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2021 Ford F-150 Raptor vs. 2021 Ram 1500 TRX: Deep Dive Comparison

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The still-recent debut of the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor officially revealed the all-new high-performance truck while simultaneously launching the off-road muscle truck war, as the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX debuted last year as The Blue Oval’s first legitimate competitor in the segment. This was a fight over a decade in the making, and now that we have their detailed specs, it’s time to take a closer look at how these contenders stacks up against one another.

The good news is that, although the Raptor is down on power compared to the TRX, it offers off-road enthusiasts more capability. The even better news is that an even more powerful Raptor R is on the way. But before we get into that, let’s see how the “regular” 2021 Raptor lines up agains the TRX.

2021 Ford F-150 Raptor vs. 2021 Ram 1500 TRX - Powertrain
2021 Ford F-150 Raptor 2021 Ram 1500 TRX
Engine 3.5L Ford EcoBoost V6 6.2L Supercharged Hemi V8
Power (hp) 450+* 702
Torque (Ib-ft) 510+* 650
Transmission 10-speed automatic 8-speed automatic
Transfer Case 2-speed electronic shifting 2-speed electronic shifting
Rear Axle Ratio 4.10 4.10
Max towing (Ibs) 8,200 8,100
Max payload (Ibs) 1,400 1,310
  • * Estimates based on second-gen F-150 figures

Let’s first address the elephant in the room: the power. Ford has yet to announce the horsepower or torque figures for the 2021 F-150 Raptor. In fact, the only thing FoMoCo has stated is as follows:

“The all-new Raptor is equipped with a third-generation twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost high-output engine delivering torque low in the rev range right where it counts.” It features state-of-the-art turbos and 10.5:1 compression ratio as well as new high-power fans built into the cooling system to ensure intense off-roading sessions never end too early.”

The high-output 3.5L EcoBoost V6 in question makes 400 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque in the “regular” 2021 F-150 lineup. Meanwhile, the same engine in the last-gen F-150 Raptor was rated at 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque. So we feel that it’s safe to assume that the 2021 F-150 Raptor will make at least the same amount of power and torque. But as Ford Authority recently speculated, Ford could theoretically bump the output to 660 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque – which is what the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 makes in the Ford GT supercar. However, it’s more likely that boosted six will have a more modest output rating.

That, of course, would mean that the F-150 Raptor will be down on power compared to the Ram TRX. That said, having two extra gears in the transmission should allow the new Raptor to continue being relatively quick, even if it doesn’t directly match the 702 horsepower Hemi V8 packed into the TRX. It’s also worth noting that the last-gen, 2020 F-150 Raptor did the 0-60 mph sprint in 5.2 seconds, while the TRX does the same in 4.5 seconds. That’s quite competitive when taking into account the account the 252 horsepower difference between the two trucks.

What will likely end up taking place is that Ford will get the “regular” 2021 F-150 Raptor as close as possible to the TRX’s performance figures, while opening the door for the upcoming Raptor R to beat it.

2021 Ford F-150 Raptor.

2021 Ford F-150 Raptor vs. 2021 Ram 1500 TRX - Exterior Dimensions
2021 Ford F-150 Raptor (35 inch tire) 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor (37 inch tire) 2021 Ram 1500 TRX (35 inch tire)
Wheelbase (inches) 145.4 145.4 145.1
Overall Length (inches) 232.6 232.6 232.9
Overall Width* (inches) 86.6 86.6 88
Overall Height (inches) 79.8 80.7 80.9
Front Track Width (inches) 74 74.3 74.5
Rear Track Width (inches) 73.6 73.9 74.1
  • * Without mirrors

From an exterior dimensions standpoint, the new Raptor and TRX measure within about one inch of each other – with one notable exception. The Ram is a bit wider than the Ford. That could work against it in several scenarios such as navigating narrow trails or rock climbing, but these full-size trucks are tailored for wide-open off-road runs, so it probably isn’t that big of a deal. Even so, the Ram will definitely be more challenging to park.

2021 Ford F-150 Raptor vs. 2021 Ram 1500 TRX Interior Dimensions
Dimension 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor 2021 Ram 1500 TRX
Seating Capacity 5 5
Front Headroom (inches) 40.8 40.9
Front Legroom (inches) 43.9 40.9
Front Shoulder Room (inches) 66.7 66
Front Hip Room (inches) 62.5 63.4
Rear Headroom (inches) 40.4 39.8
Rear Legroom (inches) 43.6 45.2
Rear Shoulder Room (inches) 66 65.7
Rear Hip Room (inches) 62.6 63.4

Both trucks roughly mirror one another when it comes to interior dimensions. However, the Raptor does feature three inches more front legroom than the TRX, seemingly at the expense of rear seat legroom.

2021 Ford F-150 Raptor.

2021 Ford F-150 Raptor vs. 2021 Ram 1500 TRX - Suspension
Suspension 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor 2021 Ram 1500 TRX
Damper type Fox Live Valve Bilstein Blackhawk E2
Damper diameter (inches) 3.1 2.5
Damping force (pounds per corner) 1,000 2,000
Damping Response Time (ms) 80 20
Front Suspension double-wishbone, coil springs double-wishbone, coil springs
Rear Suspension 5-link, coil springs, solid axle 5-link, coil springs, solid axle
Front Suspension Travel (inches) 14 13
Rear Suspension Travel (inches) 15 14

The big news for the 2021 F-150 Raptor is the adoption of a rear coil-spring suspension setup, which Ram trucks broadly adopted some years ago. In fact, both trucks utilize the same kind of front and rear suspension configuration.

On paper, the Ram features twice as much damping force as the Raptor and a faster damping response time. However, the Raptor counters with greater suspension travel, featuring an inch more in the front and an inch more at the rear.

Since we don’t have the Raptor’s official weight as of this writing, we’re just going to have to see how all these factors play out in the future, and if any of these specs make a major difference when behind the wheel.

2021 Ford F-150 Raptor vs. 2021 Ram 1500 TRX Off-Road Specs
2021 Ford F-150 Raptor (35 inch tire) 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor (37 inch tire) 2021 Ram 1500 TRX (35 inch tire)
Approach Angle (degrees) 31 33.1 30.2
Depature Angle (degrees) 23.9 24.9 23.5
Breakover Angle (degrees) 22.7 24.4 21.9
Ground Clearance (inches) 12 13.1 11.8

In terms of tackling challenging terrain, the Raptor is the undisputed champ here, regardless of tire choice. But choosing the optional 37-inch tires will give Ford owners an even greater edge over any Ram they may encounter out in the wild. We imagine that Ford’s decision to offer both 35- and 37-inch tires on the 2021 F-150 Raptor will prompt Ram to offer a 37-inch tire upgrade at some point in the future.

2021 Ford F-150 Raptor.

2021 Ford F-150 Raptor vs. 2021 Ram 1500 TRX Wheels & Tires
2021 Ford F-150 Raptor 2021 Ram 1500 TRX
Standard
Wheel 17×8.5 inch cast aluminum wheels with bright machined face and magnetic painted pockets 18×9 cast aluminum painted/polished black finish
Tire LT315/70 R17 BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tire Goodyear Wrangler Territory All-Terrain off-road tire
Optional 1
Wheel 17×8.5 inch unique pattern forged aluminum bead-lock capable wheels magnetic painted wheel and ring 18×9 inch cast aluminum painted/polished, beadlock-capable
Tire 37×12.50R17LT BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tire Goodyear Wrangler Territory All-Terrain off-road tire
Optional 2
Wheel 17×8.5 inch unique pattern forged aluminum bead-lock capable wheels magnetic painted wheel and ring N/A
Tire 37×12.50R17LT BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tire N/A

When it comes to tires, Ford comes out with a clear advantage, as the company gives customers more choice when it comes to tires. Otherwise, it’s hard to say how important these tires are without a direct real-world shootout.

2021 Ford F-150 Raptor vs. 2021 Ram 1500 TRX Brakes
2020 Ford F-150 Raptor 2021 Ram 1500 TRX
Front Size (mm) 350 x 34 378 x 30
Front Type Power vented disc Inverted hat (outboard venting) disc
Front Caliper 51mm two-piston sliding caliper 57mm two piston pin-slider caliper
Front Swept Area (squared mm) 51,547 31,840
Rear Size (mm) 336 x 20 375 x 22
Rear Type Power vented disc Power vented disc
Rear Caliper (mm) 54mm single-piston sliding 57mm single-piston pin-slider
Rear Swept Area (squared mm) 40,998 23,719

This final comparison reveals a potential weakness about the TRX: that its brake pads are quite small. Neither Ford nor Ram provide information about pad size, but the significantly smaller swept area of the TRX heavily suggests that Ram is using smaller pads on the TRX. In fact, bot the front and rear swept areas of the 2021 F-150 Raptor are nearly twice those of the TRX. This is definitely something that we’ll be paying attention to once the Raptor goes into production.

2021 Ford F-150 Raptor.

Taken as a whole, the 2021 Raptor is shaping up to be the more well-rounded product. Though it will likely be down on power compared to the TRX, its (expected) lighter weight, bigger tire option, and seemingly more potent brakes continue a winning formula, but one that’s certainly more expensive than the outgoing model.

And for those who must have more power, the upcoming Raptor R will cradle the supercharged 5.2L Predator V8 from the Mustang Shelby GT500 that should be good for 750 horses. Even better, it’s not that far out, and will launch for the 2022 model year.

Obsessed with Ford trucks? Then subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford F-150 news, Ford Raptor news, and continuous Ford news coverage.

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Ed owns a 1986 Ford Taurus LX, and he routinely daydreams about buying another one, a fantasy that may someday become a reality.

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Comments

  1. Tom

    Who cares, they.re just trucks. They were designed to throw crap in the bed and haul it somewhere. If you want a performance car buy a coupe or sedan….oh that’s right we don’t make them anymore.

    Reply
    1. Andrew Christian

      The Ford GT and the Ford Mustang would like to know your location…

      Reply
    2. 18'Raptor

      Why read the article and take the time to post a comment then? They’re both capable of hauling/towing stuff, but not at all what they’re designed for. Why buy a performance car if you desire a performance truck? To each his own right? It’s definitely nice having the 4wd auto feature on slick roads and not having to worry about popping a tire hitting potholes. Not to mention the ability to go wheeling or even jumping and it still be under warranty. Definitely the best of both worlds.

      Reply
  2. David Pickford

    Just goes to show that having lots of horses doesn’t mean you win the race but it sure is a damned fine effort by RAM for their first legitimate Raptor competitor. On another note, can’t wait for the next Ranger Raptor to arrive,hopefully with it running the current big daddy Raptors 3.5V6; mind you it’s interesting to speculate if a version might roll out with the Coyote V8 which Ford Australia played with in the current version.

    Reply
  3. Robert Crenshaw

    The RAM brake pad sizes are larger than the Raptor’s pad sizes, meaning the Ram’s “sweep areas” would be larger.
    I believe the Raptor’s sweep areas are figured for both sides (per front or back), the Ram’s calculated for only one side instead.

    Reply
    1. Rob Sparrow

      Are you sure? From the way I understand it, the Ram has larger calipers but smaller pads. I could be wrong.

      Reply
  4. Enrique Molina

    If you are a Ford boy… Go for the Raptor
    If you are a Ram boy… Go for the TRX… as easy as that…

    Reply
    1. Ants McGee

      Wrong. We all know that ram is gonna fall apart in a matter of a few years. How are those quality and reliability ratings going for the French-Italian truck?

      Reply
  5. Tom

    And if you are a car guy, go for Cadillac, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, Kia, BMW, Audi, Mercedes Benz, Jaguar, Subaru, Infiniti, Lexus, Acura. These guys all are capable of making sedans in addition to SUV’s.

    Reply
  6. Danny Melanson

    Both beautiful trucks, I’d take either and be happy, to ants magee, I leave in eastern Canada where trucks are tested with our weather, and I’m sorry to say thats Fords do a lot of rusting up here,lol, you’ve probably never driven either truck, some just like to flap there gums

    Reply
    1. 18'Raptor

      Good to know. Wasn’t aware of the all aluminum body, and composite fender rusting issues….

      Reply
      1. Stalkbroker94

        Don’t you know? The 2015-2021 Ford trucks made of 6000 series aluminum alloy have rust issues. LOL
        Gotta love getting called out by some poser pretending to know anything about trucks.
        “You’ve probably never driven either truck” like it’s some kind of rare experience or hard to do. XD

        Reply

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