Things are always exciting at any Ford dealer, but as we head further into 2021, we find that things are even more exciting than normal. To start, Ford has announced that there will be two serious off-road contenders added to the 2021 lineup. In addition, Ford rumors are swirling around about the possibility of a 2022 Maverick being added to the manufacturer’s stable of work-ready vehicles. The Maverick is expected to bring Ford back into the small/compact truck market.
Ford has been manufacturing trucks for the American people since 1917, and current generations of the F-150, Ranger, and the upcoming Maverick demonstrate the diversity in drivers’ needs, as well as the versatility of a truck. Adding a more performance-oriented off-road-ready beast like the F-150 Raptor to the lineup provides a sleeker thrill seeker of a truck, which is also endowed with proper road manners and tow-and-stow numbers that make it an eager work partner.
The Ranger Tremor Off-Road Package provides rough and tumble capability to the midsize truck, which can be channeled into the worksite or the trailhead as needed. Details regarding the Ford Maverick are still sparse, but more and more rumors are being confirmed, indicating the small truck will be “built Ford tough,” regardless of its scaled-down size. For Ford dealers around the country, the 2021 truck offerings are truly exciting.
2021 F-150 Raptor
The Ford F-150 Raptor has been around since 2009, so it in and of itself isn’t big news. What is extremely significant to both the Ford and the off-roading community is that the 2021 Raptor returns to its roots––or, one may argue, its “routes”–– as a Baja-ready desert beast.
The original Raptor was designed to conquer the 2008 Baja 1000 race, which covers sand, grit, rocks, and more as one of the most dangerous off-road competitions in the world. Since then, some modifications have been made to make the Raptor a more versatile truck for those who don’t have the budget to invest in a Baja truck, an off-road mudder, a work truck, and a daily driver. The engineers at Ford have decided, however, that it’s time to get down to what makes the Raptor stand apart from the rest of the lineup: the jumps, the whoops, the climbs, and the crossings.
The first thing Ford addressed was suspension. Jumps and landings don’t happen without absorbing some lumps, which is why the 2021 Raptor has been given FOX Live Valve internal bypass shocks with position-sensitive damping, a five-link rear suspension with extra long arms, and 24-inch coil springs. Each corner of the Raptor can handle its own, all while maintaining ideal axle position regardless of the terrain.
Seven selectable drive modes can be accessed from the Terrain Management System, each of which monitor and maintain damping, exhaust, stability control, throttle and transmission points, and steering resistance and feel. With options like Slippery, Tow/Haul, Sport, Normal, Off-Road, Baja, and Rock Crawl, it’s easy to see that Raptor is fully intended to wear a lot of hats equally well.
The 2021 Raptor wears 35-inch tires normally, but 37-inch tires are available. With the larger option, the Raptor has a departure angle of 24.9 degrees, breakover of 24.4 degrees, 33.1 degrees on approach, and 13.1 inches of clearance. Powered by a 3.5L EcoBoost engine, the 2021 F-150 Raptor can tow up to 8,200 pounds, handle a payload up to 1,400 pounds, and make the trip from 0 to 60 miles per hour in around 5.5 seconds, giving it every day street cred in addition to its off-road prowess.
All told, the 2021 Raptor makes a convincing argument for its permanent position in any household where work and play are equally important.
The New Tremor Off-Road Package for the 2021 Ranger
While the Ford F-150 Raptor is a pretty big deal, it’s not the only off-road offering in Ford’s formidable lineup.
The 2021 Ford Ranger is a midsize pickup truck that’s born ready to get the job done. What it lacks in choices and options, it more than makes up for in capability. Powered by a 2.3L turbocharged inline-4 engine that provides 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque, it has the ability to tow up to 7,500 pounds when properly equipped.
That’s not to say it doesn’t have its fun side, too. The Tremor Off-Road Package is available on the XLT and Lariat trims, which are positioned at the top of the lineup, and is offered in the SuperCrew four-wheel drive configuration only.
It’s also handily equipped with some play-hard features. The suspension is factory lifted, with the addition of FOX’s off-road-ready 2.0 monotube dampers and rear piggyback reservoirs. 32 inch Continental General Grabber tires provide 9.7 inches of clearance, along with a 30.9-degree approach angle, 25.5-degree departure angle, and 24.2-degree breakover angle, increasing all of these values from the standard Ford Ranger.
The Terrain Management System is also part of the Ranger Tremor package, but only four drive modes are available here. Skid plates, bash plates, and recovery hooks are all on board for the journey, along with an exclusive Tremor makeover that adds Miko suede seats, painted grille, and wheels, and hood and body badging.
The Ford Ranger has enough “best in class” designations next to its name to stand as a worthy addition to the worksite. The Tremor Off-Road Package, introduced for the 2021 model year, proves that it makes an outstanding playmate, as well.
2022 Ford Maverick Rumors
It seems that as the alleged launch of the Ford Maverick draws closer, we’ve seen more than we know. Ford is remaining traditionally tight-lipped on the Maverick details, yet prototypes have been reported throughout the early part of 2021.
The 2022 Maverick will be a crew cab compact pickup truck, smaller than the Ranger and largely based on the Bronco Sport’s platform with unibody construction. Probably. There has been wide speculation that Ford will remove the rear seats from the cabin, providing interior cargo room. Since the shorter bed will have a lower towing and payload capacity, many experts believe an interior stowing option will be a serious draw.
There are two potential contenders for the Maverick’s powertrain. It’s likely that it will borrow the 2.0L turbocharged inline-four engine from the Bronco Sport, which currently provides that model with an energetic 250 horsepower. Experts also feel that four-wheel drive will be standard, giving this smaller-yet-enthusiastic truck a greater range of capability on and off the road.
As to how the Maverick will compete against similar stablemates, the world is looking to Ford for more details. So far, the geometrically disguised prototypes found on city streets haven’t given up specifics that would help us determine where it stands in the manufacturer’s lineup. With an overall wheelbase that is only slightly larger than that of a Mustang, it will hover around the overall stance of the Escape and Bronco Sport, with insider reports confirming it will definitely be smaller than the midsize Ranger.
Looking Towards the Future of Ford Trucks
The latest from Ford has dealers across the country abuzz. Those stopping into a Ford dealership should be able to check out the new off-road options added for the 2021 model year. The lead-up to the 2021 Raptor has been thrilling, and drivers are looking forward to experiencing the difference made by restyling, re-engineering, and adding even more wild flair to the Baja beast.
For those who need to lean a little more towards the “work” side of the work/play balance, the 2021 Ford Ranger offers the Tremor Off-Road Package to its top two trims, adding an impressive balance of fun and function to the Ford truck lineup. And while drivers will have to wait another year to try out the newest addition to the Ford truck lineup, the Maverick has been making more and more public appearances, providing fuel for the rumor mill while simultaneously putting some speculation to bed. More details will be released on the Maverick at the end of 2021. In the meantime, Ford continues to provide American drivers with a full range of vehicles that are equal parts versatile and dependable.