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Ford is making the PowerBoost hybrid engine option the same price as the EcoBoost powertrain in a bid to accelerate adoption.

Dan Carney

September 13, 2023

4 Min Read
2024 Ford F-150 Lariat_01.jpg
2024 Ford F-150 Lariat.Ford Motor Co.

While it might seem that Ford only just introduced the latest generation of its cash cow F-150 pickup truck (It was actually in 2020), if you’re standing still, you’re falling behind in this market, so the Blue Oval company has rolled out a refresh with new features for 2024.

Indeed, one of those new features is a new Blue Oval on the truck’s grille. The 2024 F-150 debuts Ford’s simplified logo, which substitutes white for the previous chrome outline and eliminates the outline surrounding the “Ford” name, letting those letters grow to fill more of the oval.

Behind that badge on the grille, there are new powertrains. Significantly, the available hybrid-electric PowerBoost V6 hybrid engine option is now priced the same as the EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 engine upgrade, eliminating the penalty for choosing the hybrid.

The PowerBoost accounts for 10 percent of F-150 sales, but Ford says it expects that this move will double that for 2024. The company says that its goal is to make the F-150 one of the top-selling hybrids in America.

The F-150’s new base engine is a 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged V6. In addition to the PowerBoost hybrid and twin-turbo EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6 options, there is also a 5.0-liter V8 engine. In addition, the Raptor R is available with a supercharged 5.2-liter V8 like the one we saw in the Shelby GT500.

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Ford's Pro Access Tailgate stops at 37- and 70-degree detents (shown) before swinging all the way open to 100 degrees.

The PowerBoost drivetrain is rated at 430 horsepower and 570 lb.-ft. of torque. But more importantly, it delivers 2.4 kilowatts of electric power with its Pro Power Onboard generator feature and 7.2 kilowatts as an available upgrade. Non-hybrid trucks can be equipped with a 2.0 kW system. Ford says that Pro Power Onboard is cited by F-150 customers as one of the main attractions for the truck.

Ford is looking for other features to appeal to customers, and increasingly, tailgates are a battleground for innovation. Ford has introduced the Pro Access Tailgate, which incorporates a side-hinged door into the tailgate.

This is important because when a tailgate folds down to open, it pushes the driver farther away from whatever they’re trying to reach in the bed. With this swinging door, drivers can belly up to the edge of the bed, putting objects within easier reach.

Ford recognized that the swinging portion of the tailgate would be susceptible to bashing into the jack on the tongue of any trailer hitched to the truck, so engineers built detents into the door’s hinge that stop it at 37 degrees.

Testing showed this is the widest possible angle that will be certain to stop the tailgate before it can hit the jack on the trailer, according to Josh Hemphill, Ford’s D&R Tailgate Engineer. For when there is no trailer in the way, the next detent is at 70 degrees, and for maximum access, it swings wide open to 100 degrees. This was the practical limit for the design of the hinges as well as to preserve visibility of the taillights while stopped at the side of the road, explained Hemphill.

The tailgate engineering team used lightening holes and other techniques to minimize the weight of the tailgate while using steel rather than aluminum, which would have not only been more expensive but would have required thicker material, he said. “We got it as lightweight and cost-efficient as we possibly could,” said Hemphill.

The Pro Access Tailgate is standard on King Ranch, Platinum, and Platinum Plus F-150s, and can be ordered optionally on Lariat and Tremor models. That might sound complicated, but Ford has simplified ordering complexity by 90 percent for 204 compared to the 2023 model. It did this by making some popular features such as the extended range fuel tank and Class IV trailer hitch standard equipment. Other popular options like moonroof, Max Recline Seats, axle upgrades, and tow mirrors can still be ordered standalone, outside the package offering. 

The F-150 Raptor desert racer enjoys an upgrade to its sophisticated shock absorbers, with the Fox shocks adopting Dual Live Valve technology, so in addition to the existing continuously variable rebound damping control, now it also has position-sensitive compressing damping control.

These shocks work with the advanced five-link independent rear suspension system that caused Ford’s manufacturing engineers to push back on the original design, as described in our podcast. Ford says the 2024 F-150 will go on sale in early 2024.

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