Used by Ford to designate its "high-performance" SUVs and pickup trucks, the Ford Raptor is a nameplate. Since the 2010 model year, it has been in use and is considered the highest-performance version of the F-150, Ranger, and Bronco. Inspired by birds of prey and the velociraptor, the Raptor models are street-legal counterparts of off-road racing trophy trucks. The current lineup includes the third-generation F-150 Raptor, introduced in 2021, the Ranger Raptor, introduced in 2019 (in markets outside North America), and the Bronco Raptor, released in late 2021.
Off-Road Optimized Performance
The Raptor models are optimized for off-road use and come equipped with four-wheel drive as standard, a mid-travel suspension system, and all-terrain tires. They also boast the most powerful engines available in the F-150/Ranger lines. In addition to their performance upgrades, the Raptor models feature wider fenders and a unique grille design, with large "FORD" lettering used to replace the Ford Blue Oval emblem.
First Generation F-150 Raptor (2010)
The F-150 SVT Raptor, introduced in 2010, was Ford's second vehicle derived from the F-150. Unlike the on-road focused SVT Lightning, the SVT Raptor was specifically optimized for off-road performance, similar to a desert racing vehicle. Initially nicknamed "Raptor" during development, Ford had to secure the rights to the name from Mosler.
The first Raptor production was sold for $130,000 at auction, with proceeds in excess of the MSRP being donated to charitable causes. The race version, the F-150 SVT Raptor R, featured a 6.2L V8 engine producing 500 hp (370 kW).
Chassis Upgrades for Off-Road Capability
The Raptor's chassis received several upgrades to enhance its off-road performance. SVT fitted the Raptor with Fox Racing internal bypass shocks with external reservoirs, allowing for impressive suspension travel. The leaf springs (rear) and front lower and upper A-arms were redesigned, increasing the ride height by two inches and widening the track by seven inches. The rear axle featured a locking differential with a 4.10:1 gear ratio, while the front axle had an open-differential, later replaced by a Torsen limited-slip differential.
Powertrain and Driving Technology
The first-generation Raptor offered a choice of engines: a standard 5.4L V8 with 320 hp and an optional 6.2L V8 with 411 hp, both paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The SVT Raptor was equipped with advanced driving technologies such as anti-lock braking, stability control, and traction control. It also introduced hill descent control and different driving modes for various off-road conditions.
Second Generation (2017)
After a two-year hiatus, the second-generation Raptor was released in 2017 as a pickup truck derived from the thirteenth-generation F-Series. It featured extensive use of aluminum in its construction, resulting in a significant reduction in weight compared to its predecessor.
Enhanced Off-Road Capabilities
The second-generation Raptor retained the Fox Racing shocks and increased wheel travel. It introduced an all-new transfer case with a torque-on-demand system for improved all-wheel and four-wheel drive capabilities. The Raptor also featured 35-inch all-terrain tires and offered bead lock wheels as an option.
Powertrain and Body Design
Unlike its predecessor, the second-generation Raptor came with a high-output 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine, delivering 450 hp and 510 lb.-ft. of torque. It utilized a 10-speed automatic transmission, a first for non-commercial vehicles. The Raptor's body design incorporated aluminum construction, a composite hood, and a distinct grille design.
Third Generation (2021)
In February 2021, Ford introduced the third-generation F-150 Raptor. The base model retained the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine from the previous generation, while a new Raptor R variant featured a supercharged 5.2L Predator V8 engine producing 700 hp and 640 lb.-ft. of torque. The rear suspension of the Raptor was updated to include coil springs and a five-link setup with a Panhard bar.
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