The Next Ford Raptor Will Be a 2021 Model After All

Well, that didn't take long.

Now that the groundbreaking new 2021 Ford F-150 has been unveiled, it’s time to look down the road at the pickup’s performance potential—meaning the Raptor. When will it arrive, what will change, how much power will it make? All questions on the mind, though for now, only the arrival window can be answered, as a Ford spokesperson confirmed this morning that the Blue Oval won’t wait around for a future model year to bring back the Raptor.

“There will be an all-new 2021 F-150 Raptor. We’ll have more details to share about Raptor at a later date,” said Ford’s manager of truck communications, Dawn McKenzie, to Motor1. The allegedly coil-sprung new Raptor thus arrives earlier than its predecessors in the F-150’s model cycle, with the original Raptor launching a year after the F-150 on which it was based, and the second, two into the truck’s lifespan.

This means Ford won’t leave the high-performance half-ton truck market for takeover by another apex predator such as the 2021 Ram TRX, which reports indicate will be powered by the supercharged, 6.2-liter V8 from the Hellcat line of muscle cars. Even if the TRX matches only the 2016 concept’s 575 horsepower, rather than the 700-plus on offer in various Challengers and Chargers, it’d still produce 125 more than the outgoing 2020 Raptor, though Ford may already have a suitable foil on hand for the TRX’s V8. 

The 2021 F-150’s new PowerBoost hybrid drivetrain is more or less the current 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 with a 47-horsepower electric motor bolted on, so if you were to augment a 2020 Raptor in the same fashion, it’d produce around 500 horsepower, and that’s without any gains made on the combustion side.

This would also give the redesigned Raptor markedly improved gas mileage, though even this may not be enough to satisfy those who miss the rumble of the first model’s extra two cylinders. Ford still has the chance to rectify that by warming over the 5.0-liter V8 available in the new F-150, but given even the Ford GT’s switchover to low-displacement turbo power, it’d come as a surprise if the next Raptor were anything other than that. Electrification could step in to make it even better.

The Drive has reached out for additional confirmation from Ford and will update this article with the company’s response.

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