As reported by our sister site, Ford Authority, the Dearborn-based automaker has filed a patent application for a multifunction tailgate that features three separate sections, with a power-operated center section and two accompanying separate sections on either side. The tailgate also integrates a feature similar to Ford’s old “Man Step,” which swings down from the license plate cutout to allow for easier access into the bed.
Ford is the only Big Three automaker that does not currently offer a multi-function tailgate on its full-size pickups. Ram introduced a multifunction swingout tailgate on the Ram 1500 for the 2020 model year, while the GMC Sierra first introduced the MultiPro tailgate for the 2019 model year. Unlike those manual-operate tailgates, though, this patent filing describes a power-operated tailgate. It doesn’t go into very much detail on how it works, although seems likely it would be operated via a physical button on the dash or in the center console. We could also see Ford offering the ability to control via the key fob or a smartphone app so the user doesn’t have to go back into the truck to access the bed.
It’s not clear if Ford actually plans to implement this design on a future production pickup and a patent application isn’t always concrete evidence of an automaker’s intent to introduce a product or feature. The fact that Ford is the only Big Three automaker without a multifunction tailgate leads us to believe it will introduce a similar feature in the not-too-distant future, however.
As an aside, the new 2024 Chevy Silverado EV will offer both a Multi-Flex Tailgate and the new Multi-Flex Midgate, which essentially extends the bed section by collapsing the wall between the bed and the rear passenger cell. The GMC Hummer EV Pickup also offers an available Multi-Flex Tailgate.
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