First introduced in 2009, the Ford Raptor is the original performance truck. What other truck is designed to speed across rugged trails, jump, and catch air without missing a beat? Only the Ford Raptor comes to mind, and that's exactly why Ford unleashed every ounce of engineering mastery and innovative technology to create the more capable and more powerful 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor.
Proving its durability and reliability at races like the Baja 1000 and the Best in the Desert Series, the first-generation Raptor sealed its reputation as a desert beast right out of the gate. By the second generation, the Raptor outsold the Chevrolet Corvette and the entire Porsche lineup as Ford fans couldn't wait to get behind the wheel of this off-road warrior. Fast forward to 2021, and Ford has positioned the third generation Raptor for even greater success.
Ford's vast improvements to the 2021 F-150 lineup carry over to the Raptor variant, which will share the same innovative technology and advanced safety features as the F-150. The Raptor is poised to carry its torch as a performance icon for another generation. How? Ford ups the ante with the addition of exceptional off-road components like the long-travel suspension, next-generation Fox shocks, and the available 37-inch all-terrain tires - the largest factory-fitted tires in its class. But this is only the beginning of what makes the 2021 Ford Raptor the most capable off-road truck on the market.
At the heart of the all-new 2021 Ford Raptor is a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost high-output V6 engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission. The new combination increases the F-150's towing and payload significantly, with the Raptor offering a max of 8,200 pounds and 1,400 pounds, respectively. This means the Raptor can handle everything from exploring rocky terrain to hauling lumber for projects around the house or towing the family camper for a weekend at the lake.
Along with the enhanced powertrain, Ford also redesigned the exhaust, giving drivers the option to put the engine in various modes. Normal mode is ideal for driving around town, and Quiet mode is designed for cruising through neighborhoods. However, the Sport and Baja modes make the Raptor engine rumble as an off-road warrior should.
One of the most notable enhancements to the 2021 Raptor is its ability to fly across rough terrain at high speeds. To make this happen, Ford designed a new five-link rear suspension with 24-inch coil springs and extra-long trailing arms to give drivers more control and the confidence to push the Raptor even further. In turn, the engine is set to deliver more torque and can handle larger tires for better traction, quicker acceleration, improved throttle response, and greater stability. This explains the all-new 37-inch all-terrain tires that are the largest tires to come factory-fitted on a full-size truck.
The 2021 Raptor comes standard with already massive 35-inch all-terrain tires, but drivers can upgrade to the beefier specially designed 37-inch tires. With the 35-inch tires, the Raptor has 12 inches of ground clearance with a 31-degree approach angle, a 23.9-degree departure angle, and a 22.7-degree breakover angle. Adding the larger 37-inch tires drastically improves these capabilities to 13.1 inches of ground clearance, a 33.1-degree approach angle, a 24.9-degree departure angle, and a 24.4-degree breakover angle.
In addition to the larger tires, new suspension, and tweaked powertrain, the Raptor also features next-generation FOX shocks with Live Valve technology. With the Raptor designed to crawl over obstacles and catch air, Ford wanted to lessen the blow of every landing and impact. The FOX Live Valve shocks do this by utilizing electronic control technology and sensors that read the terrain and automatically change the damping rates. In essence, the shocks register the terrain and tell the truck how to respond long before the driver is even aware the terrain has changed.
Part of what makes the 2021 Ford Raptor a top-performer is its suite of technology and connectivity features. For starters, the Raptor is equipped with a Terrain Management System that's designed to give drivers complete customization over the Raptor's performance. The system features seven drive modes - Normal, Slippery, Sport, Tow/Haul, Off-Road, Baja, and Rock Crawl - that finetune the torque and steering to perform in specific conditions. But this is only the beginning of the Raptor's cutting-edge technology.
Drivers can add a 360-degree camera package to get a better view around the Raptor. Why is this important? When off-roading, external spotters are often needed to guide vehicles through a tight spot, such as between downed trees, oversized boulders, etc. The camera gives drivers a clear view of the environment around the Raptor in addition to a real-time tire track overlay that shows the path of the wheels ahead. This is designed to give drivers a better idea of when or if an external spotter is needed and exactly where the Raptor is headed.
When off-roading, it's a given that drivers need to pay close attention to the trail ahead, which is the inspiration behind new technology like Trail 1-Pedal Drive and Trail Control. Trail 1-Pedal Drive makes this even easier by combining the functions of the accelerator and brake pedals. Drivers can engage the accelerator pedal to move the Raptor forward or release the pedal to apply the brakes. When drivers have a smooth trail ahead, they can engage Trail Control, which acts like cruise control and allows drivers to set their speed and simply steer the Raptor.
Beyond these features, the Raptor is also one of the most connected off-road beasts on the trail, with a cockpit that boasts a 12-inch customizable digital gauge cluster that delivers off-road data and navigation. This is matched by the 12-inch center touchscreen display, featuring Ford's new SYNC 4 system that offers voice recognition, real-time mapping, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, as well as in-vehicle apps like Ford+Alexa and real-time trail mapping. Raptor owners also gain access to the FordPass mobile app that gives them the ability to remotely lock and unlock the truck, check the fuel level and tire pressure, and utilize features like Trailer Light Check, Zone Lighting, and Trailer Theft Alert.
The Raptor shares many of the 2021 F-150's features, and that includes Ford's Co-Pilot360 suite of driver-assist and safety tools, which are designed to give drivers more control and confidence when they're on the road. With the Raptor proving its towing capability, Ford gives owners the option to add the Blind Spot Information System with Trailer Coverage to the Raptor. The feature alerts the driver of vehicles in the truck's or trailer's blind spots to prevent collisions. Additional trailering and towing features include the Rear View Camera with Dynamic Hitch Assist and Pro Trailer Backup Assist, the latter of which backs up the trailer for you with the touch of a knob!
The Lane-Keeping System helps the Raptor stay in its lane by alerting the driver when the truck drifts too far from its designated lane. The Raptor is also equipped with Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking that scans the road and alerts drivers of potential collisions. When a collision is imminent, the feature will apply the brakes if the driver fails to respond. This tool is enhanced by other features like Evasive Steering Assist, which provides additional steering support to the driver when a collision is imminent due to a sudden stop in traffic or an obstacle in the path of the truck.
The Raptor can also be outfitted with Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go technology that makes cruising down the highway a breeze. The Lane Centering technology keeps the Raptor in the center of its lane, and the Speed Sign Recognition helps keep you at the appropriate speed limit when driving on unfamiliar roads. Additional technology on the Raptor includes options like Hill Descent Control, Connected Built-in-Navigation, Active Park Assist 2.0, Intersection Assist, and Auto High-Beam Headlamps.