Ford previews 2021 F-150 Raptor, announces February 3 reveal

It's expected to get its V8 engine back

Ford will expand the 14th-generation F-150 range when it introduces the 2021 Raptor on February 3, 2021. Comprehensive performance upgrades will again separate the Raptor from the standard F-150 it's based on.

Expected to reach showrooms this summer, the third-generation Raptor has a lot to live up to. It needs to be even quicker and more capable off-road than its illustrious predecessor, and it must also fend off competition from the Ram 1500 TRX unveiled in 2020. Its first true rival shrugs off downsizing with a 6.2-liter Hellcat V8 engine supercharged to 702 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, and it clocks a 4.5-second sprint to 60 mph.

Leaked documents confirm the 2021 Raptor will again come standard with a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, but credible rumors and spy videos strongly suggest that Ford will fire back at Ram by making a V8 available. The engine in question might be a slightly detuned version of the fire-breathing 5.2-liter found in the Mustang GT500.

Moving out of the engine bay, the Raptor will benefit from a long list of off-road-focused chassis and suspension upgrades. Ford's preview image confirms the model will receive a more muscular-looking design characterized by a specific grille with honeycomb-shaped inserts and three strips of LEDs right below the hood line. Ford's name will again appear in big letters across the grille. Leaked renderings show a model-specific bumper and wider fenders, too, so it looks like all of the styling cues we've come to associate with the Raptor will be accounted for.

Ford will stream the 2021 Raptor's unveiling on its social media channels next Wednesday, February 3, at 11 a.m. Eastern, which is 8 a.m. Pacific time. Sales will presumably start shortly after the unveiling, possibly with a launch-specific model, and pricing for the V6-powered model should start in the vicinity of $55,000. The V8-powered model could cross the $70,000 threshold, however. Ram charges about $70,000 for the 1500 TRX.

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