In regards to the 2021 Ford F-150 PowerBoost Hybrid, its engineering team put it best: just because it’s a hybrid, doesn’t mean anybody is going to go easy on it. No kid gloves. And rightfully so. With 430 horsepower and a record 570 lb-ft of torque, the hybrid F-150 is arguably the most capable of the entire lineup. It’s rated to tow 12,700 pounds, for example. But what gave Ford the confidence to bestow such high capabilities onto its hybrid half-ton truck? Today, we get a look on how Ford is breaking stereotypes on hybrid vehicles.
Being uniquely a hybrid, Ford had to come up with a specific testing cycle for the 2021 F-150 PowerBoost. As such, Ford built a custom testing machine using multi-axis hydraulic actuation to violently shake the powertrain’s 1.5-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery. This is meant to simulate conditions like washboard dirt roads and jarring potholes.
How effective is this torture device? Just 82 hours on this machine puts the equivalent of 10 years of mechanical wear and tear on the batteries, says Ford. This was on top of the otherwise standard Ford truck testing that took place all over America. Locations include near the Davis Dam. Here, the trucks climb a 6 percent grade taking place on 11.4 miles of highway that climbs 3,500 feet in the Mojave Desert. It’s said to be a crucible for tow testing, and engineers took the 2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid through this test to validate its engine, modular hybrid transmission, cooling systems, and trailering technologies.
The all-new 2021 Ford F-150 goes on sale this fall. The truck is built at the Ford Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Michigan, and the Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri.