Ford has just announced the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor, which follows their launch of the redesigned 2021 F-150 last year. Those non-Raptor trucks are hitting dealership lots now and we’ll have one to review in just a few weeks.
The Raptor has always been the beefiest, most off-road-capable variant of the F-150 and Ford stayed true to form with their 2021 Raptor. While the design follows the 2021 F-150 – which is both fully redesigned and evolutionary from the outgoing 2015-2020 F-150 – the rest of the truck is pretty different. Here’s what’s what.
2021 F-150 Raptor Suspension Updates
Ford claims the 2021 F-150 Raptor is more capable off-road thanks to an all-new five link rear suspension, which is both stronger and provides more wheel travel. Rear control arm mounting points are stronger than before, and shock towers are both taller and stronger as well.
The 2021 Raptor features longer trailing arms and a Panhard rod (also called a “track bar”), both of which help maintain axle position over rough terrain. Perhaps bigger news is the first set of rear coil springs on a Ford F-150 in recent history, if not ever. The 24″ coil springs (wow) take the place of standard leaf springs, and will provide a more comfortable ride both on-road and off. Ford claims these suspension changes help the 2021 Raptor put power to the ground while improving on stability and traction.
As with the outgoing Raptor, FOX shocks are present. The new Live Valve shocks are larger, at 3.1″ in diameter, which helps resist heat buildup. The new shocks can react faster to changing terrain than those of the outgoing Raptor, and will provide up to 1,000 pounds of damping force per corner.
Increased wheel travel, mentioned above, is crucial here. Ford is offering two tire sizes on the 2021 Raptor – both of which will be a BFGoodrich T/A KO2 all-terrain. While the standard size is a 35” tire – impressive enough for a factory truck – the upgraded setup from Ford features a 37″ set of tires. Can we just stop and acknowledge that an OEM producing a truck with factory 37s (and appropriate design to just… clear them) is pretty wild?
Off-roading is all about angles – approach, breakover, and departure. Ground clearance also factors in, of course. The tire size you select will determine all of those figures.
2021 F-150 Raptor Powertrain Updates
As in the outgoing F-150 Raptor, Ford is sticking with their 3.5 liter twin-turbo EcoBoost “High Output” V6. Horsepower and torque have not yet been announced. The outgoing Raptor featured 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque, so we’d expect the 2021 model to meet or exceed those numbers.
Every 2021 F-150 Raptor will put that power through the now-standard 10-speed automatic transmission, and to the ground through a standard locking rear differential and optional Torsen limited-slip diff up front. You’ll hear maximum turbo noises from a new three-inch exhaust with active valves and four levels of noisemaking.
For those clamoring for another V8 Raptor, like the first-generation truck… Ford did confirm a “Raptor R” is coming next year. We don’t know what that’ll look like yet but we can dream!
An interesting feature that Ford is offering on all 2021 F-150 models is Pro Power Onboard. This is basically an onboard generator that can be used to power electronics from plugs in the truck bed. While the F-150 PowerBoost hybrid truly takes advantage of this setup and can push quite a bit of power, the F-150 Raptor will be sold with a less-powerful variant given its gasoline-only drivetrain. Pro Power Onboard will push 2 kilowatts of power from the F-150 Raptor.
Both payload and tow ratings are up by 200 pounds each on the 2021 Raptor. Maximum payload is now 1,400 pounds and maximum towing is claimed to be 8,200 pounds. Of course, we’ll be pestering Ford to try that tow rating out for ourselves as soon as the trucks are available.
2021 F-150 Raptor Interior Updates
Inside the 2021 Raptor, things look to be the same inside as the rest of the 2021 F-150 lineup. That’s to say the truck features a nicely laid-out dash with some trick features (folding shifter, for one) and updated technology. New Sync 4 infotainment is programmed for the Raptor here, and includes off-road data as part of the navigation system. The 2021 Raptor appears to feature orange accents everywhere and retains those nice metal paddle shifters for easier transmission control.
Seats in the 2021 Raptor are uniquely bolstered, and Recaros are available just like in years past. The seats were one of the best points of the outgoing model, so we are very glad to see them retained.
Ford’s 2021 F-150 Raptor will be available this summer, with the Raptor R coming next year. We can’t wait to get behind the wheel and try one out!