2021 Ford Raptor News and InformationLast Updated August 8, 2023 | Alison Smith
The F-150 Raptor was always meant to be a desert racer. But since the first generation came out in 2009, modern technology has transformed the Raptor into so much more. As the truck enters its third generation, Ford has made the 2021 Raptor the most off-road capable yet.
Here’s what we know so far about Ford’s 2021 F-150 Raptor.
2021 Appearance Updates
Ford somehow managed to make the Raptor’s design even more rugged and edgier than ever before. With an updated exterior and all-new interior, it’s easy to distinguish the third-generation Raptor from the rest.
The redesigned front-end makes the truck look wider, emphasized by the power dome hood along with the fender-to-fender blacked-out grille and headlights. The hood takes inspiration from the F-22 Raptor fighter jet, featuring a heat extractor and functional side vents. The rear carries the same design with blacked-out taillights and optional tailgate applique.
The skid plate is wider in the front for better protection. Heavy-duty steel front and rear bumpers are made to withstand tough terrain. The rear bumper still sits high off the ground, keeping the dual exhaust tips close to the truck and away from the ground.
There are three 17-inch rim options, two of which are beadlock wheels.
The 2021 Raptor comes with an all-new interior with upgraded materials and more storage. The new steering wheel design has a top centering mark, laser-etched logo, and aluminum paddle shifters. If the standard aluminum trim isn’t your thing, you can upgrade to a carbon-fiber trim package.
2021 Raptor Suspension Changes
Spy shots showed the 2021 Raptor with a Panhard bar. This led many to believe that it will use a five-link suspension, which would be a step up from the 2020 Raptor’s leaf springs.
Multi-link suspensions have many applications and benefits, especially for off-roading. They allow for more flex, which equals more potential off-road angles. This makes them ideal for sports like desert racing.
Luckily, the rumors ring true. Ford has developed an all-new five-link suspension system for the 2021 Raptor specifically.
Five-Link Rear Suspension
The Raptor’s new suspension is said to give the truck better control and more power to the ground, which makes speeding over rough terrain easier than before. The five-link suspension is paired with an updated engine management software that sends more torque to the wheels. The result is a faster start off the line, better throttle response, and quicker acceleration. Not to mention increased comfort, stability, and control at higher speeds.
Longest-in-Class Springs & Larger Shocks
Along with a Panhard bar, the Raptor’s five-link suspension comes with extra-long trailing arms and 24-inch coil springs. The 2021 Raptor’s FOX Live Valve internal bypass shocks are the largest yet. They have a higher resistance to heat and faster reaction to any changes in terrain.
The 3.1-inch diameter shock bodies have a new low-friction shock fluid that’s supposed to provide improved on- and off-road comfort. The base valves are electronically controlled and have an updated design that allows up to 1,000 pounds of damping per corner at desert speeds.
Factory-Available 37-Inch Tires
Ford’s doing something they’ve never done before for the Raptor. They’re offering 37-inch tires straight from the factory. The 35-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires are still a great base option, but many off-roaders will appreciate the added performance of the bigger tires.
|Tire Size||Ground Clearance||Approach Angle||Maximum Departure Angle||Breakover Angle|
|35-inch Tires||12 inches||31 degrees||23.9 degrees||22.7 degrees|
|37-inch Tires||13.1 inches||33.1 degrees||24.9 degrees||24.4 degrees|
2021 Raptor Engine & Power Upgrades
The Raptor’s twin-turbo 3.5L high-output V6 engine is carrying over from the previous generation. But Ford’s made some improvements, including the addition of high-power fans in the cooling system. The new Raptor has a 36-gallon fuel tank with an EPA-estimated range of over 500 miles.
The 10-speed automatic transmission was updated to include next-generation controls. An electronic locking differential is standard in the rear, with an available TORSEN front limited-slip differential. Both are fitted with 4:10 final drive ratios. The towing limit went up by 200, now offering 8,200 pounds of conventional towing. The maximum payload also increased by 200, coming in at 1,400 pounds.
Will We See a V8 Raptor in 2021?
Ever since the Ram Rebel TRX started offering a Hellcat engine, Raptor fans have been waiting for Ford’s response. While it doesn’t look like we’ll see a V8 Raptor in 2021, Ford has confirmed a Ford Raptor R is in the making.
While we’d like to see a V8 included in the Raptor R, there’s no telling what Ford has in store yet. We’ll have to wait until at least 2022 to find out.
Four Exhaust Modes
The new three-inch exhaust has a mid-pipe “trombone loop” that makes it an equal-length exhaust. It features a built-in patent-pending X-pipe and active valves, a first for the Raptor. The active valves use a true pass-through muffler design for better sound quality. There are four sound levels: Quiet, Normal, Sport, and Baja.
2021 Ford Raptor Colors
While we don’t have a confirmed list of Raptor-specific colors, we do know the colors that the 2021 F-150 will be offered in. Ford’s recent press release also features images of the Raptor in a new orange shade that’s rumored to be called “Code Orange.”
The only color currently unique to the Raptor is Ford Performance Blue, so it’s possible that it will be available for 2021 as well.
Ford has not commented on the accuracy of the paint listing. The paint chips shown online also won’t be a perfect representation of how the colors look in real life.
|Space White Pearl||A3||New|
|Star White Pearl||AZ||Returning|
|Stone Gray Metallic||D1||Returning|
|Lucid Red Pearl||D4||Formerly Rapid Red|
|Velocity Blue Metallic||G1||Returning|
|Antimatter Blue Metallic||HX||New|
|Kodiak Brown Metallic||J1||Returning|
|Iconic Silver Metallic||JS||Returning|
|Lead Foot Gray||JX||Returning|
|Carbonized Gray Metallic||M7||New|
|Smoked Quartz Metallic||TQ||Returning|
|Agate Black Metallic||UM||Returning|
2021 Ford Raptor Features
The 2020 Raptor retails at a base price of $53,455. It’s likely that the 2021 Raptor will start off higher than that since it’s now only offered as a crew cab. At that price, people expect top-of-the-line features. Luckily for them, the 2021 F-150 Raptor delivers.
Pro Power Onboard
The Raptor will include Ford’s new Pro Power Onboard feature that was first introduced for the 2021 F-150. This system enables the truck to be used as a mobile generator. The Raptor can be ordered with an extra 2 kilowatts of power for running anything from power tools to camp lights.
While not new, one of the Raptor’s best high-tech features is Trail Control. This acts almost like cruise-control for off-roading. As conditions change, the trail control system automatically adjusts power to keep you at a constant speed.
Trail 1-Pedal Drive
The Raptor comes standard with Trail 1-Pedal Drive, which helps in extreme off-roading situations. Where drivers used to need to use both pedals to throttle and brake in harsh trail conditions, they only need to use one now. This system combines this motion so all you have to do is activate the throttle: press to move forward, release to brake.
12-Inch Digital Gauge Cluster & Center Screen
The new Raptor comes with a new 12-inch digital gauge cluster, complete with Raptor-specific graphics. It has a large info-on-demand area with off-road data and turn-by-turn navigation. The new standard 12-inch center screen is customizable. Owners can split the screen for better multitasking.
The 2021 Raptor will include Ford’s new SYNC 4 system instead of the SYNC 3 used in the previous generation. Gone are the days of having to use a USB cord to connect to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
SYNC 4 is full of great new features and improvements over SYNC 3. Check out our ultimate guide to SYNC 4 to master this new infotainment system or to preview it before you buy your new Raptor.
We haven’t seen any evidence that these will be changing, but it’s already a pretty great system. Curve Control, anti-lock brakes, and AdvanceTrac traction control are all standard. For those who are planning to tow trailers, BLIS, the blind spot monitoring system, is a great optional upgrade.
Stay Up-to-Date on 2021 Raptor News
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Sources: 2021 Ford F-150 Technical Specifications, Ford | 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor Horsepower and Torque Numbers Potentially Revealed, Ford Authority | Ford F-150 Raptor Models and Generations, Autoevolution
Image Credit: Ford