Now that The Blue Oval has revealed the all-new, 2021 Ford F-150, it can turn its attention to the high-performance F-150 Ford Raptor. And that’s exactly what our spies caught undergoing testing just now.
Despite some use of camo on the front and rear on this developmental prototype, the new Ford Raptor F-150 features an unmistakable widebody treatment to accommodate a wider track and tires. The biggest part of the disguise, however, is the hanging rear suspension camo that has our attention.
Since its inception, the Ford Raptor F-150 has used leaf springs for its rear suspension configuration. However, this all-new, third-generation model will switch to a coil spring setup. In fact, our spy managed to get under the prototype to snap a few photos of the configuration. The coil springs are placed where the Fox Racing shocks reside on the current model. Additionally, the shocks have been moved ahead of the rear axle on these new prototypes.
The actual Fox Racing shocks will be very similar, if not identical, to the units used on the outgoing 2019 Raptor. There’s a smidge of orange peeking out from under the black sleeve covering the shocks – a seemingly perfect match for the Fox Racing units with Live Valve Internal Bypass fitted to the outgoing model.
Additionally, there’s a structural element that stretches along the underside of this F-150 Ford Raptor prototype. This new structural unit attaches to the rear axle, and its purpose appears to be to make up for any potential loss in cross-body rigidity of the coils when compared to the leaf springs. Interestingly, this new structural brace and the lack of leaf springs would be somewhat visible from the side of the truck, so Ford placed camo to disguise these elements.
The removal of the leaf springs results in a re-routed exhaust compared to the outgoing model. While the outgoing model’s exhaust pipes are forced to drop to the same level as the spare tire and then make an upward turn, the exhaust configuration in the new Ford Raptor F-150 will take a straighter path to exit thanks to a lack of the bulky hardware associated with the leaf spring suspension. What’s more, it’s very likely that the new exhaust configuration will give the new Raptor better overall ground clearance compared to the current model.
It’s currently unclear whether the all-new, third-generation Ford F-150 Raptor will come to market for the 2021 or 2022 model years. However, these photos show a prototype in advanced stages of development. As such, it’s possible that the vehicle will actually launch toward the end of the 2021 model year, but with very limited availability.
We’ll have much more on next-gen Ford Raptor F-150 soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford F-Series news, Ford F-150 news, F-150 Ford Raptor news, and continuous Ford news coverage.