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Ford F-150 Raptor 2021: supercar for the sand gets bigger shocks, but it’s not for Australia

2 months ago

Ford has revealed the dune-bashing F-150 Raptor with completely redesigned suspension system – with an even more hardcore F-150 Raptor R coming next year.


The third-generation of the Ford F-150 Raptor has been unveiled boasting more off road capability and a suite of creature comforts to make the full-size ute easier to live with.

Ford has completely reworked the suspension of the F-150 Raptor, which uses an independent setup all round with double-wishbones at the front and a revised five-link system at the rear.

Ford F-150 Raptor 2021 driving
Ford has unveiled the new F-150 Raptor that packs a twin-turbo V6 and revised suspension

Similar to the Ranger Raptor sold in Australia, the F-150 features Fox shock absorbers which have also been upgraded for the third generation. 

In Australia, though, the Ranger Raptor will continue to be Ford’s flagship ute. A spokesperson for Ford Australia told Chasing Cars there would be “no change” to the brand’s current strategy that eschews importing the full-size F-150.

The Fox shocks are now capable of even more suspension travel than the second generation, with Ford claiming the accompanying 24-inch coil springs on the F-150 Raptor are the largest in its class.

Ford had fitted new Fox shocks with more wheel travel than the previous model

Fox has implemented its new ‘Live Valve’ technology that is able to adjust the suspension up to 500 times a second to account for terrain and subsequently help the engine put more power to the ground.

Ford has fitted a 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 engine to the F-150 which sends its power through a 10-speed torque converter automatic to all four wheels, with an option front limited-slip differential and locking rear differential as standard.  

Power figures are not yet started but they should be higher than the 336kW of power and 692Nm of torque in the current model which used the previous version of the same engine. The upgraded platform can also support up to 635kg in the bed and tow 3.7 tonnes.

Ford F-150 Raptor 2021 rear
The F-150 Raptor uses an upgraded twin-turbo V6 that should offer more grunt than the 336kW of power and 692Nm of torque quoted for the previous model

Those figures are a far cry from the supercharged V8 Ram 1500 TRX (523kW/881Nm) that is coming to Australia, but pundits predict that the V8 engine loved in the first-generation F-150 Raptor will make a return to the super-ute in the Raptor R which is due in 2022.

Ford has fittingly roughed-up the exterior of the F-150 Raptor with a blacked-out grille with heat extraction ports cut into the bonnet while the side vents behind the front wheels are said to take inspiration from an F-22 fighter jet – though that plane is noticeably more aerodynamic. 

Bulging out of each of the flared wheel arches are a set of massive tyres that can be had in either 35 or 37-inch sizes, with the F-150 Raptor also available in the stretched wheelbase Super Duty version that measures 5.9 metres long.

Ford F-150 Raptor 2021 front
Ford also offers the F-150 Raptor in a Super Duty version that stretches almost six metres

With the larger tyres equipped on the SuperDuty chassis, the F-150 Raptor has 333mm of ground clearance with a 33.1 degree approach angle, 24.9 degree departure angle and 24.4 degree breakover angle.

Rock-crawlers will also appreciate the addition of one-pedal driving that automatically applies the brake as you back off the throttle for maximum control.

Ford has made an effort to spruce up the inside as well, with a 12-inch digital gauge cluster sitting in front of the driver displaying off road data as needed. While another 12-inch display sits in the centre of the dash where a 360-degree camera can be seen to help navigate the enormous 4×4 through tight parking spaces.

Ram 1500 TRX 2021 jump
The Ford F-150 Raptor will go head to head with the unhinged Ram 1500 TRX

The F-150 Raptor is also equipped with Ford’s latest Sync 4 system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto that will make it easier to put your music through the 18-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system.

A set of highly bolstered front seats are available as standard with the option to upgrade to Recaro bucket seats for extra cost.

The 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor will go on sale during summer in the United States, putting it sometime between June and the end of August.