Combines folding and opening features from GM and Ram
No name yet for extra-intricate tailgate
Ford has been tailing behind GM and Ram in the pickup gate department ever since GMC launched its Multipro configurable part and Ram launched its own barn-door design. Now reports from CarBuzz have uncovered a patent filing that suggest the Ford F-150 will show up with a tailgate that aims to beat both.
The big four pickups fight tooth and nail to one-up each other with every model year. Sometimes it’s more power, sometimes it is high-tech towing, and sometimes it’s trick features you never knew you needed. This new Ford tailgate is one of those.
Patent drawings filed with the US PTO show a tailgate that is divided into three horizontal sections. One figure shows the gate opening flat like a conventional tailgate. Another shows the center section opening sideways, like the rear door on a Ford Bronco. That lets you store longer items in the box while keeping shorter items inside thanks to dividers that can be installed in the bed.
The side-opening door also makes it easier for the average person to reach into the ever-increasing pickup box to store and remove their cargo without having to climb up into the box.
The GM tailgate opens and then folds down to make a step. Handy, but the step interferes with the trailer hitch, so the two can’t be used at the same time without damage. Ford’s patent filings show a new bed access step that is integrated into the bumper rather than the tailgate. This means it can be used with the gate up or the tailgate door open, though it’s not clear if it could be used with the tailgate open conventionally. The drawings do show an in-tailgate step much like Ford’s current step that would come out of the tri-split tailgate’s top lid.
There’s no name yet for the new Ford tailgate, but expect it to be something cool by the time this clever new idea sees production.