In July, after the debut of the 2021 Ford F-150, Ford Authority asked the automaker why the 14th-generation pickup didn’t get a multifunction tailgate. F-150 engineering manager Dawn Piechocki told FA that customer feedback indicated F-150 buyers were more interested in using the back bed area “for projects, whether it construction or DIY, working, helping with community.” That led the team’s decision to install more features to make work easier, like adding cleats, clamp pockets, and the optional slide-out Tailgate Work Surface. A new report in Ford Authority suggests that Ford is tired of waiting on the sidelines now that the 2022 Chevrolet Silverado is slated to get its own multifunction door, a move that would leave Ford as the only truck in the room without an Erector Set tailgate. Either that, or Ford’s been working on a system for a while and simply didn’t put it on the new F-150. FA cites “sources familiar with the project” for news that the Blue Oval is “hard at work on a multifunction tailgate.”
It’s said one of the ideas engineers are rapid prototyping is “a barn-door-like layout with three vertical sections.” They could lower like a traditional tailgate, or be “opened individually in thirds — left to right or right to left.” That’s a fascinating concept we’d like to see in action. It doesn’t, however, sound like it would work with Ford’s latest innovations; we’re not sure how a buyer could get three doors and a Tailgate Work Surface in the latter’s current design, for instance.
But this is all just hearsay for now, so who knows what we’ll ultimately see. If someone had told us in 2017 that GM would come out with a tailgate that transformed six ways, we’d have wondered about that, too, and here we are. Ford Authority says that whenever Ford gets the product ready, it will debut on the new F-150.