When the 2019 Ram 1500 bowed, there was perhaps one key shock-and-awe factor: the massive (optional) touchscreen nestled in the middle of the dashboard. Effectively, Ram’s interior designers shook up what a pickup’s interior could look like, and so far, Ram has reaped the reward in terms of sales. It’s now in second place after ousting the Chevrolet Silverado.
What’s first-place Ford going to do to maintain its lead in the pickup truck sales race? Super-size the next F-150’s touchscreen, of course. According to a Friday report from Bloomberg, which cited anonymous sources close to the future pickup truck, Ford plans to install a 12-inch touchscreen in the center of dashboard to directly challenge Ram. The sources said this touchscreen unit will be able to display multiple things at once, such as maps and audio controls simultaneously.
Currently, the F-150’s touchscreen is no larger than an 8-inch unit.
This new touchscreen unit is reportedly not the same optional tablet-like display that 2020 Ford Explorer buyers can equip, either. The Explorer’s unit measures 10.1 inches, while the sources explicitly described a 12-inch display. Thus, we could see a similar installation to the Ram 1500; the screen fits vertically in the center stack with some traditional knobs and buttons flanking it. The sources seemed to confirm this orientation, which would also match the 2020 Escape‘s layout.
It’s highly unlikely the touchscreen will be standard equipment, however. Instead, the website’s sources said to look for the massive screen on high-end models. With Ford reportedly moving to the bigger screen, it will leave the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra on the short end of the stick. The pickups come standard with a 7-inch touchscreen with an 8-inch unit optional.
The website’s sources wrapped up their intel spill by saying the next-generation F-150 is slated for production next summer. That gives Ford a couple of auto shows to reveal the next truck — including a rebooted North American International Auto Show in the company’s backyard next June.