Ford recasts F-150 Raptor for tougher battlefield; V-8 set for R variant

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DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. forged the performance pickup market 12 years ago with the first F-150 Raptor.

Now the automaker is hoping the third-generation truck will help restore dominance in a field that’s grown more crowded.

The 2021 F-150 Raptor, introduced Wednesday, features an exclusive rear suspension, upgraded Fox racing shocks, available 37-inch tires and a host of new connected technologies that all stand to improve the performance pickup.

What remains to be seen, however, is whether the redesigned Raptor — or more likely the high-performance Raptor R variant promised for 2022 — can knock off Ram’s 702-hp TRX as the most powerful full-size performance pickup on the market.

Ford declined to provide any performance specs during the vehicle’s unveiling, but the 3.5-litre V-6 engine is unlikely to top the TRX’s 6.2-litre Hemi V-8. The company did confirm, however, that the Raptor R coming in 2022 will have a V-8 to directly match the TRX.

Still, Ford believes the base Raptor can appeal to enthusiasts and differentiate itself not only from Ram, but from new internal competition from the Bronco and Bronco Sport.
 

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