Speculation

Here's everything we know about the upcoming Ford F-150 Raptor R

Ford has confirmed that a more performance-focused version fo the Raptor is on its way.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

When Ford debuted the redesigned 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor today, the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker, the audience was stunned. There was no V8. They had thought there would be one. They were convinced. They were bragging about it to the world.

Was it a let down? Perhaps. But, Ford has a plan. It's name is the Ford F-150 Raptor R.

Ford was able to keep much of the new Raptor's information under wraps until the cover was pulled off on the model. What about the Raptor R? Let's dig in and find out what is and isn't known about the upcoming model.

It will have a V8.

A Ford spokesperson confirmed to Motor Authority that the new Raptor R will be powered by a V8. Naturally aspirated? Turbocharged? Supercharged? They weren't saying anything more, however, Ford rep Mike Levine tweeted an image later giving a clue.

Ford used Metallica's "Enter Sandman" music in promos for the new Raptor, but perhaps the focus on the album artwork here, depicting a snake, could be the subject Levine is alluding to.

In its handbag, Ford has a 760-horsepower supercharged 5.2-liter V8 that is found under the hood of its Mustang Shelby GT500. It would make sense that the company would be looking to put this engine in the Raptor R as the truck's closest competition, the Ram TRX, has a Hellcat-derived power plant that makes over 700 horsepower.

If Ford decides to go with the same engine as is in the Mustang GT500, the question becomes, "Will they mate it to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission or a 10-speed automatic ?" A 10-speed is standard on the 2021 F-150 Raptor.

It will be street legal.

Despite conflicting reports this morning, it has now been confirmed that the Raptor R will be street legal. This means that the truck will have the requisite lighting, signals, and safety equipment to meet government standards for roadworthiness. In other words, it's not a strict desert racing truck for sanctioned events. It will be a vehicle buyers will be able to get from their local dealership.

Expect performance upgrades and maybe a fiercer appearance.

The new Raptor already looks swell, but the Raptor R could look swole. Aside from the (likely) requisite V8 and Raptor R badging, the new model could get a more aggressive front end, perhaps with more skid plate showing. Maybe some colored tow hooks, a roof rack, a light bar, and blacked side mirrors caps? On the tailgate, perhaps a colored "Ford" that matches the tow hooks? They're just thoughts from the AutomotiveMap team, but certainly all a possibility.

The Raptor R won't be here this year.

As American author James Campbell once said, "We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us." The twin-turbo V6-powered 2021 Raptor will come first with the V8-engined Raptor R coming in 2022. Will it be a 2022 or 2023 model year vehicle? That remains unclear.

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Custom SUVs

Ford Bronco to rule SEMA this year

The Bronco RTR features a fun livery and several off-road upgrades.

Ford

The annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show is an opportunity for the aftermarket and manufacturers to come together on wildly customized vehicles and to show off the latest parts and tech in the space. Now that the Ford Bronco has finally made its way to the public, it's not surprising to see several wild SEMA takes on the hottest SUV to hit the market in some time.

2021 Bronco by Tucci Hot Rods The tracks are said to improve the Bronco's abilities in deep snow and ice.Ford

2021 Bronco by Tucci Hot Rods

The new Bronco is capable and rugged on its own, but Tucci Hot Rods felt it needed more. The shop gave it that boost with a set of tracks in place of wheels, which are said to be great for deep snow and ice. This Bronco features a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine and a seven-speed manual transmission to go with its Mattracks 88-Series quad tracks.

2021 Bronco RTR Fun-Runner by RTR Vehicles

Vaghn Gittin Jr's RTR Vehicles imagined a Bronco package that could be installed at the dealer. The result is the Fun-Runner, which features several Ford Performance and Ford Licensed Accessories parts. It's based on a 2021 two-door Bronco Badlands, and comes with an eye-catching wrap, an Ultimate Dana 44 front axle, Ultimate Dana 60 semi-float rear axle, RCV Performance CV axles, and a performance intake for its four-cylinder engine.

2021 Bronco by BDS Supensions SEMA presents an excellent opportunity for shops to show off their skill and imagination.Ford

2021 Bronco by BDS Supensions

BDS is a subsidiary of Fox Shocks and has worked with Ford for quite some time. The results of that long-running relationship are on display with the BDS Bronco, which features Fox 2.5 PES coilovers, BDS rear adjustable control arms and track bar, swaybar disconnect, and 37-inch BFGoodrich KM3 tires. The Bronco's bumpers have been replaced with CrawlTek Revolution units that feature a recessed winch mount, recovery hooks and more.

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Ford EV manufacturing

Ford plans new plants in Tennessee and Kentucky

Ford's new TN facility may be one of the largest in U.S. history.

Ford

Earlier this year, Ford outlined its plans for significant investments in electric vehicle development and construction. Today, the automaker announced a big step forward in that roadmap that will include two new facilities, billions in new spending, and thousands of new jobs.

The $5.6 billion Stanton, TN factory will be called Blue Oval City and will bring 6,000 new jobs to the area. Ford says the site will include a BlueOval SK battery plant, and that electric F-Series trucks will be manufactured there. The assembly plant is designed to be carbon neutral and to send zero waste to landfills once it's up and running.

Ford Blue Oval City Ford plans to create a combined 11,000 jobs.Ford

Ford notes that Blue Oval City will be one of the largest automotive manufacturing sites in U.S. history. The campus sprawls 3,600 acres over six square miles, and will house assembly, battery production, and a supplier facility. The vertical integration of all functions on one site should lower Ford's production costs and reduce its carbon footprint.

The $5.8 billion Kentucky site will be a dedicated battery manufacturing complex that houses two separate battery plants. The location will supply Ford's North American assembly plants and is expected to create 5,000 new jobs. The facilities in both states are being built as part of a joint venture between Ford and SK Innovation, pending regulatory approval.

Ford Blue Oval City The TN facility is expected to be carbon neutral when it's up and running.Ford

The increase in production capacity can't come soon enough for Ford. Earlier this year, the Mustang Mach-E EV debuted to strong demand, and the automaker will soon roll out the first electric F-Series truck. Called the Ford F-150 Lightning, the pickup will be the first electric truck from a legacy automaker.

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