Chassis improvements, e-goodies define new F-150 Raptor

When the Ford Motor Company unveiled this vehicle today, it also dispensed a factoid that’s very much worth remembering: The last generation of the trail-packaged F-150 Raptor pickup handily outsold not only the entire Porsche lineup of sports car combined, but also the Chevrolet Corvette’s full output. That means we ought to view the Raptor for what it is, a performance vehicle targeted at a specific audience, which has a raft of performance and connectivity-related accoutrements on tap for buyers as the newest Raptor makes its debut.

The biggest news surrounding the 2021 F-150 Raptor, a vehicle born of boundless off-road enthusiasm, is its all-new, Raptor-specific five-link independent rear suspension. The upgraded chassis uses extra-long rear control arms for axle location plus 24-inch coil springs, the best in its class, providing ample vertical suspension displacement in the rough stuff. The Raptor is also fitted as standard equipment with new-generation FOX internal-bypass shock absorbers with electronic control, 3.1 inch-diameter shock tubes with low-friction fluid inside. Sensors allow active damping changes 500 times per second. The standard Raptor engine is Ford’s 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V-6, with a 10.5:1 compression ratio for this application. Over-the-air tech upgrades including trail maps and turn assist in the boonies are also part of the package. Built at the Dearborn Truck Plant, the new rig will be joined by an even more muscular Raptor R in 2022.

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