The images appear to show an F-150 Lightning pickup fitted with the new type of bed.
Tool storage, an extendable floor, a split tailgate, entry steps, and cargo ramps are all included in recent patents.
The company has also trademarked the F-200 name, possibly to use on its future T3 electric pickup.
Ford has recently patented a slew of potential truck bed modifications in the United States, including four patents that aim to make working with its pickups easier and more convenient.
Despite being filed under four distinct patents, all of the new features Ford has apparently been working on seem to be made to work together.
The main aim of these modifications appears to be an increase in cargo space, something that has been tried before by other pickup makers, such as Chevrolet.
In Ford’s case, drivers would go about lengthening the bed of the truck from the rear rather than the front, which means that loading up large items would not come at the expense of passenger space.
In the patent images, Ford shows a system where the bed’s floor can be extended by folding out two panels which appear to be stored in a recess just behind the cab.
In most of the images, this is accomplished by sliding out the entire rear of the truck, taillamps included. This not only provides a significantly larger enclosed bed area, but it also reveals hidden storage for tools inside of the rear fenders.
In addition, the pickup would be fitted with a split tailgate that can open like barn doors in addition to flipping up and down.
Unlike the split tailgate used by RAM, this system would feature a center-split design that allows both sides to open up to a 180-degree angle, creating an open workspace with, again, provisions for tool storage.
Since the current bed step used by Ford is integrated into the tailgate itself, the company had to rethink it in order to keep this feature with a split tailgate design.
From what can be seen, access to the bed will be possible via two large steps that extend down from the cargo floor and behind the rear bumper.
In addition, the patents show that Ford has thought about including ramps to facilitate the loading of an ATV. These ramps appear to slide into the largest floor portion once it’s in its extended position.
Somewhat related is the fact that Ford also recently trademarked the F-200 nameplate for use on vehicles in the United States.
While nothing has been confirmed at the moment, it is possible that both this name and the novel bed solutions will be introduced with the automaker’s next-gen electric truck, which is currently known under project code T3.
Of course, it is not rare to see automakers patent ideas that never actually make it to production, so we’ll have to wait and see if Ford decides to put all of these recent patents to good use.
Source: Motor Authority