The Ford F-150 Raptor is entering its third generation for the 2021 model year. This all new truck is expected to set new levels of capability for the franchise in many respects, while maintaining a familiar formula. Case in point, a 3.5L V6 EcoBoost engine under the hood, a crew cab configuration, and Fox Racing shocks. But the performance truck also debuted something unique for the truck space: standard 35-inch tires, with an optional 37-inch tire package.
MC&T was able to catch up with the team behind the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor, and they were able to explain the benefits and tradeoffs of both the standard 35-inch tires, as well as the first-ever 37-inch tire package: the largest offering of any half-ton truck.
“They both have some advantages,” said Adam Busack, Ford Performance Feature Engineering Supervisor for the 2021 F-150 Raptor. “The 35-inch tires have a little bit of extra travel, the most a Raptor has ever had. The 37-inch tires give you a little more ground clearance. It lifts the truck up, so rock crawling is easier… both packages are extremely comfortable on road and have really good driving dynamics.”
In short, if you want to go fast off-road with precision, keep the 35-inch tires on the Ford Raptor. If you want to go slow off-road over obstacles, go for the 37-inch tires.
“The 37-inch tire was developed with Ford to work specifically for (the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor),” said Busack. Both tires are of the the BF Goodrich KO2 variety. According to Four Wheeler, the new 37-inch tire is sectioned 37×12.5R17 and fits into the “C” load range, and weighs about 68 pounds. The 35-inch tires that are standard on the new Ford Raptor are a 315/70R17 section, and weigh about 64 pounds each.
Much More Than Just A Tire Kit
As mentioned pretty extensively, The 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor 37-inch tire package, which is a $7,500 option, is more than just bolting on a fresh set.
“A lot of times people just throw big tires on a truck, and the ride and steering gets trashed,” said Busack. “But this package was designed specifically for the Raptor. It’s really comprehensive.”
Also outlined previously, the 37-inch tire package sees several hardware and software differences compared the standard 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor with the 35-inch tire.
“The 2021 F-150 Raptor customer gets a lot with that 37-inch tire package,” said Adam Stroup, Ford Performance Vehicle Dynamics Engineer. “They get a unique damper tune, the suspension is packaged to make sure it will fit, it’s got a unique steering calibration, a unique powertrain calibration, unique ABS, and the damper architecture is slightly different with the front being a one-inch rod versus 7/8s to give more live valve control. It’s a lot more than just slapping tires on the truck.”
2021 Ford F-150 Raptor Info
The 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor is priced from $64,145, over $10,000 more than the $53,455 base price from the last-generation Raptor, but sits below the $70,325 MSRP of the Ram TRX. For those seeking an off-road truck floating around the $50,000 range, there’s the 2021 Ford F-150 Tremor.
Why such a significant price jump? While the truck is not in production yet, the new Ford F-150 Raptor is apparently so capable that engineers are left having to make a larger table top jump for future testing. That’s a pretty good sign.