Ford on Wednesday revealed the redesigned Ford F-150 Raptor, a high-speed, off-road, performance pickup with a devoted following. The 2021 Raptor,
Ford on Wednesday revealed the redesigned Ford F-150 Raptor, a high-speed, off-road, performance pickup with a devoted following.
The 2021 Raptor, the third generation of the vehicle, adds new features, including a built-in generator to power anything from campsites to power tools.
The beefy 37-inch tires and wheels and cutting-edge suspension deliver stability despite the extreme terrain.
Normally, you’d have to tear apart a vehicle to get it to fit such enormous tires. These are stock, not special order. And they’re 2 inches bigger than earlier models.
Getting this level of equipment, once custom, is now turnkey. It lifts the truck to a new level.
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Ford will reveal the new Raptor’s power, fuel economy, price and specifications closer to when sales begin. The previous Raptor runs $55,150 to $76,290 with destination and delivery fees included, Ford said..
Ford is also expected to add a more powerful and expensive Raptor R model with an 8-cylinder engine in 2022.
Battles to build sporty pickups have gone on for years.
The Detroit Three built the Ford Lightning, Chevy Silverado SS and Ram SRT-10 — like the Mustang, Camaro and Dodge Challenger of pickups in the early 2000s. Great for street racing.
This is the modern-day encore for desert racing.
“Off-road performance is in our blood,” said Todd Eckert, Ford Truck Group marketing manager.
The Raptor is for buyers who want a truck to drive off-road straight from the factory while not compromising on payload, towing, comfort or technology for daily use.
Features include a terrain management system, trail control and one-pedal drive. Terrain management allows owners to choose settings for driving conditions including sport, rock crawl and the dune-jumping, frequently airborne, Baja mode.
The system automatically modifies steering feel, active valve exhaust, position-sensitive damping, throttle mapping and transmission shift points to optimize Raptor’s performance to conditions. Trail control is standard.
“Think of it as cruise control for low-speed driving,” Eckert said. “Drivers just set a speed up to 20 mph and the Raptor manages throttle and braking to allow the driver to focus really only on steering. It makes it easier for drivers to maintain constant speeds over difficult terrain … or for getting through deep snow or sand. It’s activated simply using a button on the center console.”
One pedal combines acceleration and braking; press to accelerate and release to brake. Just one foot is needed for off-road activity like rock crawling.
Raptor also has an onboard generator that prevents the need for a portable generator to camp or work, a key feature cited when the F-150 won the North American Truck of the Year.
The Ford team spent months in the desert testing the Raptor.
“We start with a high-strength steel F-150 frame, which has been modified and reinforced for Raptor’s extreme usage,” said Tony Greco, Raptor program manager. “The modifications and reinforcements which we make include taller and stronger shock towers, unique control arm pivot locations, a lower front axle which is needed for increased travel, stronger bracketry for suspension, shocks and spring attachments and a Raptor-specific trailer hitch.”
The Raptor’s front and rear suspensions were redesigned to improve off-road traction and stability and on-road ride and handling quality, he said.
“The new five-link suspension design … stabilizes the rear axle laterally and dramatically improves traction, which allows more torque to the rear wheels to be put to the ground,” Greco said. Result: faster acceleration and better throttle responsiveness.
Follow Detroit Free Press reporter Phoebe Wall Howard on Twitter@phoebesaid.