As the 2021 Ford F-150 gears up for production by the close of 2020, there’s still development work to do on the lineup’s halo truck. New images from the OffroadAlliance Instagram page caught the latest-generation model in the wild. As Ram readies its assault on Ford’s off-road dominance with its Raptor-fighting TRX, it’s clear the Blue Oval is not going to just hand over its crown.
The battle of titans is coming, and Ford’s preparing with a couple 2nd-gen Raptors along for the testing. For its part, the Ram 1500 TRX will debut next Monday, August 17.
So what do we know about the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor right now? Precious little, actually, as it’s unclear beyond the obvious styling changes where Ford’s going with this new truck. Our juiciest bit of information yet is the change from leaf spring to coil spring suspension, focusing this truck even harder as an off-road monster.
Beyond that, it’s unclear exactly what is in store for the next Raptor truck. Given the stiffer competition this time around, Ford’s likely going to substantially upgrade the 3rd-gen Raptor from the outgoing truck. For example, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 manages a healthy 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. It’s no slouch, but the Ram TRX is bringing a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 into the mix. In all other applications that engine produces over 700 horsepower, and we have no reason to believe Ram will dial it down here.
Possible hybrid power?
So, what is Ford to do? As the Raptor’s trajectory moved away from a big V8 toward a smaller, twin-turbocharged V6, so too do we think the company will be equally as radical in this next truck. That naturally means electrification, though how far Ford wants to go with that remains to be seen. Currently, their most powerful analog for hybrid powertrains is the Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring SUV. That manages a whopping 494 horsepower and 630 lb-ft of torque, which would put it in better contention against the TRX on power.
But, in an age of 700+ horsepower factory off-road trucks, that may not be enough. Mind you, Ford has considerable experience building badass Baja trucks by this point, so it’s not all about power. The company could likely dial it up, focus on off-road capability and agility (hence the coil spring move), and still be a compelling buy against the Ram TRX. On the other hand, Ford could go equally berserk and fit a 760 horsepower 5.2-liter supercharged V8 from the Mustang Shelby GT500 and come out on top in the horsepower war.
All we’d need then is for GM to bring out a 1,000 horsepower Silverado ZRX based on the rumored Corvette Zora. Then we’d have more power than we’d possibly know what to do with, until the GMC Hummer EV and other electric trucks move the goal posts.
Let us know what you think Ford will do with the new F-150 Raptor below! Thanks a ton to OffRoadAlliance.com for giving TFL permission to use these photos.