DETROIT – Ford Motor is increasing the capability and performance of its redesigned F-150 Raptor performance pickup, including the addition of a new model with a V-8 engine.
Since debuting in 2009, the Raptor has been a winner for Ford and its pickup truck lineup. While representing a small amount of Ford’s 800,000 sales of full-size pickups, the truck garners significant attention and profits for the company.
“Beyond being a halo product, which is fantastic, it is a very strong business for us from a margin perspective, money perspective,” said Kumar Galhotra, Ford’s president of the Americas & international markets. He said it is among “the most profitable F-150 vehicles,” citing the Raptor’s pricing power and the company never having to discount the vehicle.
Ford declined to release Raptor’s annual sales. It said that over the last four years, the pickup has cumulatively outsold Porsche’s entire lineup of sports cars and General Motors’ Chevrolet Corvette. For perspective, GM sold about 83,500 Corvettes since 2017.
The Raptor is based on the Ford’s regular F-150 pickup but loaded with an array of off-road and performance features – from a new five-link suspension system to massive 35-inch or 37-inch tires. It’s also larger than the regular model and features an increasingly distinctive design.
The current Raptor starts at about $55,000 but can top more than $75,000 with upgrades. Ford did not release pricing for the 2021 F-150 Raptor, which will arrive in showrooms this summer. A new F-150 Raptor “R” with a V-8 engine is expected to be available next year.
“I think it’s great for our customers to have that choice,” Galhotra said regarding the V-8 model, declining to discuss further details. “It was a direct response to our customer’s needs, wants, requests. … Some of them wanted a higher power version and that’s what we’re going to create for them.”
The V-8 model follows increased competition from Ram Trucks, which last year started producing a Ram 1500 TRX performance pickup with the automaker’s Hellcat V-8 engine. It is capable of 702 horsepower and 650 foot-pounds of torque. Its top speed is 118 mph (limited by its off-road tires) and can reach 60 mph in 4.5 seconds.
The new Raptor features upgraded off-road equipment and performance as well as increased technology on the interior. The most notable differences from the previous generation are new 12-inch driver cockpit and center-control screens. The vehicle also is capable of over-the-air updates of in-car features and performance.
The new Raptor will be powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 twin-turbo engine and features four exhaust modes with different noise levels: quiet, normal, sport and Baja. The company declined to release the engine’s expected horsepower and torque. The current Raptor is rated at 450 horsepower and 510 foot-pounds of torque.
“We’re especially proud of what we delivered on the exhaust. It’s another great example of how we’re always listening to our customers,” program manager Tony Greco said during a media briefing. “They said they wanted a deeper, more menacing sound from Raptor’s EcoBoost engine, and they’re going to get it.”
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