Ford released the third generation of the F150 Raptor in 2021 as a 2022 model year, and it was meaner and hard-core than before.
In 2009, Ford stunned the world with the introduction of the Raptor's first generation. It was praised for its high-speed off-road abilities. Soon, the competition started to match its performances and caught-up. But then, the blue-oval brand released a second generation. In 2021, with the third generation, it was even tougher and readier to fly over bumps, dunes and potholes.
But Ford didn't forget to make it look business. Maybe it looked too massive to make someone think that the F150 Raptor could jump, even though it did it easily. Its flat front grille featured the big FORD lettering on it, sidelined by a pair of LED headlights. Ford's designers didn't try to hide the aluminum skid-plate under the engine and pulled it to the front bumper. From its sides, it was the regular, four-door F150 with a separated bed in the back.
The interior was slightly reworked when compared to a regular loaded with options F150 Crew Cab. Active Orange punctuated an interior packed with Tremor detailing, including unique seat trim with superior stitching, materials, and finishes for the center stack, center console, and doors. A wide TFT display filled the instrument cluster and offered various functions for the car, including specific ones for the Raptor version.
Apart from the new twin-turbo engine paired to a 10-speed gearbox, the Raptor featured a special-tuned chassis. The five-link rear suspension featured extra-long trailing arms to maintain a better axle position on rough terrain, a Panhard rod and 24-inch coil springs - the longest in the class.
Ford introduced a second generation for its F-150 Raptor in 2017, and, at first, people were surprised because the famous pickup truck didn't feature a V8 anymore. But still, soon, it proved to be worthier than its predecessor thanks not just to the twin-turbo V6 underneath the hood but also to the rest of the package.
The history of high-performance pickups goes back in time with famous vehicles such as the Dodge Lil' Red Express, the GMC Cyclone, and the Ford F-150 Lightning. But while Chrysler and GM dropped the idea of making such powerful versions for utility vehicles, Ford filled the gap. So, after the successful 1993 F-150 Lighting, the blue-oval badge automaker continued with other versions, and in 2010, it made the first F-150 Raptor. That model could threaten hot hatches and sportscars alike with its performance while still being perfectly capable of going at high speeds over bumps and unpaved roads. But then, in 2017, Ford replaced it with an even more capable machine.
The F-150 was already a winner on the market thanks to its huge sales. Its shape was instantly recognizable thanks to the C-shaped LED lamps that flanked the headlights. Still, Ford considered that it was not enough. As a result, instead of installing the same grille as on the rest of the F-150 range, it made a new one that sported the carmaker's name in big, bold letters. In addition, since it was wider than 80 inches (203 cm), it had to wear orange lights due to governmental regulations. But Ford was creative, and instead of placing those on the roof or bumper, it installed them on the upper side of the grille. That width was not for nothing. The F-150 Raptor featured wider front and rear fenders to accommodate the chunky off-road tires. In addition, the ground clearance was higher than on a regular F-150 due to the reinforced off-road suspension fitted with Fox dampers. The automaker installed a black plastic element on the hood for a venting area needed to cool the engine. At the rear, the automaker installed a power tailgate, a relief for customers since that was placed higher than on a regular pickup.
Inside, Ford created a unique ambiance for its customers in the F-150 Raptor. It installed high-bolstered seats for the front passengers with special upholstery and embroidered "Raptor" lettering on the outer sides. Between the occupants was a similar-looking center console as in the rest of the F-150 range, but with silver trims. The driver fronted a dashboard with two large analog dials and a color display for other information about the vehicle's status. An infotainment system running Ford's Sync system filled the upper side of the center stack. Above it, the automaker mounted a set of buttons on the car's headliner for six auxiliary pieces of equipment that customers could install and power on the vehicle, such as winches, additional lights, and so on.
Underneath the hood, the carmaker put a twin-turbo V6 that provided 450 HP (456 PS) to the six-speed automatic transmission. The massive torque was sent in all corners via a two-speed transfer box, and the rear axle featured a limited-slip differential.
On the eleventh generation of the Ford F-150, the American carmaker introduced the SVT version, which was a fast vehicle. But for the twelfth generation, the blue-oval brand came with a different plan.
While the F-150 SVT was much more of a drag racer, the 2009 Raptor was a different kind of animal, with impressive speed and suspension tweaks inspired by the Baja racing trucks. Despite its size, the pickup was not just fast on the asphalt; it was fast on the off-road too. Moreover, it could take a beating quite well.
With its prominent black grille where the Ford lettering was sculptured, the F-150 Raptor showed a menacing attitude. Its overfenders and the big tires fitted on beadlock-like alloy wheels were just as impressive as its high-lift suspension.
The interior could host five passengers, but obviously, the front ones could sit more comfortably. Designed by the Special Vehicle Team (SVT) for active people, the car featured bolstered bucket seats, usually not seen on pickups. The bench was fit for three in the back, although only two headrests were present. SVT used the same gauges inside the instrument panel as on the regular F-150 but enhanced them with white dials and red needles.
But while the regular Raptor was powered by a 5.4-liter V8, there was also a Raptor SVT R, which sported an even more powerful 6.2-liter powerplant that was tuned for this fast pickup. Both versions were paired to a six-speed automatic that sent the power through a two-speed transfer case to the rear wheels or in all corners.