With all of the test trucks running around the streets and roads of major cities, sometimes it seems inevitable that one automaker or another will have a private rush-hour bottleneck. For example, Ford developers have been driving around in a test version of the 2021 F150. The test mule shows that there will likely be a new front end; possibly new headlights; a larger infotainment/gauge cluster screen, and a redesigned rear end. 2020 Changes Are Exciting and Pave Way For 2021.
Ford F150 Raptor Test Mule Seen
Of interest to truck guys is the fact that if you look closely at the Ford test mules running around in the wild, you might also have seen that one of them is a 2021 Ford F150 Raptor. Developers have put the test mule F150 Raptor through its paces. Ford has managed to hang most of the body parts of the current generation F150 Raptor on the mule to keep prying eyes from seeing too much. But what various car spies have seen is exciting.
According to a current Truck Trend, though the 2021 F150 Raptor wears heavy rear suspension camouflage, there is still plenty of detail available to determine that 2021 will have significant rear suspension changes. For example, there are no rear leaf springs, a feature of Ford 150 Raptors since its 2010 introduction. People who have managed to have up close and very personal looks at the test mules have reported that instead of the leaf springs, the rear end now sports a Panhard bar and pivot bolt. The key changes on the 2021 Ford F150 Raptor hint at a five-link rear suspension. Interestingly, it is the same type of suspension that the competition uses.
Truck Trend (TT) notes Ford’s move is likely a reaction to Ram’s planned 2021 intro of the Rebel TRX, an off-road pickup that will give the F150 Raptor major competition. Thinking out loud, TT believes the TRX will boast:
- Long-travel suspension
- Widened bodywork
Ford F150 Raptor Competition May Have Air SpringsWatch for news about upcoming changes coming for 2021 Ford F150s. Click To Subscribe To Torque News Youtube Channel For Daily Ford and Automotive Industry News Analysis.
What will the redesigned five-link Raptor be like to drive? More than likely, it will have excellent road manners. If the suspension and coil springs sport a proper design – they should – the wheels should remain appropriately placed so the ride and handling are excellent. Multi-link suspensions offer more underbody clearance, better articulation, and more suspension travel, compared to leaf springs. Further, if the handling characteristics are tuned correctly, which it likely will be, the 2021 Ford Raptor will probably have better ride and handling characteristics than the current model.
Ford F150 Raptor Debut A Year Off
Though the redesigned F150 Raptor is more than a year away from its reveal at one of the big U.S. motoring shows, there is very little new information available, other than what we have reported in Torque News to date. It’s likely the 2021 Ford F150 Raptor will be introduced at a show like Detroit’s North American International Auto Show, though it could be at Los Angeles or New York, as well.
And, while we cannot say much more about the redesigned model, we do know that Ford is working hard to keep its leading place in the off-road pickup market. The result of this heavy-duty offensive will benefit the market segment itself, as well as aficionados who will find the new Raptor will either meet or surpass any dreams they may have.
By Marc Stern: I have been an automotive writer since 1971 when an otherwise normal news editor said "You're our new car editor," and dumped about 27 pounds of auto stuff on my desk. I was in heaven as I have been a gearhead from my early days. As a teen, I spent the usual number of misspent hours hanging out at gas stations Shell and Texaco (a big thing in my youth) as well as working on cars. From there on it was a straight line to my first column for the paper, "You Auto Know," an enterprise that I handled faithfully for 32 years. Not too many people know that while I was writing YAN, I also handled computer documentation for a good part of my living. My best writing, though, was always in cars. My work has appeared in venues including Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos and others. You can follow me on: Twitter or Facebook
Source: Truck Trend is part of the Motor Trend family of web products and publications. Truck Trend focuses primarily on trucks, and their information is usually right on the money. The website is an excellent source.