All-New F-150 Raptor
Last year Ford introduced an F-150 with all-new styling, more capability and a host of innovations, and it was only a matter of time before the updates trickled down to the most exciting F-150 of them all — the Raptor. Today Ford introduces the latest edition of the high-performance off-roader, claiming that the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor is more capable than ever.
Original Desert Truck
“Raptor is the original desert truck. We just took it to another level,” said Ali Jammoul, Ford Performance vehicle program director. “The all-new Raptor splices high-speed off-road performance muscle with advanced technology and connectivity that comes together in a unique Built Ford Tough way,” Jammoul noted.
Raptor gets an all-new look for 2021 and, like past versions, it easily stands out from the standard F-150. Most noticeable is the wide, blacked-out grille emblazoned with FORD in large letters across the center. With amber LED marker lights across the top of the grille and LED running lights surrounding the headlights, the all-new Raptor looks meaner than the outgoing version.
The power dome hood of the 2021 Ford Raptor features a new heat extractor with functional side vents at the top of the fenders; the automaker says the hood draws inspiration from the Raptor’s namesake the F-22 Raptor fighter jet. A wider front skidplate provides increased protection while giving the new Raptor a more aggressive stance. The new Raptor is about six inches wider than the standard F-150.
At the rear of this menacing truck, large blacked-out FORD lettering and blacked-out taillights add to the Raptor’s distinctive appearance. Large high-mounted dual exhaust outlets complete the bold appearance.
New Running Gear
Although looks are important, what’s underneath counts the most. The third-generation F-150 Raptor gets completely new running gear designed to allow this special truck to maintain control while putting the power to the ground during high-speed runs over rough terrain. “Raptor is rooted in Baja 1000 racing, and its suspension advances our capability and performance — a five-link rear setup with more wheel travel than any Raptor before it,” said Carl Widmann, Ford Performance chief engineer. “And like a trophy truck, every aspect of Raptor has been engineered to deliver precision capability when your foot is flat on the floor, way out in the middle of nowhere roaring across the desert,” Widmann enthused.
Raptor gets a new five-link rear suspension with extra-long trailing arms and 24-inch coil springs. This new suspension system is designed to work in tandem with the EcoBoost engine management software to provide better comfort, stability and traction at high speeds while simultaneously allowing the big truck to put more power to the rear wheels for quicker launches off the line.
Next-generation Fox Live Valve shocks are the largest Raptor has ever had, designed to react faster to changes in terrain. The 3.1-inch diameter shocks are filled with an all-new low friction shock fluid for improved on- and off-road drivability. Based on sensor input from around the truck, the damping rates can adjust up to 500 times per second while providing upwards of 1,000 pounds of damping at each corner.
The new 2021 Ford Raptor is available with 35-inch or 37-inch tires – the latter being the largest tires ever factory-installed on a production full-size pickup truck. Tires are BF Goodrich all-terrain T/A KO2 meats — with the 35-inch standard tires the Raptor has 12 inches of ground clearance with an approach angle of 31 degrees and departure angle of 23.9 degrees. When fitted with the massive 37-inch tires, ground clearance bumps up to 13.1 inches with a 33.1-degree approach and a 24.9-degree departure angles.
Wheel travel on the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor improves to 14 inches up front, 15 inches at the rear — a 25 percent increase versus the first-gen Raptor.
Drivers can choose from seven drive modes in the Raptor’s Terrain Management system, including Slippery, Tow / Haul, Sport, Normal, Off-Road, Baja and Rock Crawl. Each selection optimizes vehicle settings that include steering, transfer case, stability control, exhaust note and throttle mapping. Raptor also gets Trail 1-Pedal Drive that allows better control during rock crawling or other extreme off-road situations.
Under the Hood
Powering the 2021 F-150 Raptor is a next-generation 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost high-output V6 engine teamed with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Ford hasn’t released horsepower or torque figures; however, the previous-generation’s EcoBoost engine produces 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque, so we assume the new Raptor will at least match these specs and likely surpass them. Maximum payload has been increased to 1,400 pounds, while towing bumps up to an impressive 8,200 pounds.
The 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor has the ability to leave civilization far behind; however, the truck can also deliver up to 2.0 kilowatts of power for tools, toys, lights or whatever else needs power. The Pro Power Onboard feature lets the truck operate as a mobile generator; Raptor has outlets in the cabin as well as the truck bed.
This Raptor benefits from the new F-150 interior with a standard 12.0-inch touchscreen display running Ford’s latest infotainment system called SYNC4, featuring wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration. The capacious truck also has an available 18-speaker premium audio system from Bang & Olufsen. A 12.0-inch digital gauge cluster is also standard, featuring Raptor-specific graphics as well as off-road data.
The new 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor will be built at the automaker’s Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Michigan. Deliveries of the new Raptor are expected to start this summer. And for those who were hoping for something even more rapacious, stay tuned — a Raptor R will be arriving in 2022.