Over the years, the Ford F-150 Raptor has been the center of a few viral videos. Often involving the truck being launched too far by its overzealous driver, with damaging results. Bent frames, collapsed suspension, and deployed airbags could often be seen centered in the commotion of a calamitous crowd. There’s no real stopping that behavior, but when it comes to the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor, the engineering and validation team has gone to great lengths to make sure that the Baja-ready bruiser will survive the next viral moment. And it even has led to Ford stretching what was thought possible in its durability testing.
2021 Ford F-150 Raptor Can (Almost) Fly
“We definitely push the truck pretty hard, to its limits and sometimes past the limits. We gotta tune the truck in that environment, and know how far we can go,” explained Adam Stroup, Ford Performance Vehicle Dynamics Engineer for the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor, in an interview with MC&T.
“One cool story is we have a tabletop jump that run the truck on for development,” he said. “And after this program, we’re going to have to redesign this jump because we can’t go any faster, or we’ll miss the landing on jump… I don’t want to give you exact speeds or dimensions, but we run that jump significantly faster with the Gen 3 truck.”
A tabletop jump setup involves an incline ramp, followed by a flat landing, and then a decline ramp. It’s often an obstacle found in off-road truck races and motocross.
“On the durability side, we put the truck through a 1000-mile durability cycle to simulate the Baja 1000,” said Stroup. “During those 1000 miles, we push the truck as hard as we can. It’s with a full cage, fire suppression, and full safety team support with spotters and radio communication. We run the truck ourselves, and then the truck is inspected throught the test. Any component that breaks during the test has to be redesigned to make sure it’ll pass before it goes into production.”
The 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor launches this July, with orders expected to take place as soon as this month. The 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor will start at a base MSRP of $64,145, nearly $11,000 more than the Gen 2 Raptor, but decently below the $70,325 MSRP of the Ram TRX. The 37-inch Tire Performance Package, which carries an MSRP of $7,500. The package may include goodies such as a reworked chassis, beefier suspension components and beadlock-capable wheels, but it remains pricey regardless. Beadlock-capable wheels are a $1,895 standalone option. Should you want the Carbon Fiber Package for your 2021 F-150 Raptor, that’ll be another $995. Toss in other extras like the Exterior Graphics Package ($1,075), the Power Tech Package ($1,995), the Raptor Convenience Package ($795), or a 4.10 front axle with a Torsen LSD ($500).