Ford patents a rear door for the cab of its pick-up trucks - so that the competition doesn't have an edge. There is also a tent patent for the whole car. And the door can also be a workbench.
Ford does not dream of giving up its top position among the best-selling cars in the USA, which it has held for decades - the F-150 reliably secures profits for the American manufacturer. That's why Ford really got down to business with the electric version of the pickup: The F-150 Lightning seems to be a successful large-scale series electric pickup at a low entry-level price of $39,974 (currently the equivalent of around €38,130). Deliveries have already started. Chevrolet is at least a year behind with its competitor model Silverado EV - but Ford is suspicious of all developments in the F-150 Lightning opponent. In particular, the cabin rear door of the Silverado EV seems to have alarmed the Ford developers - now Ford patents have appeared for just such a door.
Tent camper van with rotating seats
Does a pick-up even need a rear door? Depending on the size of the cab, the loading area of such a flatbed truck is quite long and, on the other hand, can be expanded by folding down the rear loading area door. In a cabin tailgate, similar to SUVs and station wagons, the manufacturers seem to see advantages. The fact that the transported cargo does not look out of the back of the car in the best case, ensures safer and more practical transport. And Ford is taking the idea one step further: the patent drawings also include images of a large tent that covers both the cab and the loading area of the pick-up. The developers are pleased in the patent specification: "The passenger compartment, the loading area or both could then be used by users to sleep and relax while being protected by the tent." In addition, the seats should be able to be turned backwards so that those sitting on them can look towards the interior of the tent. This would make the F-150 a mobile home where the loading area can also be entered directly from the cabin. And for the purpose of the door itself, Ford has another idea.
Workbench with sockets
"Pivotable Cab Back Assembly for a Vehicle and Cab Back Assembly Pivoting Method" is what Ford calls its development in the patent specification - roughly translated it means "pivotable rear driver's cab assembly and pivoting method of this assembly for a vehicle." Cab assembly because the pivoting component isn't just a simple door. Apparently it consists of two segments, the lower one of which can be folded out separately. Folding out the lower door segment creates a kind of table. The construction seems to be very robust - Ford suggests using it as a workbench.A chop saw attached to the swivel workbench can be seen in the patent images. Sockets for connecting the saw or camping accessories are also included in the door. Ford has already given the F-150 Lightning plenty of sockets in the front trunk, in the cabin and in the loading compartment anyway - bizarrely, the car can even charge itself with it .
Series production always uncertain
The fact that Ford submitted the patents for electric pick-ups is only a guess - albeit an obvious one. After all, Chevrolet was the first to show this construction with the Silverado EV. In theory, the socket double folding door also works in vehicles with a combustion engine. Whether Ford will ever offer the rear cabin door in a production model is an open question - experience has shown that car manufacturers protect many more ideas with patents than they later actually implement in production.
Also interesting: Cars with folding, sliding and gullwing doors - we have collected the most unusual door concepts from car manufacturers .
A tailgate in the cab of a pickup truck is a fairly new idea. Chevrolet was the first to present it in its Silverado EV, which will be available in a year at the earliest, and Ford patent drawings with a similar design are now appearing. At Ford, the door should not only extend the loading area, but also allow conversion to a tent mobile home. In addition, the door can be folded down to form a workbench.
When it comes to door construction, the competition among US pick-up suppliers is fierce - there are now tailgate doors that can be divided and open in almost all directions .