Ford created an off-road icon in 2009 when it introduced the desert racing-inspired F-150 Raptor. It was designed to not only speed over rough terrain, but also to jump and catch air.
Now, it looks as though the vehicle has been born again with an all-new third-generation F-150 Raptor, which takes the mechanical and technical brilliance and precision of Raptor and infuses it with enhanced connected technology that means the experience of owning one will only improve over time.
A high-performance off-road pickup is defined by its suspension, and the all-new F-150 Raptor debuts with completely redesigned running gear. It is reengineered with an all-new five-link rear suspension developed specifically for Raptor, designed to deliver more control and power to the ground with greater confidence over rough terrain at high speeds.
The suspension design combined with more sophisticated engine management software means the truck can put more torque to the rear wheels for quicker starts off the line, faster acceleration and better throttle responsiveness while simultaneously delivering comfort, stability, handling, control and traction at speed.
Soaking up giant whoops and landings comes courtesy of next-generation FOX Live Valve internal bypass shocks. In fact, the shocks are the largest-ever to be installed onto a Raptor, and have been designed to better resist heat buildup and react even faster to terrain changes.
In terms of power output, The all-new Raptor is equipped with a third-generation twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost high-output engine that delivers the right amount of torque when you need it most. The engine also features state-of-the-art turbos as well as a new high-power fan built into the cooling system to ensure intense off-roading sessions never end too early.
The new Raptor also features some interesting tech, including a new standard and customizable 12-inch digital gauge cluster that features a large information-on-demand area with Raptor-specific graphics and animations, off-road data and turn-by-turn navigation. A customizable new 12-inch center screen is standard, allowing owners to split the screen and control multiple functions simultaneously, including navigation, music or truck features.
Ford has also taken a page of out Tesla’s book, as the Raptor features over-the-air updates, offering the potential for an even smarter Raptor with more capabilities in the future; possible upgrades like trail maps plus Trail Turn Assist could add even more off-road capability.
The 2021 F-150 Raptor will be assembled at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Michigan, and available in showrooms this summer. Raptor R is coming next year.
Picture: Ford Media Cerntre