Third generation Raptor |

Third generation Raptor

I finally got to drive the 2021 Raptor. Not sure there is a 2022 and the 2023 may be the R version with a V-8. Ford has tried to confuse us journalist saying there is no V-8 coming. It’s like interviewing a politician, “you can’t believe the words coming out of their mouth.” I know they have secrets and probably need them, but don’t lead us along for three years and expect to surprise us. I guess this is how corporate competition works. The truth leaks out and then they are mad at us. The cool thing about it is our viewers don’t believe the crap Detroit feeds us. But I digress, I don’t have time for breaking truck news. Back to the newest Raptor. Raptor has changed the industry. Without Raptor there wouldn’t be a Ram TRX or a Chevy ZR2. Off road would be boring, but thanks to and truck magazines, Ford had to make it. And they are glad they were pressured into it.

First Generation had a V-8, we loved it, like a large side by side. It came in Super Crew and Super Cab. Second generation came with a 3.5L V-6 twin turbo and 10 speed automatic. The third generation still has the same V-6 and 10-speed as the second generation. But the biggest feature is the rear leaf springs sent away and now four-corner coil springs with five-link rear like Ram. Two trailing arms on the rear and a tracking bar to keep the still solid axle tracking straight. The Raptor gained an inch of wheel travel, still the Live-Valve Fox shocks that automatically adjust for every road or trail condition. It’s all fun. I’ve driven the Raptor when it first went Live-Valve Fox shocks and when you went air-born, the shocks knew it and stiffened the suspension so you wouldn’t bottom out and head butt the steering wheel. I have pictures.

I don’t think any truck has as many gadgets as the new Raptor. Rhapsody Blue Recaro seats hug your hips and look awesome. Twelve inch horizontal center touch screen loaded with apps, even the gauge cluster is 12 inches wide. Like earlier, the transmission T-shifter folds down so the center console can unfold and become a table better than first class aircraft. But in the steering wheel three more buttons, one with three settings for manually adjusting the Fox Shocks, second button with four adjustments for your steering effort feel and the third for crying out loud with four adjustments for the tone and loudness for your dual-valve dual 3 inch exhaust! Yes Ford put sound augmentation in the cab when the V-6 came out so it sounded manly in the cab but when I recorded the sound at the rear of the truck, it sounded like a lawn mower. Well now you can choose “quiet” to not wake up the neighbors early, normal sound, sport sound so you think it’s a Lambo and Baja to remind you a little of a loud V-8.

When I had the truck idling this morning while putting the Geny hitch on and hooking to my trailer, it sounded like a sick moose. Might be a chip problem, there’s still a shortage. Second coolest new thing is the 37-inch tires. That’s one tall side wall. Should fly over rocks and creeks. I think the only truck to offer 37 by 12.5 inch wide. We saw a lot of tubes floating down the Poudre River today. I should have stuck the Raptor in the water and shown the college kids how to float on white water. The cameras on the Raptor are superb, you dial in the hitch when you hook up and the front camera shows you just how close you are to the cliff. The Raptor is 87 inches wide, just under the width of a dually. So, yes, there are three front marker lights and lights on the budging fender.

it is still 450 horsepower and 510 torque. And all this is only $82,000. But payload and trailer towing went up 200 pounds. Payload is now 1,400 pounds and towing is 8,200 pounds. And that’s what we did, my tilt trailer from Jayhawk Trailers and my 87 Jeep Wrangler for ballast was right at 8,200 pounds. Minus 820 pounds of tongue weight from the 1,400 pound payload and we had capacity to spare with me, Izzy (my new assistant) and cameras.


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