New Truck

2021 Ford Raptor bows with familiar engine, newly engineered specialty parts

The Ford Raptor has been reborn as a new generation model.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford has taken nearly all the "good stuff" in the redesigned F-150 and combined it with off-road-ready equipment to make the new 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor. The fresh iteration marks the start of the third-generation Ford Raptor with the first model debuting just 11 short years ago.

Ford will only sell the F-150 Raptor in a SuperCrew cab configuration. It has a 145-inch wheelbase and fully boxed high-strength steel frame with an aluminum body. Front and rear bumpers are steel.

Ford has given the truck a power dome hood with blacked-out grille and headlights that run the full width of the truck. The hood's new heat extractor and functional side vents were inspired by the intakes of a F-22 Raptor fighter jet. Blacked out taillights, an available tailgate appliqué, and dual exhaust outlets complete the look out back. Rigid off-road lighting is available for the front bumper.

The truck's nether regions are protected by a wider skid plate that has greater side-to-side and forward coverage than the outgoing model.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Under the hood of the Raptor is a familiar beast. Ford has continued to install its twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6. This is the third-generation of the engine, which now features a 10.5:1 compression ratio and high-power fans built into the cooling system. The truck offers faster acceleration and better throttle responsiveness for the new generation as well.

Ford has paired the V6 with a 10-speed automatic transmission and a torque-on-demand transfer case. Standard electronic locking front and rear differentials and available Torsen front limited-slip differential are fitted with 4:10 final drive ratios. Maximum payload increases by 200 pounds, to 1,400 pounds, while maximum towing also increases 200 pounds, to 8,200 pounds of conventional towing.

Horsepower and torque figures have not been made available yet.

Ford says that the powertrain is paired with a 36-gallon gas tank, which gives it over 500 miles of range. That puts the Raptor at about 14 mpg but those numbers haven't officially come in yet. Expect to see them closer to the truck's on-sale date.

Built as a variant of the Ford F-150, the Raptor receives redesigned running gear that includes a new five-link rear suspension. That suspension is designed to give drivers more control and keep the truck feeling planted even when it's deep in the desert. It has extra-long trailing arms, a Panhard rod, and 24-inch coil springs - the longest in its class. Ford specifically designed this suspension for the new F-150 Raptor.

2021 Ford F-150 Raptor: Exterior

2021 Ford F-150 Raptor: Exterior

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Whoops and landings are no problem thanks to the truck's next-gen Fox Live Valve internal bypass shocks - the largest ever installed on the Raptor. They have state-of-the-art electronic control technology that allows for position-sensitive damping adjustability. New electronically controlled base valves are race-proven with an upgraded design enabling upward of 1,000 pounds of damping per corner at desert speeds.

Ford has equipped the Raptor with its Terrain Management System's seven drive modes: Slippery, Tow/Haul, Sport, Normal, Off-Road, Baja, and Rock Crawl. These are the same as in the Bronco. Drive modes adjust steering feel, transfer case behavior, stability control, active valve exhaust, active damping system, throttle mapping, and transmission shift points.

Drivers can get a surround view of the truck by opting for its available 360-degree camera package. The camera is then easily accessible via a dashboard-mounted hard button.

Standard Trail 1-Pedal Drive allows drivers to just use the throttle when driving forward. The truck then applies the brakes proportionally as the driver lifts their foot from the accelerator. Raptor's standard Trail Control acts like cruise control for trail driving conditions, managing the throttle and braking for the driver while they focus on the steering. Bronco has this as well.

2021 Ford F-150 Raptor: Exterior wheel

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The 3.1-inch-diameter anodized aluminum shock bodies are filled with new low-friction fluid and are designed to better resist heat buildup while reacting faster to the terrain. According to a release from Ford, "Readings from suspension height sensors and other sensors around the truck change damping rates independently at each corner 500 times per second, with the shocks responding at the same speed the human brain processes visual information."

Ford will equip the truck with the buyer's choice of either 35-inch or 37-inch BFGoodrich all-terrain T/A KO2 tires. When wearing the 35-inchers, the Raptor clears 12-inch obstacles with an approach angle of 31 degrees, maximum departure angle of 23.9 degrees, and breakover angle of 22.7 degrees. The 35-inch tires have 14 inches of wheel travel at the front and 15 inches at the rear - 25 percent more than the previous Raptor generation.

Raptor with 37-inch tires features 13.1 inches of running clearance, 33.1 degrees of approach angle, a maximum 24.9 degrees of departure angle, and 24.4 degrees of breakover angle.

Ford is offering the F-150 Raptor with its Pro Power Onboard generator system. The popular option makes available 2.0 kilowatts of exportable output to run power tools, camplights, and other equipment.

At the rear, a new three-inch equal-length exhaust system features a patent-pending built-in X-pipe, unique "trombone loop" and first-for-Raptor active valves. Ford says that the system improves the sound quality out the back end of the truck. Drivers can choose from four sound level modes: Quiet, Normal, Sport, and Baja.

2021 Ford F-150 Raptor: Interior

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The truck gets a standard 12-inch digital gauge cluster with Raptor-specific graphics and animations, off-road data, and turn-by-turn navigation capability. Ford has made the truck capable of over-the-air updates and interacting with the FordPass mobile app, which allows owners to lock or unlock their vehicle from almost anywhere, check tire pressure and fuel level, and allow control Zone Lighting, Trailer Theft Alert, Trailer Light Check, and Pro Power Onboard.

SYNC 4 controls the car's infotainment operating system and allows for natural voice control, real-time mapping, customizable information-on-demand, wireless smartphone connectivity, and apps including Ford+Alexa. Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard. Buyers can upgrade to an 18-speaker B&O Unleashed sound system by Bang & Olufson.

The interior is finished in much the same way as a traditional F-150, complete with features like a foldable shifter. A new steering wheel features a laser-etched logo, top centering mark and aluminum paddle shifters. Seats with large bolsters keep occupants in place. More aggressive Recaro buckets are available.

Buyers can choose from standard aluminum or an available carbon fiber interior package, which influences the look of the doors, instrument panel, and center console. Lockable, flat-fold rear storage is also available.

The 2021 F-150 Raptor will be assembled at Ford's Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Michigan, and available in showrooms this summer. Pricing will be announced closer to the truck's on-sale date.

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The 2023 Crosstrek starts at $23,645.

Subaru

Subaru is one of the best at listening to its customers' needs, and the Crosstrek is a great example of that mindset. It's a useful vehicle with plenty of interior space and enough ground clearance to take its passengers well of the beaten path. Today, Subaru announced pricing for the 2023 Crosstrek and Crosstrek Hybrid. The duo will go on sale this summer.

Subaru CrosstrekThe Crosstrek's cabin is adventure-ready and packed with great tech. Subaru

The standard Crosstrek starts at $23,645 before destination and the Crosstrek Hybrid starts at $36,845. Five trims are available for the standard model, including Base, Premium, a new Special Edition, Sport, and Limited. The Hybrid comes in a single trim level. All Crosstrek variants get all-wheel drive with active torque vectoring and 8.7 inches of ground clearance.

The Base, Premium, and Special Edition trims come with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 152 horsepower. The Sport and Limited trims get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder making 182 horsepower. Most models come with a continuously variable transmission, but the Base and Premium trims come standard with a six-speed manual gearbox. The Crosstrek Hybrid comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder paired with two electric motors. The plug-in system can deliver 17 miles of electric range.

Subaru CrosstrekThe Crosstrek delivers 8.7 inches of ground clearance.Subaru

True to Subaru form, the Crosstrek comes with a full suite of advanced driver aids, including automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane departure alerts, adaptive cruise, and more. These features are only available for CVT-equipped models. The Limited trim and the Crosstrek Hybrid add automatic high beams, reverse automatic braking, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alerts.

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Lincoln will not make a performance variant to compete with Cadillac.

Lincoln

TheLincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade have been duking it out at the top of luxury SUV rankings for decades, but there’s one area of the Caddy’s development that Lincoln won’t touch. In a recent interview, a company executive told Ford Authority that it has no plans to create a performance variant of the Navigator to compete with the upcoming Escalade V from Cadillac.

2022 Lincoln NavigatorThe new Navigator features several upscale touches and excellent tech. Lincoln

That means the Navigator will stick with the powertrain it’s carried for years, which is a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine that makes 440 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with a smooth ten-speed automatic and either rear- or four-wheel drive. While there’s more than enough power to get the hulking Lincoln moving, it’s not a powertrain that inspires excitement or engagement, and though beefy, it’s tuned much more for comfort and quietness than drama.

Though more than adequate, those specs are a far cry from the numbers we expect from the Escalade V. The full-size bruiser from Cadillac is expected to get a supercharged 6.2-liter V8, similar to the unit seen in the CT5-V Blackwing and Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. We don’t know power numbers yet, but the engine should deliver horsepower and torque numbers in the high 600s.

Cadillac Escalade VThe Escalade V will be massively powerful. Cadillac

That Lincoln is taking a different approach isn’t surprising. The automaker has already announced its intention to go all-electric, so pouring more time and resources into creating a performance gas-powered SUV isn’t in line with its goals. Company executives have also expressed a desire to avoid imitating rivals, so the decision to leave a performance Navigator behind is not surprising.

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