The Ford Motor Company unveiled its all-new 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor on Wednesday, in what appears to be the performance off-roader’s most critical debut since the nameplate’s launch for the 2010 model year. Although the Raptor’s powertrain may be largely a carryover from last year, the new truck brings a completely redesigned coil-based suspension, improved suspension travel, and a new 37-inch tire option to the table. But is it enough to take on the 2021 Ram 1500 TRX?
Taking a page from the Ram 1500’s playbook, the new biggest news for the Raptor is the new five-link rear suspension featuring extra-long trailing arms, a Panhard rod, 24-inch coil springs, and next-generation FOX™ Live Valve™ internal bypass shocks with state-of-the-art electronic control technology offering position-sensitive damping adjustability. It’s a vast improvement over the 2020 Ford F-150 Raptor and allows the Raptor to take the edge when it comes to suspension travel.
The Raptor is also offering customers two new tire options for the 2021 model year, with either 35-inch or 37-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires. The TRX on the other hand only has one tire option, with its 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Territory 325/65/R18 All-Terrain tires which were developed exclusively for the TRX. Goodyear claims that the Territories achieve unmatched levels of wear resistance, traction, and reduced road noise.
Thanks to its new suspension and two tire options, the Raptor does beat the TRX on paper when it comes to approach, departure, and break-over angles. Those who choose the 37-inch tire package 13.1-inches of running clearance, 33.1-degrees of approach angle, a maximum 24.9-degrees of departure angle, and 24.4-degrees of break-over angle.
Raptors with the 35-inch tires will be able to have 14-inches of wheel travel up front and 15-inches in the rear. Compared to the TRX which has greater than 13 inches of wheel travel at all four corners, the Raptor takes the advantage.
|2021 Ram 1500 TRX v.s. 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor Suspension Stats|
|Model:||2021 Ram 1500 TRX||2021 Ford F-150 Raptor with 35-inch tires (37-inch tires)|
|Front||Upper and lower A-arms, coil springs, Bilstein e2 Blackhawk active performance shock absorber||Independent double-wishbone with coil-over shock and cast aluminum lower control arm, High-output, gas-pressurized, electronically controlled, continuously variable compression
damping FOX Racing Shox™
|Rear||Five-link with track bar, coil springs, Bilstein e2 Blackhawk active damping twin-tube
performance shock absorbers, solid axle
|5-link coil with Panhard rod, High-output, gas-pressurized, electronically controlled, continuously variable compression
damping FOX Racing Shox™
|Ground Clearance||11.8 inches||12 inches (13.1 inches)|
|Approach angle||30.2°||31.0° (33.1°)|
|Departure angle||23.5°||23.9° (24.9°)|
|Breakover angle||21.9°||22.7° (24.4°)|
|Open tailgate to ground||38.1 inches||37 inches (37.8 inches)|
Under the hood is where the two trucks couldn’t be any more different. The Raptor features the third-generation twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost® high-output V6 engine. While Ford has yet to release the Raptor’s official numbers, Raptor will offer somewhere in the ballpark of 475 horsepower and 525 lb.-ft. of torque. Ford-built 10-speed automatic transmission upgraded with next-generation controls is bolted to an innovative torque-on-demand transfer case.
A standard electronic locking rear differential and available TORSEN® front limited-slip differential are fitted with 4:10 final drive ratios. Maximum payload increases by 200 lbs., to 1,400 lbs., while maximum towing also increases 200 lbs., to 8,200 lbs. of conventional towing. Raptor will have a standard 36-gallon fuel capacity, Raptor has a projected EPA-estimated range of more than 500 miles on a full tank of gas.
When it comes to all-out power, the TRX wins hands down. The supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI HELLCAT V8 delivers 702 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. of torque. The HELLCAT V8 is paired with ZF-sourced 8HP95 8-speed automatic transmission, which is used in the high-performance Jeep® Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. The TRX uses the new BorgWarner 48-13 full-time active transfer case which features a low range of 2.64:1 for rock crawling and can be flat-towed while in neutral.
TRX uses a Dana 60 solid rear axle with a 3.55 ratio featuring full-floating hubs and axle-hop damper for improved traction and axle control on rough surfaces. An electronic locking rear differential is standard for increased performance off-road. The TRX benefits from up to 32 inches of water fording capability, however, comes in 100 lbs. shorter in towing capacity with 8,100 lbs. Payload capacity is also slightly less with 1,310 lbs.
|2021 Ram 1500 TRX v.s. 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor Engine Stats|
|Model:||2021 Ram 1500 TRX||2021 Ford F-150 Raptor|
|Engine:||Supercharged 6.2-LITER HEMI® HELLCAT V8||Twin-Turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost® High-Output V6|
|Type and Description||90-degree V-type, liquid-cooled||Twin-turbocharged and intercooled 60-degree V6, overhead cams|
|Displacement||376 cubic-inches||213 cubic-inches|
|Bore x Stroke||4.09 inches x 3.58 inches||3.64 inches x 3.41 inches|
|Valve System||Pushrod-operated overhead valves, 16 valves with sodium-filled exhaust valves and
hollow stem intake valves, 16 conventional hydraulic lifters, all with roller tips
|Roller finger follower|
|Fuel Injection||Sequential, multiport, electronic, returnless||Port fuel injection with direct injection|
|Construction||Deep-skirt cast-iron block with cross-bolted main bearing caps, aluminum-alloy heads
with hemispherical combustion chambers
|Aluminum block, aluminum heads|
|Power (SAE J2723)||702 hp (523 kW) @ 6,100 rpm||TBD|
|Torque (SAE J2723)||650 lb.-ft. (882 Nm) @ 4,800 rpm||TBD|
|Fuel Requirement||Premium 91 octane (R+M)/2 — required||Premium unleaded|
|Oil Capacity||7.9 quarts||6 quarts|
|Coolant Capacity||15.0 quarts||13.7 quarts|
|Assembly Plant||Saltillo, Mexico||Cleveland, Ohio, United States|
Like the Ram 1500 TRX, the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor is only available in a Crew Cab configuration.
Inside, the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor uses the F-150’s new customizable 12-inch digital gauge cluster with Raptor-specific graphics and animations, off-road data, and turn-by-turn navigation. It also features the Ford’s new 12-inch horizontal SYNC® 4 infotainment system, which is standard on Raptor. There is also an all-new 18-speaker B&O Unleashed sound system by Bang & Olufsen that is optional.
Ram TRX uses a 7-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) cluster that is exclusive to the model and features a lit TRX badge, unique TRX colors, and graphics with reconfigurable gauges. The same graphics appear on the 12-inch Uconnect 4C touchscreen, too. Reinforcing TRX’s performance chops, an all-new Head-up Display unit can show up to five different content areas at once, including Lane Departure, Lane Keep Assist, adaptive cruise control, turn-by-turn navigation, current speed, current gear, and speed limit. The Head-up Display is available on the TR2 Equipment Group and is a full-color unit accessible through the 12-inch Uconnect 4C touchscreen. A 900-watt premium Harman Kardon audio system with 19 speakers and a 10-inch subwoofer is optional.
Both trucks receive three interior packages to choose from. While the Raptor comes with leather seats with aggressive bolsters, there is a set of Recaro® buckets that are optional as well. On the TRX, the TR Equipment Group will greet occupants with premium cloth and vinyl accents featuring black and Dark Ruby Red surfaces, while the TR1 and TR2 Equipment Groups feature an all-black color scheme with leather and suede to give TRX a unique feel. Heated and ventilated premium Natura Plus leather with perforated suede accents cover the front bucket and rear bench seats. The TR1 and TR2 Equipment Groups come standard with medium Greystone stitching and Graphite Metallic accents. The TR2 Equipment Group offers TRX red stitching and carbon fiber accents as an available option.
When it comes to drive modes, Ford’s Terrain Management System features seven selectable drive modes to choose the setting best suited to driving conditions, including Slippery, Tow/Haul, Sport, Normal, Off-Road, Baja, and Rock Crawl via a knob to the left of the climate controls. The TRX Drive Mode selector has been integrated into the dashboard above the transfer case switches and offers different modes of operation. TRX features eight dynamic modes Auto, Sport, Tow, Snow, Mud/Sand, Rock, Baja, and Custom.
While the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor seems to challenge the TRX, Ford is waiting on its all-new Raptor R to directly compete with the TRX. The Raptor R is rumored to be powered by the same supercharged flat-plane 5.2-liter “Predator” V8 from the Mustang GT500. In the Mustang application, the Predator makes 760 horsepower and 625 lb.-ft. of torque. We figure that the Raptor R will be priced similarly to the TRX as well.
So what do you think of the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor? Does it have enough to compete with the TRX? Leave your comments in the TRX Forums of the 5thGenRams.com Owners Forums.