- The Ford F-150 Raptor is one of the most capable off-roaders you can buy today.
- While it may stomp its stablemates with the going gets rough, performance on the street is no better than the F-150 Hybrid or Tremor.
- We're eager to drive the new V8-powered F-150 Raptor R, though details are scarce beyond the cylinder count.
Tested: 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor Is Slower Than the F-150 Hybrid
It's barely quicker than the last F-150 Raptor too
The Ford F-150 was fully redesigned for 2021, which means the most hardcore variant — the F-150 Raptor — is new too. Edmunds recently tested a few F-150 variants, and as you can discern from the headline, the results were a mix of surprise and disappointment. In particular, it's cool that the F-150 Hybrid is pretty fast, but less cool that the Raptor can't outrun it. Here are all the details from our test track.
How did the 2021 Ford Raptor perform?
As with the last generation, the Ford Raptor's 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 makes 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. It's paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission and standard four-wheel drive. For context, the F-150 Tremor — a slightly less hardcore F-150 variant — uses a less powerful version of the same engine that makes 400 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque. The real dark horse in this stable, meanwhile, is the F-150 Hybrid. It, too, uses a 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 engine, though it makes 430 horsepower and an astounding 570 lb-ft of torque thanks to electric assist.
|2021 Ford F-150 Raptor||12/06/21||5.8 sec||14.3 sec @ 92 mph||149 ft||0.71 g||5,961 lbs|
|2021 Ford F-150 Tremor||12/06/21||5.8 sec||14.1 sec @ 96.9 mph||142 ft||0.74 g||5,521 lbs|
|2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid||12/06/21||5.8 sec||14.1 sec @ 98.1 mph||138 ft||0.74 g||5,866 lbs|
|2019 Ford F-150 Raptor||3/11/19||5.9 sec||14.3 sec @ 94.5 mph||147 ft||0.72 g||n/a|
|2021 Ram 1500 TRX||7/12/21||4.2 sec||12.7 sec @ 106.5 mph||130 ft||0.74 g||6,713 lbs|
Remarkably, all three versions of the new F-150 posted identical 0-60 mph times, and the quarter-mile runs were within 0.2 second of each other. The trap speeds, though, show that the F-150 Hybrid was pulling harder than the Raptor or Tremor when it crossed the line. The last previous-generation Raptor we tested actually had a higher trap speed than the new 2021 model and was only 0.1 second slower to 60 mph. While it's not an apples-to-apples comparison (at least not until we see the Raptor R), we've also included test numbers for the Ram 1500 TRX. It's a frankly batty truck that features a supercharged 6.2-liter Hellcat V8 making 702 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque.
Torque, not horsepower
The Raptor's main obstacle is its list-topping curb weight (aside from the insane TRX), which is inflated a bit by its optional 37-inch tires. This is the heaviest truck of the F-150 trio we tested. The Raptor nonetheless has the best horsepower-to-weight ratio of the Fords but also the worst torque-to-weight ratio. The TRX beats the Raptor on both counts.
F-150 Raptor: 13.25 lbs/hp, 11.69 lbs/lb-ft
F-150 Tremor: 13.80 lbs/hp, 11.04 lbs/lb-ft
F-150 Hybrid: 13.64 lbs/hp, 10.29 lbs/lb-ft
Ram 1500 TRX: 9.56 lbs/hp, 10.32 lbs/lb-ft
While running the math, I noticed that the F-150 Hybrid actually has a slightly better torque-to-weight ratio than the TRX. I wanted to see if that was reflected anywhere in the test numbers, and sure enough I found something slightly interesting.
|2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid||2.2 sec||3.8 sec||5.8 sec||8.2 sec||14.1 sec @ 98.1 mph|
|2021 Ram 1500 TRX||1.7 sec||2.8 sec||4.2 sec||6.2 sec||12.7 sec @ 106.5 mph|
From a dead stop all the way to 75 mph, the TRX is pulling away from the F-150 Hybrid with a 2-second gap separating the pair. But look at the quarter mile. The TRX is still quicker, but the Hybrid has closed the gap to 1.4 seconds. That surprised me given that torque matters less the faster you go. The Hybrid's powertrain makes peak torque at 3,000 rpm while the TRX's engine makes it at 4,800, though the two trucks aren't hitting the same rpm at the same speeds. The Ford has a 10-speed automatic and the Ram an eight-speed auto. There could be any number of reasons why the Hybrid closes the gap. It could be gearing, weight, aero — remember that the Hybrid is much more aerodynamic than the TRX — or a combination of those and other factors.
For what it's worth, the F-150 Hybrid's powertrain is the smoothest of the bunch and makes the truck feel quicker on the street than either the Raptor or Tremor. It's hard to argue with the EPA-estimated fuel efficiency or the fact that it had the lowest as-tested price of the group.
The Ford F-150 Raptor might be mighty off-road, but we're disappointed that it's no quicker on pavement than some less special and less expensive F-150 variants. Unless you actually plan to take your Ford Raptor off-road, you may want to wait for the Raptor R, which should at least narrow the gap with the TRX and might even flip the script.