With all the light-truck product buzz surrounding Ford, one thing that’s gone relatively unmentioned is the impending debut of a new F-150. Yes, the world’s best-selling vehicle since the dawn of time, or at least it seems that way.
The 2019 Ranger midsize pickup garnered plenty of page space this week, and oceans of digital ink keep the upcoming Bronco afloat in speculative press, but it’s looking like we’ll see a new F-150 before any of us get a chance to lay a finger on Ford’s retro off-roader.
A product timeline uncovered by Off-Road reveals when the Blue Oval crowd plans to foist new vehicles on us, and the Bronco brings up the rear. That debut is officially scheduled for sometime in 2020, though more than likely the vehicle itself will appear as a 2021 model.
What’s the timeline, you ask? First up is the 2020 Explorer, riding atop Ford’s CD6 platform and boasting rear-wheel drive for the first time in years. This unveiling will likely come next month at the North American International Auto Show. A new F-150 is next, ensuring Ford’s breadwinner stays fresh in a segment that saw its domestic rivals launch radically revamped full-sizers in 2019. The current, thirteenth-generation F-150 bowed for the 2015 model year, receiving a refresh for 2018.
Much of the heavy lifting in staying class-leading took place before the current generation’s debut, when Ford shaved hundreds of pounds from the truck’s curb weight by utilizing an aluminum body. The 2020 model gains a hybrid variant, further boosting fuel-economy gains achieved through engine downsizing and vehicle lightweighting. You’ll recall that Ford plans to play up the hybrid truck’s manly mobile generator role.
With this timeline in hand, it can be assumed that Ford will want to leave lots of breathing room for the big-ticket launch, saving it for the space between auto show circuits. Those shows have a way of stealing a vehicle’s thunder and limelight. So, an F-150 reveal in the summer or early fall of 2019 seems likely.
As author Matthew Guy points out, General Motors choose this tactic for the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado’s debut.
The Explorer, F-150, and Bronco aren’t the only product launches to expect in the next couple of years. There’s also the Bronco’s unibody stablemate, revealed in these photographs, and the brand’s electric sport crossover. The latter vehicle will likely appear with a Mustang-inspired exterior and name.