With the redesign of the 2021 Ford F-150 has now come the redesigned 2021 Ford Raptor with a number of substantial improvements in styling and interior fittiments, but more significant chassis upgrades and ultimately more power.
The styling updates speak for themselves, taking the re-skinned 2021 F-150 and beefing up the muscular width and girth, adding some abs and proportion is a task Ford has more than proven themselves good at.
All the expected new stuff is here, LED lighting all around in addition to its amber LED spotter lights. It’s fresh and handsome, but an evolution of the previous two generations. I will say however that its face resembles a gorilla now more than ever.
Its cabin also gets all of the goodness of the 2021 F-150 line with hugely improved material quality, fit and finish along with a better offering of technologies. At first blush, the new interior seems more businesslike and less Las Vegas SEMA style in its presentation. There is some extra flash, but the emphasis seems more on the hardware like the sport seats, steering wheel with paddle shifters and accessory switchgear.
Where the news really with the the 2021 Ford Raptor is in its chassis improvements. Chief among them is a new coil sprung five-link rear suspension. Losing its leaf springs means more suspension travel and articulation.
With super long trailing arms and a Panhard rod to keep the axle in place and 24-inch tall coil springs, you get a rear suspension travel of 15-inches at the rear to go along with the 14-inch travel offered by its unique independent front suspension.
Adding to this new bone structure are a new generation of FOX Live Valve electronically variable internal bypass shocks. The massive 3.1-inch-diameter anodized shocks look awesome of course but its what they do that means everything. With various data point readings, they can independently adjust damping rates at each corner up to 500 times per second to respond to changing terrain, driver inputs and changes in momentum.
Add in the buyer’s option of either 35-inch or 37-inch tires and the 2021 Raptor has improved capabilities when it comes to attacking terrain with up to 13.1” of ground clearance and best angles of approach at 33.1 degrees, a 24.9 degree departure angle and 24.4 degrees of break-over.
What Ford didn’t elaborate on is power. The 2021 Raptor will come with a “third generation” high output 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 and 10-speed automatic with a fully controlled four-wheel drive system as before but with increased performance. Exactly what that means Ford hasn’t said. Expect a little more than before is my best prediction.
Making its sound more appealing, perhaps less like a weed eater on acid, is a new three-inch equal-length exhaust system that has a “trombone loop” to give it equal length ahead of the also new pass-through muffler. Added to are computer controlled active valves and an X-pipe. You can now set your sound to Quiet, Normal, Sport and Baja.
In the reveal they also spoke of a Raptor R to come later which has long been rumored to have a force induced V8 that can run with the likes of the hellish RAM TRX. We’ll see.
We do know however that the 2021 Raptor will now only be available in one configuration, a Super Crew cab with a 145-inch wheelbase. The Super Cab is gone. Maximum payload does increase to 1,400 pounds and max towing to 8,200 pounds.
Beyond these notable things, the new 2021 Ford Raptor brings with it all of too-long-to-list here slate of new technologies and creature comforts that made their debut on the 2021 F-150. As before the new Raptor will roll off the line at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant and will go on sale this summer with pricing to be announced closer to that time.