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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

2021 Ford Raptor – Are We Entering the Era of “Supertrucks”?

It’s been 11 years and two generations since Ford brought the fun of desert racing to the masses with the Raptor. And now, it’s time for a new one

In this age of downsizing, the Ford Raptor is a dinosaur and that’s why we love it. Granted, it has lost its V8, but still, manufacturers don’t really make desert racers that often. 

2021 ford raptor

As off-roading enthusiasts, we tend to love toys like the Raptor; so, I would imagine you’d like to learn more about it. Roger that, here comes the info. 

2021 Ford Raptor Engine

The 2021 Raptor uses the latest iteration of both the 3.5 liter twin-turbo V6 and the 10-speed auto. As expected, the updated version of the V6 has undergone some emission control changes. 

Plus, Ford has added a trombone exhaust system (yes, that’s what they call it) that equalizes the length of the two pipe paths. Allegedly, this makes the V6 sound like a V8. From the videos, it seems like a decent effort; however, the trained ear can tell it’s a V6. 

No More Leaf Springs

2021 ford raptor no more leaf springs

Ford has decided to ditch the paleolithic technology that is leaf springs and go for a five-link coil-sprung live axle. This provides an inch of additional wheel travel (15 inches) and more wheel articulation. 

Up front, FOX shocks have been assigned the task of damping – and they do a pretty good job of it. Five hundred adjustments can be made in a single second and wheel travel is now 14 inches. 

Bigger Skid Plates on the 2021 Ford Raptor

When a truck comes equipped with steel skid plates from the factory you know it means business. The Raptor always had them, but now they are bigger and wider than ever. 

37-Inch Tires From the Factory

2021 ford raptor 37-inch tires

We all love big tires on our 4WD. Generally speaking, the largest tires people tend to go for if they are planning on doing any normal street driving are 37s. On most trucks, fitting a 37 is a bit of a fuss – a lift kit will be needed and probably an angle grinder. Ford has decided to make things easy for us by fitting 37s from the factory. I guess it won’t be too long before we see these things on 40s.

Ford had to adapt their assembly line for the 2021 Raptor because trucks equipped with the 37s simply wouldn’t fit. I imagine many Raptor owners will be proudly saying this to their friends with “lesser” trucks. 

The 37s are an optional extra and trucks fitted with them lose some suspension travel due to clearance issues (13 inches at front 14.1 in the rear).

Suspension, Steering and Drivetrain Settings

2021 ford raptor suspension, steering and drivetrain

Once upon a time, such driving configurations were only available in supercars – now, they have made their way to trucks – strangely. 

Anyhow, inputs like steering weight, throttle response and suspension damping can all be customized based on the driving mode you are in – just like in a Ferrari – although this is a short bed crew cab. The world’s gone mad and I like it! In some respect, the Raptor can be called a supertruck – is that a new segment now? 

Ford Raptor Payload

It goes without saying that if you are planning on doing any long overlanding trips, a truck with good payload and towing capacity is needed. As I am sure you’ve guessed, the Raptor won’t have any issues with both.

For 2021, payload has increased to 1400 pounds from 1200 and towing capacity to 8200 pounds from 8000. If your overlanding setup requires anything more than that, it’s probably time to move on to a semi-truck. 

Learn More:

Off-Roading Tech

2021 Ford Raptor Off Roading Tech

The new Raptor comes with 360-degree cameras and a 2KW inverter system that you can put in the bed. There is also a new single-pedal driving mode that supposedly modulates speed based on your gas pedal inputs. This will need to be tested by journalists to find out its effectiveness.

The 2021 Ford Raptor Interior is Beautiful

2021 ford raptor interior

If you have experienced the new F-150 you will find the Raptor’s interior familiar. The usual 12-inch touch screen, fold down shifter and flip over work surface are present in the center console.

The higher specced models come with Recaro seats and other gimmicks such as carbon fiber accents and the lot – you know, the normal trim level stuff you would find on any truck. 

The Raptor is the very essence of the American truck culture, big, powerful and damn cool. If you wish to treat yourself with one of these toys sales will begin at the end of summer. 

What you should also keep in mind, is that next year Ford will release the Raptor R – this will be a direct rival to the RAM TRX. There is no information regarding engines, but I have a strange feeling we might see the supercharged V8 out of the Shelby GT500 in there. If that’s the case, I’ll probably be breaking into a bank by next year.

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