Automotive Engineering - March 2021 - 20

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Ford F-150 Raptor goes 4-door only; R version next year 

The new 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor brings loads of new suspension tech to its 4-door-only profile.
Raptor is a standard " Trail 1-Pedal Drive "
designed to reduce rock-crawling stress.
Trail 1-Pedal Drive permits throttle and
brake control using only the accelerator
pedal, braking proportionally as the driver lifts from the throttle. 
 The 2021 Raptor's chassis kinematics
have been completely revised, including
the new rear suspension. According to
Ford, the 5-link arrangement improves wheel travel and traction over
rough terrain at high speeds. The suspension features trailing arms, a
Panhard rod and triple-rate, 24-inch (61
cm) coil springs. Suspension travel
(F/R) increases 1.0/1.1 in (2.5/2.8 cm)
over that of the current-gen Raptor. 
  " Several years ago when we started
thinking of the third-gen Raptor, we
knew we needed a different rear suspension if we wanted to continue to
grow the off-road capability, " explained
Tony Greco, program manager for the

A 5-link rear
suspension
is the most
significant
mechanical
change for the
2021 Raptor.
20 March 2021

new Raptor. He said the new rear suspension has two key advantages:  " It
stabilizes the rear axle laterally and dramatically improves traction, which allows more torque to the rear wheels to
be put to the ground. "  
 Managing the new suspension geometries are updated versions of Fox's
Live Valve active shocks, which have
been modified to better resist heat
buildup and react more quickly to terrain changes. Larger, 3.1-in (7.9-cm) diameter shock bodies contain a new
hydraulic fluid designed to decrease
frictional losses. New electronically
controlled base valves have been upgraded to provide more than 1,000 lb
(454 kg) of damping force per corner
- double the current setup. Sensors can
alter the Raptor's suspension damping
rates independently at each corner 500
times a second. 
 Available for the first time on the
Raptor will be optional 37-inch tires -
which Ford claims are the largest factory fitment to a production light-duty
full-size pickup. The 37-inch tires increase ground clearance to 13.1 in
(33 cm), an increase of 1.6 in/4 cm over
the current model's 35-inch tire setup.
The 2021 Raptor will only be available in
the 145-in (3,683-mm) wheelbase,
4-door SuperCrew configuration, but
perhaps the more agile SuperCab version will return with the Raptor R announced for next year. The 2021 F-150
Raptor will be assembled at Ford's
Dearborn, Michigan plant and is expected in dealerships by " summer " 2021.
Paul Seredynski

AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERING

BOTH IMAGES: FORD

Ford has unveiled its new Raptor, the
third generation of the high-speed, offroad version of the F-150 pickup.
Available only in a four-door SuperCrew
configuration, the 2021 Raptor receives
loads of new connectivity tech and expansive in-cabin screens. Mechanically,
a new 5-link rear suspension along with
revised suspension kinematics complement updated Fox Live Valve shocks
and a new 37-inch tire option. With
Raptor competition finally existing via
the supercharged Ram TRX, Ford has
responded by announcing a V8powered Raptor R coming in 2022. 
 The Raptor's drivetrain remains
mostly unchanged, though Ford notes
new " high-power " cooling-system fans
to extend off-road capability. Improved
low-end torque from the Raptor's standard 3.5-liter EcoBoost twin-turbocharged V6 arrives via a new active
dual-exhaust setup. The new 3-inch
(7.6 cm) equal-length system features a
built-in X-pipe and a unique " trombone
loop "  to provide a rortier engine note.
The increased output and Raptorspecific frame upgrades help deliver a
200-lb (91-kg) increase in the Raptor's
max towing and payload capacity. 
 The 2021 Raptor receives much of the
new in-cabin tech as the updated 2021
F-150, with small aesthetic tweaks to the
new 12-inch display screen (optional in
F-150) to control its off-road modes. A
new electronic feature exclusive to the



Automotive Engineering - March 2021

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