After taking a brief hiatus as Ford rolls out its redesigned F-150 lineup, the high-performance Raptor will soon return for 2021.
The off-road pickup revealed on Wednesday has received significant changes that include the first five-link, coil-spring rear suspension ever featured on an F-150.
Ford said it is based on the ones used by trophy trucks that compete in races like the Baja 1000 and provides 15 inches of rear-wheel travel for high speed off-road driving and jumps to go with the 14 inches available up front.
The Raptor’s computer-controlled Fox Live Valve shocks with position-dependent damping have been upgraded from a 3.0-inch to 3.1-inch diameter body to further improve the suspension’s capability and performance.
The Raptor, which is only available in a four-door SuperCrew configuration this time around, also gets all of the new technology that was launched with the 2021 F-150, including the ability to receive over-the-air updates, Ford’s hands-free Active Drive Assist highway driving aid and an optional Pro Power Onboard 2.0-kilowatt built-in generator.
An optional 360-degree camera system provides a front view with guidelines to help place your front tires while maneuvering on rough trails, where you can use a new one-pedal drive system that automatically engages the brakes as you lift off the accelerator to make it easier to modulate speed in challenging situations.
One thing that’s not very different is the engine that pedal is connected to, which remains a 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 delivering 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque that breathes through a new exhaust system equipped with active bypass valves that can turn up the volume. A 10-speed automatic is standard and the only transmission available.
But wait, there’s more!
After being king of the hill over its first decade of existence, the Raptor finally has direct competition in the form of the Ram 1500 TRX, which offers similar off-road chops along with a 702 hp supercharged V8 that makes it the most powerful pickup ever made. Ford President Kumar Galhotra told Fox News Autos that power isn’t primarily what Raptor customers are looking for, but if any of them want more they’ll soon be able to get it.
Later this year Ford will reveal the Raptor R, which will have a V8 under the hood. Galhotra won’t reveal any details about it just yet, but there have been rumors that it will be based on the Mustang Shelby GT500’s 760 hp supercharged 5.2-liter V8, which could make the Raptor a TRX-beating beast.
Pricing for the Raptor will be announced closer to when it hits showrooms this summer, but the previous 2020 SuperCrew model started at $57,785.