- 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor unveiled
- 3.5-litre turbo V6 only at launch
- V8-powered Raptor R due in 2022
- Fox shocks, 37-inch tyres, coil springs under the skin
The new-generation 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor has been officially revealed, with force-fed V6 power under the bonnet.
Powering the third generation of Ford's flagship off-road performance pick-up – the bigger brother to Australia's Ford Ranger Raptor – at launch is a 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine, sending drive to all four wheels through a 10-speed automatic transmission and a bespoke four-wheel-drive system with electronic locking rear and Torsen limited-slip front differentials.
While outputs haven't been confirmed, it’s expected (though not confirmed) they will exceed those of the outgoing Raptor, which developed 336kW of power and 692Nm of torque.
However, of most interest to enthusiasts will be the flagship F-150 Raptor R variant, confirmed for launch sometime in 2022 with a V8 engine – the first Raptor to offer a bent-eight since the first-generation model departed in 2014. Displacement, aspiration and outputs for the V8 mill have yet to be confirmed.
Assisting with cooling the V6 are vents in the 'power dome' bonnet, and smaller extractors in the wider front wheel arches.
Opening the list of Raptor 'must-haves' are BF Goodrich KO2 all-terrain tyres, available in 35- or 37-inch diameters (889mm and 940mm respectively), the latter size the largest offered from the factory on any 'light-duty' full-size pick-up.
With the 35-inch tyres fitted, Ford claims a 31-degree approach angle, 22.7-degree breakover angle, 23.9-degree departure angle, and 305mm of ground clearance. Opt for the 37-inch units and those numbers increase to 33.1 degrees of approach, 24.4 degrees of breakover, 24.9 degrees of departure and a 333mm ground clearance.
Fox Racing 'Live Valve' shock absorbers feature as standard, featuring new electronically-controlled, race-bred valves and unique sensors capable of changing the damping up to 500 times per second, and providing up to 454kg of damping force per corner at high speeds.
Where the new F-150 Raptor differs most from its predecessor in the suspension department is on the rear axle, where coil springs – as used by the Ford's T-Rex-badged rival – replace the more traditional leaf springs used by the first two generations of Raptor, with a five-link arrangement, extended trailing arms and a Panhard rod.
The Fox shocks measure 79mm in diameter, while the coil springs offer a staggering 610mm of travel – enough to cap out the Raptor's 356mm of front and 381mm of rear wheel travel, with the 35-inch tyres fitted.
For the 17-inch aluminium alloy wheels that fill the arches, there's the choice of one of three designs – two of which offer bead-locking capability.
Seven drive modes are on offer with the updated Terrain Management System – Normal, Sport, Slippery, Tow/Haul, Off-Road, Rock Crawl and Baja (the lattermost for high-speed desert running) – which vary steering feel, transfer case and transmission behaviour, stability control, the four-mode variable sports exhaust, adaptive dampers and throttle response.
There's also a one-pedal off-road driving mode, combining the accelerator and brake into one pedal to help navigate slow, tricky off-road trails.
Matching the new Ford F-150 Raptor's increased grunt is a suitably overhauled exterior styling package over standard F-150 models.
Most notable are the flagship truck's wider wheel arches, designed to house the aforementioned BF Goodrich tyres, while a black honeycomb grille with a trio of US-mandated orange marker lights and Raptor-signature F-O-R-D script features up front.
Below the grille sits an off-road-focused black steel bumper delivering an improved approach angle, while at the rear there are dual exhaust tips (connected to a 76mm pipe), FORD and Raptor badging, and a similar off-road bumper feature.
Inside, the F-150 Raptor pairs the standard F-150's 12-inch Sync 4 infotainment touchscreen and 12-inch digital instrument cluster with Raptor-specific upgrades sports seats, an orange 12 o'clock marker on the steering wheel, orange contrast stitching and aluminium paddle shifters (borrowed from the Mustang GT500).
Recaro bucket seats, carbon-fibre trim, an 18-speaker B&O sound system, a 360-degree camera and a dual-pane sunroof headline the available interior options.
The 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor will go on sale in the US in the northern summer of 2021, available only in four-door, dual-cab SuperCrew guise.
However, don't expect to see Ford's most potent truck reach Australian shores in factory-delivered form, as the base F-150 will not be built in right-hand-drive and has previously been ruled out for our market.