboard system. This 2.0-kW onboard generator is adequate for powering a terrific tailgate setup, and on PowerBoost models, its output is upgraded to 2.4 kW, split across quadruple 120-volt outlets. That's enough to power a mobile movie projector setup for up to 85 hours on a full tank, and that's only the intermediate of the three such systems available.

Ford
2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid

Ford will let you upgrade PowerBoost-equipped models to a 7.2-kW system that adds a 240-volt, 30-amp socket, whose total power output is enough to theoretically run a mobile TIG welding workshop, complete with a mini-fridge and AC unit. It's also enough to run an electric two-post lift, meaning the new F-150 might be capable of supporting a complete mobile mechanic bay—and if the frame can't take it, a trailer surely can.

Ford
2021 Ford F-150 Limited

Ford will allow buyers of every trim from the base XL to the top-shelf Limited access to the PowerBoost hybrid engine when the 2021 F-150 goes on sale this fall. No plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of the next-gen F-150 is expected, as Ford will completely skip this interim step to launch a fully electric F-150, which could debut as soon as November. Given the delays forced on the auto industry by COVID-19, however, it may be more realistic to expect a reveal sometime in 2021 and launch for the 2022 model year.

Ford
2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid

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Here’s Our Best Look Yet at the Cadillac Lyriq Electric SUV

Cadillac is a brand that's constantly changing, and that rings especially true today. The recent spike in popularity of SUVs and EVs has lead to the company announcing two new electric models—the Celestiq sedan and the Lyriq SUV. The reveal of what's likely to be the more popular Lyriq was set to take place back in April, but it was of course delayed due to the global pandemic. Now, though, the domestic luxury marque has released a video that gives us a peek at the car and, importantly, the new date for its digital unveiling: August 6. 

So far, there's been little information released about Cadillac's two electric vehicles. What we have seen are a few concept images and the BEV3 electric platform that the two cars are set to ride on. This new video doesn't provide much more information in terms of the Lyriq's specs, but it does show a few interesting aesthetic details.

The most notable of these details is the car's profile, which in the theme of many other automotive teasers is dark. Really dark. There are also a few passing shots of what's probably the vehicle's interior, and some rather angular details of the front fascia.

I've attempted to brighten that profile image up a little bit, and unfortunately, there's no silly message telling us "nice try!" as we've found on other shadowy automotive teasers.

Cadillac

Not much is discernable from this brightened image, but other publications claim the SUV has 22-inch wheels, which seems about right. There's also some weird surfacing going on with the car's C-pillar that seems interesting. Other details we've heard rumors of appear to be confirmed here as well, such as tall rear taillights and reflectors.

GM's BEV3 platform is the most important component of this new car, and we've covered it before. It will have to do some serious legwork in order to match the impressive range and performance Tesla's latest offerings are able to achieve. Since range seems to be the magic number for EVs, here's to hoping we'll hear all about it when the Lyrique is unveiled in about a month and a half. Maybe, just maybe, it'll be enough to break Cadillac's chain of perpetual missteps.

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Incredible Lecture By F-14 Designer Explains Why The Tomcat Owes A Lot To The F-111

Last year, we posted a video of a downright awesome lecture by test pilot Paul Metz, the person ever to fly the YF-23 and the F-22, that was put on by the Western Museum Of Flight in Torrance, California, with a seniors group in attendance publishing the presentation. Very unique insights were had on the Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) program and why the YF-23 lost to the YF-22. Now, we have another video to share from the same group of retired Northrop Grumman Vice President and F-14 Tomcat designer Mike Ciminera that explains just how innovative and big a push forward technologically the Tomcat really was. It is among the very best videos on the Tomcat I have ever seen. 

Ciminera starts with a short overview of the dawn of swing-wing technology and moves to the F-111B debacle that gave birth to the VFX program in the late 1960s. The VFX would become the F-14 Tomcat. Ciminera notes that his team of designers made over 6,000 design
configurations as part of their effort to come up with the winning airframe for the VFX competition. He goes into detail on the menagerie of flight control surfaces and fairings that were used to make the huge jet maneuver like a nimble fighter and also fly at high speed over long distances while loaded with missiles as it did. So much is made of the evolutionary relationship between the F-14 and the F-111 and just how big of a leap in swing-wing design the F-14 was even though it was developed, first flew, and was operational within a decade of the F-111 doing the same. Even the differences in the two types' complex air inlet systems are discussed. 

The Grumman veteran then goes into the weapon systems on the Tomcat, including how the E-2 Hawkeye and F-14 Tomcat became an uncannily capable team that allowed for new tactics and procedures to be implemented that were not possible before the Tomcat hit the fleet. He continues on to give commentary on a company montage video and in the question and answer period it really hits home just how amazing a feat the Tomcat's design was, especially in terms of its complex swing-wing configuration. 

Ciminera fully attests that the advent of the F-14 as we know it would not have been at all possible without the existence of the F-111 and a helping hand from the General Dynamics team that designed it:

"We learned from the F-111B… Without the F-111B we wouldn't have been this smart." 

Check out the fascinating lecture in full below: 

If you want to see where the Tomcat was set to evolve to if it was funded over the Super Hornet, check out our exclusive feature where we bring the Super Tomcat 21 to life by clicking here.

Author's note: A hat tip to my friend @thenewarea51 for the heads up on this aviation history gem!

Contact the author: Tyler@thedrive.com

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The Next-Generation 2021 Ford F-150 Is About to Be Revealed

Listen—do you hear it? The fever pitch is unmissable at this point, with the debut of the all-new 2021 Ford F-150 half-ton pickup just 45 minutes away. Even if you're not a truck fan, it's a plain and simple fact that this is a huge deal. It's America's best-selling truck, and together with its immediate postwar ancestors, the F-150 is one of the most popular vehicles of all time. There are billions and billions of dollars at stake with each new version. Ford literally cannot afford to screw it up.

Thankfully, they haven't, at least from what we've seen in earlier leaks and the few hints Ford has dropped. This fourteenth-generation truck won't be taking any dramatic leaps in shape or construction, as you've seen in the spy shots published here. It follows the full-size pickup mold to a T. But that's not what it's about—the 2021 F-150 is targeting technology and functionality as breakthrough areas.

So far, we've seen that this means a redesigned cabin with tricks like a large touch screen and a fold-flat passenger sleeper seat, a new Sync infotainment system with over-the-air updates, a hybrid engine option that includes a mobile generator function, and rumors of other power tool integrations. We do expect this generation to eventually bring the first fully-electric F-150 as well, but it'd be a surprise to see that pop up tonight.

The 2021 Ford F-150 reveal event livestream will begin at 8:00 pm ET—it's embedded above—at which point you can refresh this page to read the full story and get all the details (or at least as many as Ford will share) on the country's favorite automotive son.

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Hear the 2021 Mazda3 Turbo Before We See It in July

The Mazda3 may be well-represented on the racetrack by the 350-horsepower TCR race car, but when it comes to a motorsport-flavored Mazda3 road car, Mazda's stance is a solid nay—officials even went as far as calling such a car "childish" in 2016. Maybe Mazda's heart has softened again over the years, as the Japanese automaker teased today what recent rumors indicate could be a turbocharged new Mazda3.

Mazda hauled out the video below in response to multiple requests on its Twitter feed for a faster Mazda3, specifically those calling for more power or a turbocharged road car. "Power comes to those who wait," quipped the Japanese automaker, alongside a video that consists of little more than a revving engine—seemingly taking a leaf from Ram's playbook.

This new, more powerful drivetrain for the Mazda3 was portended a few weeks back by documents allegedly leaked from a dealer, which specified the introduction of a turbo engine for the 2021 model year. The most likely candidate is Mazda's 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G engine from its larger crossovers, where it produces 250 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. These would be plenty for a front-drive car to reign in, though the aforementioned dealer documents suggest power could be split across four wheels via all-wheel drive. Mazda3 program manager Kota Beppu went on record last Spring stating that a more powerful Mazda3 could use such a system to eliminate torque steer, further pointing to AWD's availability on the turbo Mazda3.

As for whether these will transform the Mazda3 into the hot hatch it could be, there's no telling yet. Nothing indicates the turbo powertrain and AWD will be available with a manual transmission, though those dealer docs again offer a tiny glimmer of hope in the form of "PP" option. In all likelihood, that stands for the "Premium Package" already available, but we won't tell you not to dream of it meaning "Performance Package."

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The Infotainment Systems Are Still Bad

You have to look pretty hard—or at least, past any U.S. Mitsubishi dealership—to find new cars that are truly "bad" anymore. Not top of their class? Sure, we can't all be winners. But over the past decade, new cars have generally become safer, faster, cleaner, more reliable and better built than really any point in history. Yet as the latest J.D. Power 2020 Initial Quality Study notes, automakers still have a long way to go in improving infotainment systems, which are more important and control more functions than ever. 

"Infotainment system" is a misleading and objectively bad name for the software and user interface that runs in a modern car, generally through a center-mounted screen of some sort, and operates various crucial features. Usually, this means the audio system and phone integration, but it can also control settings on the actual car, performance features and heating and cooling. They're standard fare on just about every new car you can buy now.

Problem is, they're often bad. And even when modern smartphones and tablets have become effortless to use, in-car systems are typically clunky, ugly, laggy, set up with confusing menus, require a steep learning curve and don't play nice with external devices. I see it all the time in modern cars I test in service of this great website. 

Some systems are exceptional; BMW's latest version of iDrive has gone from industry joke to what I consider the current gold standard. Hyundai and Kia are typically powerhouses too, and Fiat Chrysler's Uconnect may be old, but it gets the job done much better than most. The Japanese automakers, however, have a lot of catching up to do; let's just say my experiences with what Honda and Toyota have won't be used in their marketing copy anytime soon.

But don't listen to me; listen to J.D. Power, who says that "Infotainment is the most problematic category" of any car feature tested in the 2020 initial quality surveys, and that "almost one-fourth of all problems cited by new-vehicle owners relate to infotainment." Those typically relate to voice recognition, Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration and navigation systems. The data is based on responses from almost 90,000 new car buyers and lessees surveyed after 90 days of ownership. 

I reached out to Dave Sargent, who's a vice president at J.D. Power, for more details. Here's what he told me:

"I would say that the OEMs that have infotainment systems with the fewest problems are Hyundai Motor Group (Hyundai, Kia and Genesis) followed by the three Detroit automakers (who are all very similar). The Japanese manufacturers are next, with the Europeans lagging."

"Most of this is a result of understanding what U.S. consumers want and avoiding unnecessary complexity."

In a presentation, he elaborated on that, saying that the overwhelming problem of infotainment systems is their complexity of use—followed by issues with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, connectivity and in-car apps. 

J.D. Power

J.D. Power

What can we learn from all this? The way I see it, two things. The first is that cars have become computers on wheels, but not especially good ones; the second is that American buyers want their in-car tech experience to be as uncomplicated as possible, and automakers aren't putting enough resources in that direction.

And these systems are often more than just fancy ways to control the radio or make calls. Increasingly, if they fail, they can kneecap vital vehicle functions. In a move that ended up being unexpectedly timely, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said this week that it will launch a probe into the Tesla Model S after finding complaints about its media control unit failing prematurely. When that happens, as Reuters reports, drivers lose touchscreen functions like infotainment, navigation and the backup camera.

Infotainment systems likely aren't going anywhere on new cars. But they still have a long way to go before they're as usable and reliable as the family iPad. 

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The Infotainment Systems Are Still Bad

You have to look pretty hard—or at least, past any U.S. Mitsubishi dealership—to find new cars that are truly "bad" anymore. Not top of their class? Sure, we can't all be winners. But over the past decade, new cars have generally become safer, faster, cleaner, more reliable and better built than really any point in history. Yet as the latest J.D. Power 2020 Initial Quality Study notes, automakers still have a long way to go in improving infotainment systems, which are more important and control more functions than ever. 

"Infotainment system" is a misleading and objectively bad name for the software and user interface that runs in a modern car, generally through a center-mounted screen of some sort, and operates various crucial features. Usually, this means the audio system and phone integration, but it can also control settings on the actual car, performance features and heating and cooling. They're standard fare on just about every new car you can buy now.

Problem is, they're often bad. And even when modern smartphones and tablets have become effortless to use, in-car systems are typically clunky, ugly, laggy, set up with confusing menus, require a steep learning curve and don't play nice with external devices. I see it all the time in modern cars I test in service of this great website. 

Some systems are exceptional; BMW's latest version of iDrive has gone from industry joke to what I consider the current gold standard. Hyundai and Kia are typically powerhouses too, and Fiat Chrysler's Uconnect may be old, but it gets the job done much better than most. The Japanese automakers, however, have a lot of catching up to do; let's just say my experiences with what Honda and Toyota have won't be used in their marketing copy anytime soon.

But don't listen to me; listen to J.D. Power, who says that "Infotainment is the most problematic category" of any car feature tested in the 2020 initial quality surveys, and that "almost one-fourth of all problems cited by new-vehicle owners relate to infotainment." Those typically relate to voice recognition, Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration and navigation systems. The data is based on responses from almost 90,000 new car buyers and lessees surveyed after 90 days of ownership. 

I reached out to Dave Sargent, who's a vice president at J.D. Power, for more details. Here's what he told me:

"I would say that the OEMs that have infotainment systems with the fewest problems are Hyundai Motor Group (Hyundai, Kia and Genesis) followed by the three Detroit automakers (who are all very similar). The Japanese manufacturers are next, with the Europeans lagging."

"Most of this is a result of understanding what U.S. consumers want and avoiding unnecessary complexity."

In a presentation, he elaborated on that, saying that the overwhelming problem of infotainment systems is their complexity of use—followed by issues with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, connectivity and in-car apps. 

J.D. Power

J.D. Power

What can we learn from all this? The way I see it, two things. The first is that cars have become computers on wheels, but not especially good ones; the second is that American buyers want their in-car tech experience to be as uncomplicated as possible, and automakers aren't putting enough resources in that direction.

And these systems are often more than just fancy ways to control the radio or make calls. Increasingly, if they fail, they can kneecap vital vehicle functions. In a move that ended up being unexpectedly timely, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said this week that it will launch a probe into the Tesla Model S after finding complaints about its media control unit failing prematurely. When that happens, as Reuters reports, drivers lose touchscreen functions like infotainment, navigation and the backup camera.

Infotainment systems likely aren't going anywhere on new cars. But they still have a long way to go before they're as usable and reliable as the family iPad. 

Got a tip? Send us a note: tips@thedrive.com

Hellcat-Powered 2021 Ram TRX Is Coming for the Ford Raptor Before Summer’s End

First introduced as the Rebel TRX Concept almost four years ago, Ram's V8-powered competitor to the Ford F-150 Raptor almost immediately vanished from the radar, and its continued development was only confirmed by an email in spring 2018. Now, after numerous cryptic spy shots of this cryptid of a truck, the TRX is ready to make its public debut, which it will do by Sept. 22.

Ram confirmed the late-summer launch window in a tweet with the TRX kicking up dust in the open desert, its V8 shouting cylinder superiority over its V6-powered Ford prey benchmark. We expect the TRX to pack some variant of Fiat-Chrysler's Hellcat engine, which measures 6.2 liters in displacement—the original concept had a detuned version making 575 horsepower, while all other applications produce 707 hp.

Although the Hellcat's supercharger whine isn't really audible in the above teaser, other accounts all but confirm the engine's place under the Ram's hood. It makes sense, after all, given how liberally FCA has appointed the engine to its Dodge and even Jeep lineups. It'll need something special to best the Ford Raptor, whose power specs weigh in at 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. Currently, none of Dodge or Ram's naturally aspirated V8s hit that mark.

In the end, our idle speculation will kill only a few seconds between now and the TRX's reveal later this season. And when it does arrive, the TRX will still need to look over its shoulder for the next generation of Ford Raptor, which will no doubt improve along with the new F-150 on which it's based.

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Mugello Circuit Will Host Ferrari’s 1,000th Formula 1 Grand Prix: Report

There's no better place to commemorate a Formula 1 team's milestone 1,000th Grand Prix than at the historic Monaco venue, as Scuderia Ferrari hoped to do at the start of 2020. That, however, was before COVID-19 threw a monkey wrench into the global economy, disrupting the F1 season in the process, and forcing Ferrari to change the confetti's shipping address from Casino Monte-Carlo to Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. But now that Monaco's off the menu, Ferrari would instead prefer to celebrate its millesimo Gran Premio in its home country of Italy, and multiple reports indicate it'll have its way, running race 1,000 at its privately owned Mugello Circuit.

These rumors are more substantial than McLaren team principal Zak Brown's indication to RaceFans that such an event is "pretty likely." According to Germany's reputable Auto Motor und Sport, F1 has finalized a deal to allow Mugello to host its first-ever Grand Prix on the weekend of September 11 through 13, one week after the Italian Grand Prix in Monza. As Monza's event lands exactly one week after the year's Belgian Grand Prix, the alleged Mugello event would be the third consecutive race weekend, marking the third such triple-header within three months of the season's upcoming July 3 kickoff.

AMuS's claim has also been independently corroborated by Ian Parkes, who writes an F1 column for The New York Times.

Ferrari presently sits at 992 races entered, though because it sat out the 1950 French Grand Prix, it has only raced 991. Should the Mugello race not go on as alleged, and no further races are added to the 2020 calendar, the team will finish the 2020 season with 999 Grands Prix run. It'd be an ironic end to the season for a team that named its 2020 car the SF1000 in anticipation of its 1,000th race, but given the Scuderia's sour luck since 2009, such a turn of fate would be on-trend for the team in red.

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Here’s How Much the Ford F-150 Has Increased in Price Over the Decades

Whether you look on paper or the road outside, there's no denying the Ford F-150's massive popularity. It's been the best-selling truck, and often the best-selling vehicle, period, for the past 43 years. Through economic success and crippling recessions, the F-Series has consistently rolled off the assembly line and out dealership doors and eventually onto America's driveways. Exactly how much customers have paid to leave with their own Ford pickup has changed drastically over the years, of course, and the all-new 2021 Ford F-150 will only build on that upward trend.

We're taking a look way back to the original Ford F1 half-ton from 1948 for this comparison, since that's the modern truck's closest equivalent. Even adjusted for inflation, trucks ain't as cheap as they used to be—far from it. In fact, base pricing for a current-generation F-150 is significantly more than double that of the aforementioned F1. Then again, when you consider everything you get on modern trucks—from safety equipment and emissions gear, to features that make it basically a rolling office that can tow many times its own weight—it does make some sense.  

These prices all represent the entry-level models for the first year of each generation. Original MSRPs are provided by the National Automobile Dealers Association, and the inflation calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics' official online tool is reflected in italics.

  • 1948 Ford F1 (First Generation): $1,279 – $13,836.62
  • 1953 Ford F100 (Second Generation): $1,362 – $13,128.14
  • 1956 Ford F100 (Third Generation): $1,577, – $15,087.06
  • 1960 Ford F100 (Fourth Generation): $1,972 – $17,256.28
  • 1967 Ford F-100 (Fifth Generation): $2,237 – $17,433.23
  • 1973 Ford F-100 (Sixth Generation): $2,889 – $17,387.85
  • 1980 Ford F-150 (Seventh Generation): $5,697 – $18,774.76
  • 1986 Ford F-150 (Eighth Generation): $8,373 – $19,587.47
  • 1991 Ford F-150 (Ninth Generation): $11,967 – $22,795.45
  • 1997 Ford F-150 (10th Generation): $17,875.00 – $28,806.05
  • 2004 Ford F-150 (11th Generation): $17,900.00 – $24,781.06
  • 2009 Ford F-150 (12th Generation): $22,000 – $26,714.92
  • 2015 Ford F-150 (13th Generation): $26,615 – $29,198.64

Ford suggested a retail price of $1,279 for the introductory F1 truck some 72 years ago, which equates to $13,836.62 in today's money. For that, you got a 226-cubic-inch inline-six and a three-speed manual gearbox. Work capabilities seem modest, especially when pitted against trucks from this century, as the '48 F1 had a GVWR of just 4,700 pounds. In other words, you'd better not be hauling too much around the farm.

Later generations progressively grew larger and more comfortable for everyday use. Options like a 390-cubic-inch Lincoln Y-Block V8 became available for the second-gen, while displacement was honed in later down the line. One fairly constant option has been the 5.0-liter V8 which was introduced in 1967 and is still available today, albeit severely overhauled.

The first crew-cab F-Series truck—by far the most popular configuration in today's world—was rolled out in 1965, but wouldn't make its way to the half-ton until 1980 with the "Bullnose" generation. 

Out of the F-Series' 70-plus years on the market, two of the most substantial shifts have come in the past decade or so. First was the EcoBoost engine's unveiling in 2009—a twin-turbo V6 that produced V8 power with a fraction of the displacement was bold. Now, though, there are two EcoBoost engine options for the F-150 lineup: a 2.7-liter as well as the high-output 3.5-liter that's also found in the Raptor. Ford even notes over half of the F-150s it sells are powered by EcoBoost engines. 

The second was the aluminum body introduced for the 2015 model year. Many expected repair costs to skyrocket, though they have proven to be about on-par with steel while being far lighter and even more resistant to small dings. This type of construction has since found its way into the Super Duty lineup. In short, it makes it possible to take weight out of the bodywork and, instead, invest it in the strength of the fully boxed steel frame.

Pricing for the 2021 Ford F-150 is yet to be announced, but expect it to make a steady climb over the outgoing generation. A single-cab, naturally aspirated V6 truck is still anticipated for the F-Series' 14th generation, though most that find their way into the public's hands will be far more expensive—think around $40,000. Considering you can spec a current F-150 Limited to $75,000, the sky is the limit for Dearborn's next flagship.

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