Ford Upstages Unveiling of F-150 Raptor by Immediately Announcing Another, Even More Powerful Truck

What’s even better than the 2021 model? A V8 coming next year.

2021 Ford Raptor truck
Ford undercut its 2021 Raptor launch with news of an even more powerful pickup.

Truck ads have cliffhangers now. 

At least, that’s the case with the new 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor, what the automaker is calling a “fully redesigned” version of their increasingly popular off-road truck. In an ad released Wednesday for the third-generation model, Ford touts new exhaust sound levels that can be selected at will, redesigned suspension, as well as the general off-roading chops, but leaves viewers with the teaser, “And more to come …” 

Wait, I thought Ford was trying to sell us on the 2021 Raptor? Why would they leave potential buyers wanting something else, something even better?

In short, Ford has had no problem selling Raptors since debuting the nameplate in the 2010 model year. In fact, the company is selling so many of the high-performance pickups that in the press release for the new edition, they fired some shots at other high-performance consumer vehicles. “Over the last four years,” the company wrote, “the previous-generation Raptor cumulatively outsold Porsche’s entire lineup of sports cars and also outsold Chevrolet’s Corvette.” Mic drop.

The upcoming vehicle Ford is hinting at in the cliffhanger is called the Raptor R, and the only detail they’re confirming at this time is that this variant is “coming next year.” But as Car and Driver details, the Raptor R has a very specific mission: directly compete with the Ram 1500 TRX, which was only announced last summer and is just beginning production. Ford’s competitor is expected to be powered by a V8 engine (the 2021 Raptor has a twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6) that puts out over 700 horsepower, because Ram’s off-road truck has a V8 and put out over 700 horsepower. Yes, these automakers are not above a pissing match — also evidenced by that Porsche and Chevy dig — and if it’s what the people want, they’re damn well going to give it to them. 

While the V8 Raptor news is certainly exciting, what’s more enticing for people actually looking to take their trucks into the dirt is that the just-revealed 2021 Raptor has a whole slew of upgrades arguably more important than the motor. First and foremost is the suspension, which has been updated from the Raptor’s traditional leaf springs to a five-link rear suspension with extra-long trailing arms, a Panhard rod and 24-inch coil springs. That in turn enables the new tire options: for the first time, you can add 35-inch or even 37-inch tires direct from Ford, which they note is “the largest factory-fitted to a production light-duty full-size pickup.”

The 2021 Raptor will be available starting this summer and is expected to start around $60K, though pricing hasn’t been announced. Head on over to Ford to get the full details, or if you’re holding out for that V8, maybe take a look at what Ram’s got cookin’.

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