2021 Ford Raptor has beefed up suspension, bigger tires, new exhaust and more power

Quimby Mug Bayou Florida
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While it’s not the supercharged V8 that Ford fans were hoping for to blow away Ram’s brutal TRX, Ford did announce some impressive changes for the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor today while passing along a reminder to be on the lookout for the Raptor R next year.

Will the Raptor R be getting a supercharged V8? Well, it will be a V8 according to Ford. Whether it’s supercharged or not remains to be seen.

If Ford intends to keep up with the 702-hp TRX on and off-road, it looks like all this latest Raptor is missing is a sizable boost in power following some changes for 2021. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest:

  • All-new five-link rear suspension featuring improved wheel travel, electronically controlled next-generation FOX shocks with Live Valve technology.
  • First-in-class available 37-inch tires to tackle tougher terrain on high-speed desert runs. Tires can still spec’d at 35 inches if preferred.
  • An upgraded 3.5-liter high-output EcoBoost V6 with more high-performance turbos and better low-end torque enabling faster starts along with greater max towing and payload. Additional power is always welcomed.
  • A new standard and customizable 12-inch digital gauge cluster featuring a large information-on-demand area with Raptor-specific graphics and animations, off-road data and turn-by-turn navigation. The customizable screen will allow owners to split the screen and control multiple functions simultaneously, including navigation, music or truck features.
  • A new three-inch equal-length exhaust system features a patent-pending built-in X-pipe, unique “trombone loop” and first-for-Raptor active valves. The system takes advantage of a true passthrough muffler design that Ford said improves sound quality. Customers can configure four sound level modes – Quiet, Normal, Sport and Baja.
  • Available Pro Power Onboard 2.0 kW generator
  • Maximum payload increased by 200 pounds to 1,400 pounds
  • Maximum conventional towing increased by 200 pound to 8,200 pounds

Ford has not yet released new performance numbers so it’s hard to say if the 2021 Raptor will rise much above the 450-hp and 510 lb.-ft. torque ratings given for the 2020 model. With faster start times courtesy of additional low end torque, the 2021 is off to a good start. But numbers don’t always tell the whole story according to Ford North America Product Communications Manager Mike Levine.

“If you’re worried more about horsepower than wheel travel, ground clearance and off-road angles, you’ve lost the plot in high performance off-road trucks,” Levine said in a Tweet posted this afternoon. “But for those that want even more power, the Raptor R V8 will crush. What a time to be alive!”

Ford said its “all-new third-generation F-150 Raptor that takes the mechanical and technical brilliance and precision of Raptor and infuses it with enhanced connected technology that means the experience of owning one will only improve over time.”

Sales of 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.

“Raptor is the original desert truck. We just took it to another level,” said Ali Jammoul, Ford Performance vehicle program director. “The all-new Raptor splices high-speed off-road performance muscle with advanced technology and connectivity that comes together in a unique Built Ford Tough way.”

Eager to see how the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor handles our off-road course. The TRX ate it up and something tells me that the Raptor won’t disappoint. It’s about 650 lbs. lighter and with a lighter V6 in the front getting it airborne may not require as much acceleration.

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Ford’s ProPower 2.0 kW generator is available on the 2021 RaptorFord’s ProPower 2.0 kW generator is available on the 2021 Raptor New FOX 3.1 Live Valve suspension combines the best of semi-active, electronically-controlled compression damping with desert race-winning, position-sensitive internal bypass technology.New FOX 3.1 Live Valve suspension combines the best of semi-active, electronically-controlled compression damping with desert race-winning, position-sensitive internal bypass technology. A new steering wheel features a laser-etched logo, top centering mark and aluminum paddle shifters.A new steering wheel features a laser-etched logo, top centering mark and aluminum paddle shifters. A horizontal 12-inch touchscreen comes standardA horizontal 12-inch touchscreen comes standard Hood design is inspired by the U.S. Air Force’s F-22 RaptorHood design is inspired by the U.S. Air Force’s F-22 Raptor