- we've finally heard the upcoming 2021 ford f-150 raptor, which will be revealed on february 3, testing with a powerful supercharged v-8 engine to take on the 702-hp ram 1500 trx.
- it's likely to be a detuned version of the predator v-8 that powers the 760-hp mustang shelby gt500.
- the v-8 is rumored to be saved for an even higher-performance f-150 raptor r model.
update 4/22/21: we spotted the raptor r testing again and can hear its supercharged v-8 engine in the video added above. the higher-perfomance model will arrive next year.
this story was originally published january 14, 2021.
if you haven't been paying much attention to the pickup wars, just know that ram put an engraving of a t. rex eating a raptor on the 702-hp 1500 trx's airbox cover, as well as a size comparison of the two dinosaurs in the trx's center console. that's because ram believes that the 2020 ford f-150 raptor is inferior with its 450-hp twin-turbo v-6 and leaf-spring rear suspension. ram's reign over the high-performance off-road pickup world might be short lived, though, because we've finally heard a 2021 f-150 raptor with some eight-cylinder grunt.
as its base engine, the 2021 f-150 raptor will likely have an upgraded version of the current model's twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter v-6, which currently makes 450 horsepower, paired with ford's 10-speed automatic transmission. ford's new twin-turbo 3.5-liter v-6 hybrid powertrain, dubbed powerboost, is also rumored to be available. the 700-plus-hp supercharged 5.2-liter v-8, also found in the mustang shelby gt500, is what's likely under the hood of this test truck, and it's rumored to be saved for a higher-performance raptor r model.
the 2021 f-150 raptor will also introduce the change to a coil-spring rear suspension—the two previous-generation raptors had leaf-spring setups in the rear. but the third-generation raptor shouldn't look much different from its predecessor. the standard 2021 f-150 has only slight changes to the exterior with the majority of the updates in the cabin. the raptor will have 35-inch bfgoodrich k02 all-terrain tires, wide fenders, and the famous "ford" script grille. the most substantial visual tweaks should be save for the high-performance r model, which might have an even more aggressive grille, fenders, wheels, and exterior graphics. we could even see additional accessories available from ford such as a spare tire carrier and rock rails.
we also hope that ford has some fun with easter eggs and takes some shots back at ram for throwing shade with the trx's hidden belittlements. although a t. rex can't fit in a raptor's mouth, can it?
we'll know more about the 2021 ford f-150 raptor and raptor r on february 3, and they should arrive by the end of the year to make the battle for off-road supremacy a little more interesting.