The all-new 2021 F-150 Raptor is making its debut ahead of its arrival this summer. The high-performance off-roading pickup is equipped with an all-new five-link rear suspension and a new exhaust system. Itís also available with either 35- or 37-inch tires for the first time ever. Weíre still waiting on power specs from an updated 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine -- and for those of the Raptor R V8 model that will follow next year.
The Raptor dates back to 2009 when Ford introduced the desert racing-inspired F-150 Raptor. It was designed to not only speed over rough terrain, but also to jump and catch air.
Ford says the all-new third-generation Raptor takes the mechanical, technical brilliance and precision of the Raptor and infuses it with enhanced connected technology - meaning it will now receive over-the-air updates.
Ford says the Raptor has eclipsed the sales of other well-known performance icons. The automaker says that over the last four years, the previous-generation Raptor cumulatively outsold Porscheís entire lineup of sports cars and also outsold Chevroletís Corvette.
Suspension is key to an off-road pickup and to that end the new Raptor debuts with completely redesigned running gear. Ford says itís all-new five-link rear suspension was developed specifically for Raptor. Itís designed to deliver more control and power to the ground with greater confidence over rough terrain at high speeds.
The suspension setup features extra-long trailing arms to better maintain axle position on rough terrain, a Panhard rod and 24-inch coil springs Ė the longest in the class. The suspension design combined with more sophisticated engine management software means the truck can put more torque to the rear wheels for quicker starts off the line, faster acceleration and better throttle responsiveness while simultaneously delivering comfort, stability, handling, control and traction at speed.
Soaking up giant whoops and landings comes courtesy of next-generation FOX Live Valve internal bypass shocks with state-of-the-art electronic control technology offering position-sensitive damping adjustability. Raptorís largest-ever shocks are designed to better resist heat buildup and to react even faster to terrain changes for greater confidence over extended desert running. The larger 3.1-inch-diameter anodized aluminum shock bodies are filled with all-new low-friction shock fluid specially designed to decrease frictional losses inside the damper for improved off and on-road comfort. New electronically controlled base valves are race-proven with an upgraded design enabling upward of 1,000 pounds of damping per corner at desert speeds.
Readings from suspension height sensors and other sensors around the truck change damping rates independently at each corner 500 times per second, with the shocks responding at the same speed the human brain processes visual information. The truck responds by the time the driver even registers a terrain change.
New Exhaust, Tires, Pro Power Onboard
There are cool new features, too. A new three-inch equal-length exhaust system features a patent-pending built-in X-pipe, unique ďtrombone loopĒ and first-for-Raptor active valves. Ford says the system takes advantage of a true pass-through muffler design that improves sound quality. Owners can choose between Quiet, Normal, Sport and Baja modes.
You can also equip the 2021 Raptor with available 35-inch or 37-inch tires for the first time everĖ the largest factory-fitted to a production light-duty full-size pickup. The BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires are specially designed to offer maximum traction and handling.
New for 2021, you can also equip the Raptor with Fordís recently introduced Pro Power Onboard. It turns the truck into a mobile generator. You can also order the pickup with an available 2.0 kilowatts of exportable output to run power tools, camp lights and other equipment. Ford says it provides more exportable power than any light-duty full-size pickup competitor.
Wearing 35-inch tires, Raptor clears 12-inch obstacles with an approach angle of 31 degrees, maximum departure angle of 23.9 degrees and breakover angle of 22.7 degrees. Raptor with 37-inch tires features 13.1 inches of running clearance, 33.1 degrees of approach angle, a maximum 24.9 degrees of departure angle and 24.4 degrees of breakover angle. Desert runners and rock crawlers alike will appreciate the outstanding wheel travel with 35-inch tires, reaching 14 inches at the front and 15 inches at the rear Ė 25 percent more travel than the first-generation Raptor.
Powertrain, Payload and Towing
The Raptorís third-generation twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost high-output engine gets some tweaks. We donít have power specs yet but Ford says it delivers torque low in the rev range right ďwhere it counts.Ē It features state-of-the-art turbos and 10.5:1 compression ratio as well as new high-power fans built into the cooling system to ensure intense off-roading sessions never end too early. The gas tank has a 36-gallon capacity, and Ford says the Raptor has a projected EPA-estimated range of more than 500 miles on a full tank.
The engine is mated to a Ford-built 10-speed automatic transmission thatís been upgraded with next-generation controls -- and bolted to an innovative torque-on-demand transfer case. A standard electronic locking rear differential and available TORSEN front limited-slip differential are fitted with 4:10 final drive ratios.
As for payload and towing specs: Maximum payload increases by 200 pounds, to 1,400 pounds, while maximum towing also increases 200 pounds, to 8,200 pounds of conventional towing.
Ford says youíll find enhanced materials in the all-new interior, along with unique surface finishes and more storage. Thereís also a new steering wheel with a laser-etched logo, top centering mark and aluminum paddle shifters. The seats have large bolsters to keep you in place and even more aggressive Recaro buckets are available.
Standard aluminum or available carbon fiber interior packages trim the doors, instrument panel and center console. Lockable, fold-flat rear storage is available, adding a vault under the rear seats for stashing recovery ropes or high-lift jacks to aid in recoveries or repairs when others need help along the way.
The 2021 F-150 Raptor will be assembled at Fordís Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Michigan, and available in showrooms this summer. Raptor R is coming next year. We can expect pricing and power specs closer to the on-sale date.
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