The Ford F-150 Raptor enters its third generation because that 2021 with lot the very same muscled-up, off-road-ready full-size pickup cooking recipes it has actually deployed to lot effect—and, till the recent introduction of Ram"s 1500 TRX, without any kind of competition due to the fact that 2011.

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Continuity isn"t the same as stasis, however. The latest Raptor it s okay an all-new five-link rear suspension, next-generation Fox shocks, and optional 37-inch manufacturing facility tires. Other far-reaching changes incorporate an equal-length energetic exhaust mechanism featuring a brand-new "trombone loop" design that assures angrier engine sounds, a revised prior suspension, and updated structure rails qualified of straddling a 37-inch spare tire.

A harsh desert atmosphere is, naturally, wherein we undertook the business of analyzing the new Raptor. Ford staged our drive from downtown las Vegas come the easygoing city of Pahrump, Nevada, wherein we to be set loosened on the Dumont Dunes in the Mojave Desert. What, you assumed we"d drive the F-150 Raptor to trader Joe"s?

Still it is provided by a 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 producing 450 hp and 510 lb-ft the torque, the huge Ford easily loafs follow me on the freeway on our method to the dunes. During our drive, we worked out comfortably into the La-Z-Boy-style seats included in the available Raptor 37 power package. This $7,500 option adds those roomy Recaro bucket seats, exterior graphics, 37-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain tires, and retuned shock absorbers.

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The basic F-150 Raptor ships wearing 35-inch tires and starts in ~ $65,840, well below the ram 1500 TRX"s opened ask. Back tastily equipped the end of the gate, opting for the optional Raptor 37 power package, which calls for the group 801A High package in ~ $6,150, clearly brings the truck as much as its complete potential. Dropping all the cash also brings a 360-degree camera, one 18-speaker B&O sound system, rigid foglights, and pro trailer backup assist. Our test example additionally had the power tailgate and also 2.0-kilowatt ProPower onboard strength generator.

Our cruise toward the dunes permitted plenty of time because that surveying the new Raptor"s interior. Due to the fact that virtually every component inside the well-appointed cabin is supersized, consisting of the regulate knobs, automatic transition lever, paddle shifters, and center console, familiarizing yourself with the attributes is an effortless task. Ford places switches for the energetic exhaust, suspension settings, and also steering modes at your fingertips, giving a convenient method to adjust driving layout settings when on the move.

We experiment the cruise control and also lane maintaining systems on our method into the desert, too, and also they go a fine project slowing, accelerating, and keeping the truck centered in the lane. Anytime cruise manage detected our tranquil steering wheel grasp, the flashed a warning ~ above the instrument cluster urging us to store our hand on the wheel.

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Over evenly paved roads, the mean-looking Raptor rides softly top top its giant 37-inch tires. However, that"s not to speak all ethereal bounces and vibrations have entirely gone far because, well, those room tough characteristics break a heavy truck of, no matter how sophisticated the shocks.

Sprints native a stop will mainly make you forget about the Ford"s size, if only for a moment. Launches are enthusiastic and also even far better with the Raptor collection to its sports drive mode, despite nowhere close to on par through the brand-new 702-hp lamb 1500 TRX, which is the quickest truck we"ve ever before tested.

Most outstanding of all is how, just like the old Raptor, an off-road van of this size have the right to zip v a curve at higher speeds. The big tires and wide-track suspension keep the Ford feeling planted also when gift hustled, ~ above pavement or otherwise.

Once in Pahrump, us headed right to Dumont Dunes for part grueling testing under the scorching sun. The job kicked off with one overlanding suffer in the Raptor"s Baja mode; us barreled down right dirt paths and also zig-zagged across the sand.

At a hill rise obstacle, similar to you"ve probably seen in ~ King of the Hammers or another extreme off-road event, the mission turned to scaling the pile at full speed and also creeping come the bottom that the various other (rocky) side. Gauging the right moment to gun the while keeping momentum to be the an essential to a effective climb in the sand. The Raptor scaled the steep hill without a struggle, much more feral pet than truck.

While barreling around the dunes, we noticed the 10-speed automatically transmission"s shifts are quick, and the (artificially) intensified engine noises discharging from the energetic exhaust deliver an ideal aural urgency to the proceedings, even if the twin-turbo V-6 can"t enhance the TRX"s to make reservation of power.

The brake system is dutifully responsive, despite coming come a halt in the dunes just requires a moderate tapping the the brake pedal. In deeper sand, easing off the accelerator is almost as efficient at happen the huge boy pickup van to a stop in a stable and predictable manner. Oh, and also body control? The Raptor has that under control.

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Earlier us mentioned just how purchasing the Raptor 37 package is nearly required; partly that"s because that those beefy tires, but the imposing and ultra-wide Recaro buckets space every bit as precious it. Upholstered in Rhapsody Blue leather with Alcantara suede inserts and also Code Orange stitching, the chairs organized us firm with nonstop off-road bashing. This seats embrace as well as they cosset, filtering out few of the lumps and bumps the suspension and those big Fox shocks can"t.

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Through a whoops field, a dune handling course, and also a washout route, the Raptor showed its te of high-speed off-road breeding. The Ford trounced the whoops ar vigorously yet with solid control, never shedding traction and eager to pick up speed where that could. Racing around the dunes felt favor surfing ~ above the sand through a monster truck. You conveniently learn the gentle tugs of the wheel and also plenty of throttle gets the Raptor going whereby you suggest it. Oh, and we never got stuck in the sand.

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Armed through customer feedback, Ford advanced the third-generation F-150 Raptor there is no tossing in something revolutionary. Even if it is this is enough to consist of for the Raptor"s 252-hp disadvantage loved one to the super load V-8-powered lamb TRX, its first direct competitor, will have to wait for a appropriate comparison test. Walking by specs alone, the Ford in that current form surely won"t keep up through the ram in a straight line, but it remains the grizzled veteran in a niche that virtually produced 10 years ago. And should the supposedly an ext powerful Raptor R fight the scene following year, the score-settling have the right to truly begin.


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