Ford designing a midgate pass-through for pickup trucks

By 3 Min Read

A Ford patent application for a pickup truck midgate pass-through assembly has surfaced, hinting that Ford might follow rival General Motors in adding this feature to its trucks.

As described in the application, which was published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on May 2 and originally filed by Ford on Oct. 31, 2022, the midgate would allow for storage of longer items in pickup beds. The bulkhead between the rear of the cab and the bed folds down, effectively extending cargo space into the cab.

2013 Chevrolet Avalanche

GM pioneered this idea in the early 2000s on the Chevrolet Avalanche and Cadillac Escalade EXT pickups. This allowed GM to give create cabs similar in dimensions to full-size SUVs of the time and include a cargo bed without having to lengthen the vehicles. There were some tradeoffs, however.

Using the midgate meant folding down the rear seats, so drivers could carry a lot of passengers or cargo, but not both. It also meant the cab couldn’t be fully secured, as the pass-through left an open space when in use. When the midgate wasn’t in use, the Avalanche and Escalade EXT had fairly small beds.

2024 GMC Sierra EV Denali Edition 1

2024 GMC Sierra EV Denali Edition 1

The midgate was shelved until recently, when GM brought it back for its electric Chevy Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV pickups. Both are unibody vehicles based on GM’s Ultium EV component set.

It’s unclear if Ford will actually follow through and build a truck with a midgate, but in the patent application Ford does note that the feature could be particularly useful in unibody pickups. Ford is planning a new electric pickup (one that was recently delayed, admittedly) based on an EV-specific architecture that could be different from the body-on-frame design used by the current F-150 Lightning. The gas-powered Ford Maverick pickup also has a unibody design. Only the future will tell if Ford will use a midgate and in what model or models it might arrive.

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