Ford Authority

Could This Slammed F-150 Raptor Prototype Signal The Lightning’s Return?

The 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor was officially revealed just last month, prior to which we spotted and reported on a vast array of prototypes bearing interesting features. But now, we’ve spotted a somewhat strange, slammed F-150 Raptor prototype that’s wearing assorted types of camo, including “street sweeper” camo underneath designed to disguise a vehicle’s suspension. And it has us wondering what in the world is going on here.

There are several reasons Ford might be testing a slammed F-150 Raptor prototype that, as we can see in the comparison below, sits far lower than a stock Raptor. For starters, perhaps it could be some sort of Lightning or 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor revival, a return of the high-performance street truck that some have been calling for in recent years.

It would make sense to use the high-performance off-road-focused Raptor as a testbed for a new high-performance, on-road-focused Lightning, though it’s fair to question why Ford would leave the Raptor’s beefy 315/70/R17 BFGoodrich K02 All-Terrain T/A tires on the slammed prototype.

Another very solid possibility is that Ford is testing an air suspension setup for the F-150 Raptor or perhaps even the forthcoming Raptor R, which will come equipped with Ford’s supercharged 5.2L Predator V8. Quite a few higher-end vehicles these days are available with an air suspension, which allows the driver to raise or lower the vehicle at the push of a button or flip of a switch.

This would certainly explain why the prototype has street sweeper camo underneath it as well. Without it, we would easily be able to tell if the truck is equipped with an air suspension, so it would behoove Ford to conceal this as much as possible.

One thing is for certain – this slammed F-150 Raptor, which was spotted heading into Ford’s test track, exists for a reason. What that reason is, well, that’s currently unclear.

We’ll have more on this unusual prototype as soon as it’s available, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford F-Series news, Ford F-150 newsFord F-150 Raptor news, and ongoing Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. G

    or…. hear me out…. there’s stuff in the bed

  2. JoeBryant

    Ok, I am going to start the chant: Please have a V8, Please have a V8, Please have a V8……….

  3. Dave

    If I had to choose which of the scenarios offered by Mr. Foote, My bet is that
    its air suspension. My reason is that Ford hasn’ t offered a high-performance
    “street truck” since the poor sellng Tremor 3.5 EcoBoost several years ago.
    (Poor sales, I believe, because dealers ordered them with almost every option AND
    added that despised “market adjustment”). And, last time I checked, Ford no longer
    offers a regular-cab, 6ft.bed, 2WD with a 5.0 V8…the ONLY starting point for a true
    “street truck.” Ford’s emphasis of late has been multiple “off-road” versions throughout
    it’s truck and SUV models. So, it would seem to me that a Lightning-style truck is
    NOT in the works.

  4. henry oseep

    I am sorry but you are wrong I just bought a single cab short bed coyote powered v-8 and it kicks but! I will build my own lightning…..

    1. Dave

      You are correct, sir. My post was based on a misunderstanding of a respose from
      a salesperson at my dealership around the time the 2021 models began arriving.
      I had not seen a V8-powered, regular-cab, shortbed F-150 on the dealer’s lot in
      several years. My dealer has had only a few regular-cab, shortbed F-150s (XL) but
      they were all equipped with the base 3.3L V6. At the time of my conversation
      with the salesperson, I had been looking at a Raptor (4-door) in the showroom.
      The salesperson related that the Raptor would only be available in a 4-door for
      2021 leading to my inquiry of the availability of a 2-door, shortbed, V8 STX model
      (trim upgrade on the XL model). The answer I got was that Ford does not offer
      a 2-door V8 STX. While this was true, the salesperson didn’t mention that the V8
      WAS available in other 2-door models (standard XL & XLT). The sales manager
      clarified this today.
      So, my appoligies to you and the readers for the misinformation.
      That being said, I still have doubts about Ford offering a 2-DOOR Lightning-style
      model. As the sales manager stated today, “We don’t order 2-door F-150s for
      our dealer stock because no one seems to want them anymore”.


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