Ford Wants to Fire Back at the RAM 1500 TRX, But It’s Not Brave Enough to Go All In

The 2021 Ram 1500 TRX (unofficially AKA the Rebel) was a proverbial shot toward Ford, and it hit the Raptor right in the face. Where Ford thought it would continue to dominate the off-road truck market with the F-150 Raptor, Ram took years to develop something that was able to impressively compete, and it even comes with a Hellcat V-8 engine under the hood with nearly double the power of the F-150 Raptor’s puny little V-6. Within days of the TRX’s debut, Ford had a Shelby-powered F-150 Raptor on the road, which is intended to be a shot back at Ram, but a new report paints a slightly different picture.

The Shelby Powered 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor – A Limited Affair

Be Prepared to Overpay For the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor With a V-8
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It’s not surprising that Ford wasted next to no time to put a Shelby-powered F-150 Raptor test mule on the road. After all, Ram essentially kicked off the next pickup truck war with 1500 TRX. Rumors quickly spiraled out of control, and while Ford has admitted that it’s doing something, we still know very little about what to expect. Considering Ford wants to one-up Ram, we know we’re talking about the same 5.2-liter V-8 that powers the Mustang Shelby GT500, and it should make somewhere between 725 and 750 horsepower – enough to easily outshine the TRX’s 702-horsepower Hellcat engine. However, a new report says that the Shelby-power Raptor won’t be a mainstay in the lineup.

Be Prepared to Overpay For the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor With a V-8
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As you’ll see in the video I’ve embedded below, The Fast Lane Trucks reports that the Supercharged V-8 Shelby Raptor will be a limited in numbers, essentially sold as a special edition. And, as you can imagine, it’ll also be very special in price. And this is where Ford is making a big mistake. First off, RAM isn’t limited production of the TRX, which is only available (at least for now) with the Hellcat V-8. The F-150 Raptor, as of the time of this writing, is a bit cheaper than the entry-level model at $53,455, but if Ford is going to charge a special-edition price, then you can bet the V-8 Raptor is going to be very expensive. The fully-optioned TRX climbs close to six-figure range, and the Shelby-powered F-150 Raptor will probably do the same.

Be Prepared to Overpay For the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor With a V-8
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Of course, Ford fanboys won’t care about the price, just like Ram fanboys don’t mind paying close to $100k for a fully loaded TRX. However, if power is all that you’re interested in, the Base 1500 TRX will probably be impressively cheaper than the special-edition Shelby-powered F-150 Raptor. However, the F-150 Raptor is entering a new generation by the time all of this happens, and the new Raptor is said to be offered in base form with a twin-turbo, high-output, V-6 with a hybrid system. Its engine-hybrid combo will go by the name “Power Boost” and could be similar to that found in the Lincoln Aviator. In that application, the engine-hybrid combo is good for 494 horsepower and 630 pound-feet of torque, which would mark a 44-horsepower and 120 pound-foot improvement over the current Raptor. It would still fall short compared to the base 1500 TRX, but it should still be quite the performer.

The new Raptor is expected to launch for the 2021 model year, so we might not have too long to wait to lay our eyes on that Shelby-powered special edition Raptor. Now, please excuse me while I try to decide which truck I want and how I can convince the boss to give me a rather sizable pay raise.

Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topsped.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read More
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