Ford is an impressive brand that continues to introduce to the world fast cars, strong trucks, and intense all-around performance. Given its historic reputation, Ford has unsurprisingly launched many notable vehicles that you’ll continually seen on the roads, such as the Ford Mustang and F-150 pickup truck. One more recent Ford vehicle has made a sizable impact on American roads: the Ford Raptor. Read on about a brief history of the Ford Raptor to know its original purpose and to see how it became one of the most powerful off-road trucks today.
First Generation (2010-2014)
Ford introduced the Raptor to the world in 2010 as an alternative to their popular F-150. The Raptor was part of Ford’s Special Vehicle Team (SVT), which has off-roading and powerful performance in mind. Unsurprisingly, it originated as part of the FOX Racing suspension to handle the Baja 1000, an off-road race where riders drive over sand, rock, and mountain passes in Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. When Ford released the first commercial generation, they upgraded the chassis and locking differentials along with fitting all-terrain tires, redesigning the Raptor to maximize traction and control for optimal off-road and on-road performance. To further stand apart from the F-150, the first-generation Raptor fit a model-specific fascia and featured wide fenders, a “FORD” lettering grille, and a smaller bed to accommodate the departure angel and wider rear track.
Second Generation (2017-Present)
In 2017, Ford refocused its attention on the Raptor line with the second generation. One of the most notable changes was the drop in SVT prefix. Still optimized for off-road capability, the second-generation Raptor lost over 500 pounds of curb weight with exterior and interior changes. Larger shocks and suspension systems allowed for a better transfer case with a torque-on-demand system. This allowed the truck to drive like an all-wheel drive vehicle with four-wheel drive performance. In 2019, Ford readjusted these suspension shocks for live capability, which automatically adjusts for the terrain. The truck was equipped with 35-inch all-terrain tires with bead locked wheels to improve off-road driving. Ford debuted the Raptor with a 10-speed automatic transmission along with clearance lights and front fenders, due to its width.
Ford Ranger Raptor (2019-Present)
Ford also launched the Ford Ranger Raptor in 2019 with limited release. Offered as a mid-size derivative of the Ford Ranger, the Ranger Raptor has a widened track, raised ride height, and a suspension and chassis system optimized for off-road capability. It also has a 10-speed automatic transmission with four-wheel drive adaptable driving system to terrain. Unlike the second-generation Raptor, the Ranger Raptor isn’t wide enough to need clearance lights or front fenders. It upholds a design similar to that of the regular Raptor. Uniquely, it isn’t marketed in the United States, given its similarities to the regular Raptor. Instead, it’s marketed as a smaller alternative in areas that can’t accommodate the larger model.
Only time will tell what Ford releases with possible third-generation models, but until then, be sure to install aftermarket accessories such as a Raptor LED light bar to boost your performance on or off the road.