Introduced in 2010, the original Ford F-150 Raptor kicked off the hardcore off-road performance category that’s soon to be occupied by newcomers like the Ram TRX and Jeep Wrangler 392.
But with the recent release of the 2021 F-150 Raptor specs, Ford’s reminding everyone that it’ll take a lot to knock the Raptor from the performance truck throne.
“Raptor is the original desert truck. We just took it to another level,” said Ali Jammoul, Ford Performance vehicle program director.
The biggest news is out back, where Ford ditched the old Raptor’s leaf springs in favor of a completely new five-link, coil-sprung rear suspension and electronically-controlled Fox shocks. In addition to 25 percent more wheel travel than the original Raptor, Ford reveals that the new suspension allows the 2021 F-150 Raptor to be equipped with 37(!) inch tires from the factory. (35s will be an option as well.)
The 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor carries a high-output 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine that now features upgraded cooling fans to keep things comfy under the hood.
Oh, and for those salivating over the long-rumored V8-powered Raptor R, relax, Ford made it clear that the Raptor R IS coming—albeit next year.
Ford also describes a class-exclusive active valve dual exhaust system which delivers, in their words, a throatier engine sound. The exhaust note can be controlled by the driver and comes in four flavors: Quiet, Normal, Sport, and Baja.
Backing up the EcoBoost is a 10-speed Ford-built automatic. The transmission connects to what Ford calls a torque-on-demand transfer case. An electronically-locking rear diff is standard, with an optional TORSEN front limited slip available too. Inside both are 4:10 gears.
The F-150 Raptor also has a Terrain Management System with in-cab controls that let the driver select drive modes based on the driving conditions: Slippery, Tow/Haul, Sport, Normal, Off-Road, Baja, and Rock Crawl. The system will adjust steering, transfer case behavior, transmission shift points, suspension damping, throttle mapping, and a host of other parameters.
Ford says you’ll start seeing the 2021 F-150 Raptor in dealerships by the summer. In the meantime, enjoy this Raptor reveal video.