Ford revealed the third-generation, 2021 F-150 Raptor on its YouTube channel on Wednesday and claimed it’s not only the most capable but also the most connected Raptor yet.
At launch, the new 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor will be available with an updated twin-turbo 3.5-liter Ecoboost V6 but way more interestingly, the carmaker did confirm the existence of the highly-anticipated Raptor R model with a V8 engine, which will debut next year.
The 2022 F-150 Raptor R will be Ford’s answer to the 702 HP RAM 1500 TRX, and will most likely borrow the supercharged Predator V8 from the 760 HP Mustang Shelby GT500, possibly at a slightly de-tuned state. Ford didn’t reveal any further details on the flagship Raptor at this point other than acknowledging its existence.
Under the bonnet of the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor, you’ll find a slightly revised version of the twin-turbo 3.5-liter Ecoboost V6 engine, paired to a ten-speed automatic transmission. Ford didn’t reveal the final figures of the engine just yet because they are “not certified yet” but did confirm that these will be “relatively unchanged“ compared to the previous-gen model, which made 450 HP and 510 lb-ft of torque. Every new 2021 F-150 Raptor will come with a standard electronic locking rear differential and available Torsen front limited-slip differential.
The Blue Oval says this is the third-generation of the twin-turbo Ecoboost V6, featuring “state-of-the-art” turbochargers and a 10, 5:1 compression ratio, as well as new high-power fans for the cooling system. An all-new equal-length active exhaust system with a built-in X pipe that allows the updated V6 engine to produce a “throatier” soundtrack, particularly in the louder Sport, and Baja modes. In addition, the 36-gallon fuel tank gives the new Raptor a projected driving range of more than 500 miles.
The 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor is also packing a lot of new technology to help owners with their off-road activities. There’s a new Terrain Management System with seven driving modes: Slippery, Tow/Haul, Sport, Normal, Off Road, Baja, and Rock Crawl. These modes adjust steering feel, transfer case behavior, stability control, active valve exhaust, active damping system, throttle mapping, and transmission shift logic.
A new, Raptor-specific feature is the standard Trail 1-Pedal Drive, a system designed to aid in extreme off-road situations. The system simplifies the footwork of the driver by combining both acceleration and brake operations into the accelerator pedal – press to move forward, release to brake. The system is accompanied by the also standard Trail Control, which operates as a cruise control but for off-roading, an optional 360-degree camera package for spotter guidance, and more.
Ford completely redesigned the rear suspension, adopting a five-link rear with super-long trailing arms and a Panhard rod, the pair of which should deliver some impressive articulation. There are new Fox shocks in 3.1-inch bodies and massive 24-inch coil springs at all four corners, too, blessing the Raptor with huge levels of wheel travel – 14.0 inches in front and 15.0 in back.
You’ll only get those impressive stats with the standard 35-inch tires, but let’s be honest, we all want the obnoxious 37-inch optional tires, even if suspension travel falls to 13.0 front and 14.1 in back. Regardless of which size you go with, the rubber in question is the BFGoodrich KO2 and they go with one of three choices of wheels (including two beadlock-capable options).
Inside, the Raptor gets the Sync 4 infotainment system with a 12.0-inch center touchscreen and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, the aforementioned 12.0-inch digital instrument cluster, available Recaro bucket seats, and standard aluminum and available carbon-fiber trim. Over-the-air updates will keep the infotainment current and could evolve to include things such as sharable trail maps.
The Raptor will come standard with Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 suite of active safety features that include automatic emergency braking, active lane control, blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alerts, reverse brake assist, automatic high beams, rear park assist, and a rearview camera with a hitch view.
The 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor is due in dealers this summer. Expect pricing and power output information closer to launch.