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7 things on the 2021 Ford Raptor you should be really excited about

The Ford Raptor has been redesigned for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The 2021 Ford Raptor is here, and like the rest of the 2021 F-150 lineup, it has new technology and new capability. Since I like to go off-roading at high speeds – especially when it's not my truck – I'm excited to see what changes Ford made to its desert pre-runner. After giving the specs a look, talking to some folks at Ford, and eyeing up the photography, I can safely say these are 7 things you should really be excited about for the 2021 Ford Raptor.

Goodbye, leaf springs

One of the biggest functional changes to the 2021 Ford Raptor is also one of the biggest changes overall to the truck. To improve the off-road capability at speed, Ford made the decision to remove the leaf springs from the rear and replace them with a 5-link coil setup. While not surprising – the prototypes running around were obviously running the new setup – it is a big change for Ford in the United States.

Ford uses leaf springs while Ram goes full link coil because the company claims it's better for towing and payload. However, what is good for payload isn't as good for desert dune running. In fact, in global markets, the Ranger Raptor has a link coil setup, while the other Ranger models still use leaf springs.

Fundamentally this should improve ride quality both on and off the road and should improve handling and grip off road.

Available 37-inch tires

The second thing buyers should get excited about is the optional factory 37-inch tires. The BFGoodrich K02s are available in the larger size, improving ground clearance as well as approach and departure angles. The stock 37-inch setup also comes with a beefier Fox front suspension to handle the additional mass of the larger tires. The 37-inch wheels are also bead lock capable.

Updated Fox Racing Shox

Speaking of those Fox Racing Shox, they are updated for the 2021 truck. They come in a 3.1-inch damper up front, with a 1-inch rod diameter on the 37-inch wheel package. In the rear they are 3.1-inch dampers with 0.875-inch rod diameter (which is the same as the front on non-37 trucks).

The software for the continuous dampening has been updated to make the system even more responsive. It can change the dampening rates per corner at 500 times per second. Ford says that is as fast as the human brain can recognize the changes.

The new suspension setup also improves suspension travel. On standard wheel and tire trucks, Raptor gets an impressive 14-inch travel up front and a monstrous 15-inches of travel in the rear. That's 1 more inch front and rear than Ram's TRX. Opting for the 37-inch tires does reduce that to 13 and 14.1-inches, respectively.

Pro Power Onboard generator

2021 Ford F-150 Raptor generator truck bed

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

In addition to the go faster goodies off road, the Raptor has new technology from the 2021 F-150 lineup. For those who take their Raptors camping, a two-kilowatt Pro Power Onboard generator is there to power your campsite. That's enough to power an AC unit for a camper, or a TV and accessories for a tailgate, or really whatever you need. Powered by the truck itself, the generator is a fantastic addition to the F-150 lineup.

New exhaust note

Because one of Raptor's weak points is the sound, Ford changed out the exhaust. While the old truck with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost sounded more like a Focus RS than a trophy truck, an updated active exhaust with a built-in X-pipe and "trombone loop" enhances the sound. Ford provided us with a sound clip (listen above), but we look forward to hearing it in person.

Ford is quite adamant that they were on the right track with the active exhaust when they first sent prototypes out into the wild and discovered that spy photographers thought the truck had a V8. The exhaust has a Quiet, Normal, Sport, and Baja mode.

Driver assist tech

Because many Raptor drivers drive their trucks every day – and some never go off-road – Ford is including a variety of new standard and available driver's assist tech. It's worth getting excited about the prep for Active Drive Assist. When equipped with the software update that's coming, the Raptor will be able to drive on approved, digitally mapped highways without the driver having to keep their hands on the steering wheel. It's tech similar to Cadillac's Super Cruise and has active driver monitoring making it safer than Tesla's own "Full Self-Driving" software.

New graphics packages

2021 Ford F-150 Raptor stickers graphics

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Lastly, worth mentioning, is the 37-inch graphics package for the Raptor. Instead of just offering one set of graphics like in the past, Raptor has several to choose from. The one featured on the orange hero truck has the 37-inch package that includes the number 37 and trail maps on the fenders. If you're into graphics, it's cool to see the variety.

There are tons of other new features on Raptor that also come with the updated 2021 F-150. Overall, the truck features a ton more new tech, features and capability.

You should also be excited about the possibilities for 2022. If you're sad about it only having the 3.5-liter EcoBoost under the hood, Ford said that next year a Raptor R is coming. While they aren't providing any details, it'd make sense for that truck to have a V8 so it can go full-on TRX hunting.

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The Ford Super Duty has a number of additions for the 2022 model year.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The 2022 Ford Super Duty is benefiting from the redesign of the Ford F-150. The car is getting a number of high-tech upgrades and a new appearance package option for the 2022 model year as well as fresh color schemes for the interior and exterior of the truck. It continues to offer the highest available payload, and max conventional and fifth-wheel towing capacity.

Buyers now have the option of adding a 12-inch infotainment touch screen to their truck with Ford's SYNC 4 infotainment system, which includes cloud connectivity, wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and navigation. The screen is orientated similarly to how it is positioned in the F-150 - landscape rather than portrait like the Explorer's screen. Information on the screen can be split in half.

Ford switches to a fully digital owner's manual for the 2022 Super Duty. It will save a considerable amount of paper and, in turn, trees.

2022 Ford Super Duty Lariat Tremor with Sport Appearance Pack The 2022 Ford Super Duty Lariat Tremor with Sport Appearance Pack is available with the new, larger 12-inch infotainment touch screen.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

SYNC voice control and a 4.2-inch center screen remains standard on the XL series trucks with SYNC 3 available while an 8-inch center touch screen and SYNC 3 are standard on XLT.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

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Ford is also offering the new Lariat Sport Appearance Package to the Super Duty lineup. Buyers who check that box get body-color bumpers, exterior mirrors, and grille, as well as a chrome exhaust tip and black platform running boards.The automaker is also making its popular Black Appearance Package available for XLT models. That group of equipment and features includes 20-inch Ebony Black painted premium wheels, body-color front and rear bumpers, grille bars, and six-inch Ebony Black running boards. Trucks with this package will be available in the autumn of 2021.

Ford will offer Lariat models of the truck with a new Baja colored interior. Limited models get new Navy Pier and Light Slate options, plus a new Atlas Blue exterior color.

2022 Ford Super Duty Limited

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

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The 2022 Ford Super Duty is built at Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, Kentucky, and Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake, Ohio. It will be available this summer. Pricing has yet to be announced.

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The Kia Stinger gets a refresh for the 2022 model year.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

When it debuted in 2017, the Kia Stinger was heralded as the beginning of a new generation of high-performing sports sedan. Though sportier than the traditional sedan, the Stinger still hasn't hit the same capability note as its German rivals. It hasn't gotten the same sales numbers either, managing just over 11,000 new car deliveries in 2020.

A few years in now, the Stinger is up for a refresh. Kia is promising "more power, more technology, and a refined design". Expect much of the styling and technology that is in the Kia K5 while increased performance will likely pull the 2022 Stinger solidly ahead of the K5.

2021 Kia Stinger The 2021 Kia Stinger is a sports sedan that doesn't fare well against its German rivals. Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia, which shares a Hyundai Motor Group parent company with the Hyundai and Genesis brands, may be a beneficiary of the research that has gone in to Hyundai N and N Line models. The resulting engineering managed to turn the Hyundai Elantra compact car into a hot hatch-like competition and the Sonata into a connected, albeit harsh-riding, sporty sedan. The Hyundai Veloster N is a champion on and off the track.

The Stinger's dimensions are comparable to the BMW M4's. Though the 2021 M4 is only available as a coupe for the 2021 model year and has a price tag around $22,000 more than the Stinger, it delivers a more impassioned drive experience. It gets 473 horsepower and 403 pound-feet of torque from its twin-turbo 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine. The M4's engine is paired with a six-speed manual transmission.

As part of a generational redesign for the 2022 model year, the BMW M4 saw its power bumped up. The M4 gets 48 more horsepower while its Competition models get a 59-horsepower and 73 pound-feet of torque upgrade over previous Competition package-equipped cars. The 2022 M4 Coupe can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds.

The Stinger currently has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine under its hood that generates 255 horsepower in the base model GT Line trim. The Stinger GT2, the most powerful variant, has a twin-turbo 3.3-liter V6 tucked under there, generating 365 horsepower. Simply put, Kia has its work cut out for it.

At least it will be unique looking. The Stinger teaser photos distributed by the automaker features headlights that look more like those on the Toyota Supra than on the K5, emphasizing the car's athletic shoulders.

The 2022 Kia Stinger will be fully revealed on March 16.

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