Ford hasn’t let the latest version of enormously popular F-Series pick-up sit for long without a Baja-bashing Raptor model. Production started only a few months ago, but already, there’s this F-150 Raptor to sink our teeth into.
As a 2021 model year vehicle, it’ll be on the roads very soon too. It doesn’t, however, have a V8 as many had hoped. The 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 ‘Ecoboost’ from the last Raptor has been carried over, albeit with a few tweaks. Power and torque figures haven’t been given just yet, but the old one is good for 445bhp and 510lb ft. The revised engine develops more low-end twist and has a new active exhaust system.
Ford may add an optional V8 further down the line, of course, which would give the F-150 Raptor the firepower to go toe-to-toe with the Ram 1500 TRX. A mysterious ‘Raptor R’ is due next year, the press release states, which could well be a bigger-engined version. As it stands, though, the 2021 Raptor will be plenty fast considering its size and weight, with the old one happily hitting 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds.
What’s arguably more important is the stuff Ford has changed elsewhere. Headlining the beefy chassis alterations is a new five-link rear suspension setup with “extra-long” trailing arms and 24-inch coil springs. On dampings duties are a set of electronically-controlled Fox Live Valve shocks with fat 3.1-inch aluminium bodies, giving 14 inches of travel at the front and 15 inches at the rear - 25 per cent more than the first F-150 Raptor.
The V6 sends its power to all four wheels via an uprated version of Ford’s 10-speed automatic gearbox plus an electronically-controlled locking rear differential and (where specced) a mechanical Torsen front limited-slip diff. Ensuring the torque is deployed on slippery surfaces with ease, the Raptor can be ordered with either 35 or 37-inch BF Goodrich All-Terrain T/A KO tyres. Three different 17-inch wheelsets are available, two of which have beadlock capability.
With the bigger boots, the Raptor has 33.1, 24.9 and 24.4-degree approach, departure and breakover angles, compared to 30.2, 23.5, and 21.9 for the Ram TRX mentioned further up the page.
All of this lives in a strong steel frame topped by a part-aluminium, part-composite body. The front wings apparently “emulate the windswept look of dust billowing off the top of the tires at high speed,” while the meaty bonnet heat extractor and functional side vents are said to be inspired by the intakes of the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor jet fighter.
Inside, there are big-bolstered seats which can be upgraded to Recaro buckets, a new steering wheel with fancy laser-etching and aluminium shift paddles, and if optioned, a whole load of carbon fibre or aluminium trim. There’s a 12-inch digital instrument cluster plus a 12-inch infotainment screen, with future over-the-air updates allowing for digital trail maps to be displayed on the latter.
The F-150 Raptor will be built in Dearborn, Michigan, and will reach showrooms this summer. Pricing hasn’t been revealed just yet, but we’d expect a starting figure around $60,000.