Ford To Compete With GM’s Multi-Flex And MultiPro Tailgates

Ford Motor Company looks set to introduce its own multifunction tailgate to compete with General Motors’ own Multi-Flex and MultiPro tailgates for the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra.

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.

GM MultiFlex tailgate

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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Sam McEachern: Sam loves to write and has a passion for auto racing, karting and performance driving of all types.

View Comments (18)

  • The tailgate+bed entry sweet spot, IMO, is:
    Dampened tailgate
    Power locking
    Corner bumper steps
    ... If you want to spend a little more, get the power up/down function.

    My tailgate is up and down easily 15 times a day, and I'm in the bed at least a half dozen. With the above average frequency im in the bed, these deployable steps are actually a nuisance. They are good if you are loading up the entire bed, with like camping gear and coolers. But if you are just hoping in the bed quick, they are a novelty.

    • To add, what I would like to see added as an option on the Silverado 1500 is the step side that is on the 2020+ HDs. Would only work on the regular and long beds however. Awesome if you have a tool box, fuel cell, or tonneau that the front section flips back, or access front tie down when you have something big in the bed like a quad that is otherwise hard to climb around to access the straps

      • You and your fixation on screens. Did mommy not let you go outside and play? Must have been a TV junkie.

    • If the trucks were same size as 70 era save weight be cheaper tires cheaper to run and no need for a ladder to get in and out of cab or bed. First GM put on 16 inch wheels which was ridiculous Dodge thought they were building big trucks then Ford dropped I beam suspension got really ugly and made beds way to deep and too high. Today’s trucks are ridiculous Not made sensible or to work with. Heater control no need to take eyes off road dimmer on floor trucks were practical. Today’s components and yesterday body style really have something

  • The Ram gate is not popular as you see few of them.

    The GM gate is really becoming popular as more new truck appear to have it vs not have it.

    We have one and it is great. No weather issues and it has enough power to be just right anymore would just be something more to fail.

    This is one thing GM nailed and got it right.

  • When Ford makes theirs available, I’d like to see a video that compares them all ( Chevy, GMC, Ram and Ford) side by side.

  • I'm fine with a simple, light weight tailgate. One that is easy to open and shut; remove and reinstall.

    • I have a 21 Denali with the MultiPro and the Kicker sound system, and the one complaint I have about it (other than the Kicker having to be replaced already) is the tailgate is very heavy.

      While I thought the gate was a bit of a gimmick at first, I've actually found it can be useful. I especially like being able to drop the center section (without dropping the step), allowing me to reach in just a little further when unloading something. It sounds funny, but it's surprising just how helpful gaining those few extra inches are for unloading the bed, when you drop the center section.

  • I like the design of the current gm tail gate but the interior of it is a joke. They need to have the interior of their tail gate redesigned to keep up the interior of the Ram tailgate. I blame the Mary Barra.