The original factory go-fast off-road truck was first introduced all the way back in 2009. Now it’s revamped in its 3rd-generation form. The 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor will be available this summer and come in a SuperCrew with a 5.5-foot bed format. It gives consumers a choice of 35 or 37-inch tires and an updated Twin-turbo 3.5L V6 EcoBoost H.O. engine. There is also still hope for the return of a V8 in the Raptor, with the announcement that we’ll get a Raptor R in 2022.
Let’s dive into what we do know.
2021 Ford Raptor Quick Highlights:
- 35-inch standard and 37-inch optional tires on 17-inch wheels (beadlock capable options available)
- New 5-link coil rear suspension with Live Valve electronically controlled internal bypass 3.1 Fox shocks
- Lots of new tech: over-the-air updates, 12-inch infotainment touchscreen, cloud-connected SYNC 4, FordPass mobile app, and more
- Expected 500+ mile range (36-gallon tank)
- Active valve equal length dual exhaust = more twin-turbo V6 growl
- We will get a 2022 Ford “Raptor R”
Proven Raptor Sales
Ford claims that the “F-150 Raptor has eclipsed the sales of other well-known performance icons. Over the last four years, the previous-generation Raptor cumulatively outsold Porsche’s entire lineup of sports cars and also outsold Chevrolet’s Corvette.” While we couldn’t verify the Raptor sales numbers, we did find that there were 83,484 Corvette’s sold in the last 4 years. If true, that means there are a lot of go-fast off-road F-150 roaming the planet’s roads!
We expect this latest 2021 Ford Raptor to only accelerate sales, especially in these times of low gas prices.
Big Truck With Big Tires
2021 F-150 Raptor Suspension
The latest Fox Racing Shox technology has been packed into the new Raptor, with the next generation of the Live Valve tech introduced in 2019. The 2021 Raptor gets “gas-pressurized, electronically controlled, continuously variable compression damping FOX Racing Shox with 3.1-inch damper” at all four corners. Ford says that these new shocks will respond “at the same speed the human brain processes visual information.” What this equates to is a super smooth ride over incredibly rough terrain as the shocks change their damping rates 500 times per second independently at each corner of the truck.
2021 Raptor Off-Road Numbers
With 35-inch tires, the 2021 Ford Raptor gets 14-inches at the front and 15-inches at the rear of wheel travel. It also has 12-inches of ground clearance, a 31-degree entry angle, a 23.9-degree departure angle, and a 22.7 degree breakover angle. These numbers are mild improvements over the outgoing Raptor and near-identical to the RAM TRX, with a slight advantage in ground clearance and wheel travel.
A 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor on 37-inch tires gets 13-inches at the front and 14.1-inches at the rear of wheel travel. It has 13.1 inches of ground clearance. It also offers 33.1 degrees of approach angle, a maximum 24.9 degrees of departure angle, and 24.4 degrees of breakover angle.
Louder Sound & Looks
The 2021 Raptor is a bigger truck and looks the part. It has a wider front skid plate, power dome hood, super-wide headlights, and even more aggressive wide fenders. You get high-clearance steel bumpers at both ends of the truck, and even functional side vents at the back of the front fenders.
2021 Ford Raptor Pro Power Electrical System
One of the hot optional features on the latest generation F-150 is the Pro Power Onboard system. This system allows you to use your truck as a mobile generator. The 2-kilowatt output allows you to power up everything from camp lights to power tools. This optional feature will for sure attract some buyers to the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor.
More of everything is the name of the game with the new Raptor. You get more payload and more towing capacity, both up 200-pounds over the outgoing truck. This gets the maximum payload to 1,400-pounds and maximum towing to 8,200-pounds. While we’d love to see even more of both, these numbers are workable for a high-speed desert runner style truck.
The FordPass mobile app functionality is also now standard on the 2021 Raptor. The app offers a ton of functionality. You can check fuel and tire pressure levels, control the Pro Power Onboard system, monitor an attached trailer, lock and unlock the truck, and more. Expect the apps functionality options to improve alongside over-air updates to the truck.
Ford hasn’t forgotten to include the latest off-road computer aids as well. You get a Terrain Management System with seven selectable modes, Trail 1-Pedal Drive, and the off-road cruise control of Trail Control. Possibly even more useful than all those features is the available 360-degree camera package with real-time tire overlay and a dash hard button to summon the camera views at any time.
2021 Raptor Interior
The front seats are more highly bolstered, to keep you from moving around when bouncing down rough trails at high speeds. Even more sporty and aggressive Recaro buckets are available. In the back passengers get a ton of legroom while the extra space also offers up impressive cargo room. Lockable fold-flat storage under the rear seats is available, and perfect for securing and providing easy access to off-road recovery gear.
2021 Ford F-150 Raptor Drive Train
There isn’t a ton to talk about, yet, with the drive train of the new Raptor. It is still based on a twin-turbo 3.5L EcoBoost high output (HO) engine backed by a 10-speed automatic with paddle shifters. While we don’t know output numbers just yet, we’re sure it will be more than the outgoing truck’s 450 hp and 510 lb.-ft. of torque and considerably less than the RAM TRX’s 702 hp and 650 lb.-ft. of torque.
Under the 2021 F-150 Raptor are 4:10 gears and a standard rear e-locker and an optional Torsen front limited-slip differential. This setup should prove very capable off-road.
2022 Ford Raptor R
We now know for sure that we’re going to get something called the “Raptor R” next year. Our best guess is that this will be the V8 powered high horsepower Raptor aimed squarely at taking down the TRX’s power supremacy. We’ll probably see a detuned supercharged 5.2L Predator V8, which is currently found in the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, which should put out a bit less than 760 hp.
No matter V6 or V8, we’re ready to get behind the wheel of the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor and smash the skinny pedal!