The Ford F-150 Raptor Jumps Into Its Third-Generation
With the Ford F-150 expanding its 14th generation of trucks, it was only a matter of time before the company launched the next-gen Ford F-150 Raptor and it looks like that time is finally here. With the latest Raptor there aren’t any major shakeups: Ford is basically sticking with the formula that made the truck a runaway success. For those out of the loop that means Ford looked at the suspension to push the Raptor to the next level. Ford saved you a trip to your local tire shop, and is offering 37-inch tall tires as an optional extra. The big question looming over Ford Raptor fans is probably what’s under the hood.
Ford is sticking with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost, for now. Ford ditched the V8-powered F-150 Raptor in lieu of the turbocharged V6 in the Raptor’s second-generation debuting in 2017. Ford isn’t disclosing how much power the 3.5-liter is making but we expect it to surpass the 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque found on the outgoing models. Ford did equip the 3.5-liter V6 with a new three-inch equal length exhaust system with a factory-installed X-pipe, which should hint at increased performance. Mated to the V6 is a ten-speed automatic feeding power to all-four wheels when needed by way of a torque-on-demand transfer case. Ford does suggest there is a more-potent Ford F-150 Raptor R coming next year, suggesting the V6 is either getting a huge power boost or there’s space under the hood for another engine.
Of course, if you’re opting for a Ford F-150 Raptor, you’re probably not too concerned with what’s under the hood. No, you’re probably focused on how it handles jumps and whoops in the desert. Well, it seems like the next Raptor won’t disappoint. Suspending the Raptor is a set of Fox Live Valve shocks. The Live Valve shocks made their debut on the refreshed ’19 Ford F-150 Raptor and add even more adjustability and sensitivity to the Raptor’s suspension. For the ’21 version Ford opted for even larger absorbers to better manage the rigors of the off-road abuse these trucks will likely see. Still, the shocks take input from sensors around the truck and can change their damping rates 500 times per second.
While the high-tech dampers were expected, Ford’s transition to a 37-inch tall tire should be some good news for prospective owners. The standard-issue 35-inch tall tire should get the job done for most, but the serious off-roader should opt for the 37-inch tall units. The bigger tires give you 13.1 inches of running clearance. That’s more than an inch more compared to the standard tires. The bigger rubber also gives you increased breakover and departure angles. Making sure the tires keep in touch with the planet is a set of double-wishbone control arms up front and 5-link suspension with a Panhard bar at the read.
Even though this is an off-road and desert-racing inspired pickup it still has some the expected creature comforts. Sitting in front of the driver is a 12-inch digital gauge cluster that is flanked by the 12-inch customizable center screen. The new Raptor comes from the factory with Sync 4, so over-the-air updates keep your new pickup, well, up to date. You’ll also be able to keep track of your truck with the FordPass app. Ford also saw that tech has a place off-road and will equip the truck with standard one-pedal drive tech to help give you one less thing to worry about when you’re crawling over rocks.
There’s no word on price, but Ford says that these trucks will move from Dearborn, Michigan to your local dealer this summer. We would expect the price to stay near today’s model, so don’t be shocked to see a $55,000 sticker on the window. As for the Raptor R, Ford says stay tuned until next year. With the growing competition in the desert-racing-inspired pickup world, we have high expectations of the R-badged Raptor.
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