If the Ford F-150 is just too dull for you, there’s always the Raptor. Ford’s high-performance truck isn’t only about looks; thanks to plenty of horsepower and torque, the Raptor can go fast across the most challenging terrains. Specialized suspension and tires make it excellent on the dunes, but it’s not the first truck that comes to mind when it comes to towing. So, let’s find out how it fares in this department.
Is The Ford Raptor Good For Towing?
The Ford Raptor can tow from 6,000 pounds to 8,000 pounds. While this capacity isn’t near the Ford F-150, it still offers users plenty of pulling power. Since the Raptor was born as a legal off-road racer, its mid-travel suspension, wider tires, and permanent four-wheel-drive don’t aim to provide the best towing experience. Instead, the combination makes for excellent acceleration and handling in challenging terrain.
The latest generation Raptor comes with Ford’s twin-turbocharged 3.5L V6 Ecoboost putting 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque. But it’s known as the HO 3.5L V6 Ecoboost, which stands for “High Output.”
Only the first-generation model offered V8 engines, a 5.4L, and a 6.2L, but Ford dropped this option in 2017. When Ford announced the newest Raptor in 2021, the company decided to keep the 3.5L V6. But they also celebrated the return of the V8.
The Raptor R, a special version, will come with a V8 producing around 760 horsepower. But the vehicle hasn’t rolled off the assembly line yet.
To put all the power to the ground, the Raptor only comes with four-wheel-drive. You can get the Ford Raptor in both SuperCab and SuperCrew configurations.
Interestingly, the vehicle’s towing capacity changes. The SuperCab comes with only two doors and a smaller seating configuration in the back. On the other hand, the SuperCrew comes with four doors and a larger bench to sit three people.
One of the Raptor’s peculiarities is the tires it uses. Because it’s aimed to be an extreme pickup, it comes with extreme rubber to match. The truck comes with 17-inch wheels and 35-inch all-terrain tires that work with lower pressure than usual. Because these tires are softer, they might separate from the wheels, so Ford decided to offer Beadlock wheels.
As you can see, Ford put a lot of thought behind creating the ultimate off-road racer that you can still take grocery shopping. So, let’s discuss the Raptor’s towing capacity in further detail in the next section.
How many pounds can the Ford Raptor tow?
The Ford Raptor is currently on the third generation, launched in 2021. Since it shares the same engine with the previous model produced from 2017 and 2020, performance figures are similar.
This truck has two distinct towing capacities, and they are the result of the body configurations. The SuperCab can tow 6,000 pounds, while the SuperCrew has a towing capacity of 8,000 pounds.
The first generation, available from 2010 to 2014, came only in SuperCrew configuration. Regardless of the engine options (either 5.4L or 6.2L), it towed a maximum of 8,000 pounds.
It’s important to note that Ford has made the Trailer Tow Package standard for all Raptors. It includes a dedicated hitch and electrical connections but doesn’t modify the already specialized suspension. The following table resumes the Raptor’s towing capacities throughout the generations.
|Generation||Body type||Towing capacity (pounds)|
*Pending performance figures on the Raptor R
Though the Ford Raptor is in a class of its own (not quite, but we’ll talk about it in another section), it’s important to compare its towing performance with other pickups. Let’s remember that the Ford Raptor uses the same platform as the F-150, so it’s considered a full-size pickup.
But, the towing numbers are pretty surprising. The following table shows how it stacks up against many of the brands out there, including its siblings.
|Make||Model||Maximum Towing Capacity (pounds)|
As you can see, even if the Ford Raptor uses a full-size platform (the T3, from the F-150), its towing capacity is far from impressive. The SuperCab can pull even less than the smaller Ford Ranger (a mid-sized pickup).
The Raptor doesn’t have towing in mind. But why is performance so different from that of other pickups in its size class? In the next section, we’ll discuss the critical differences with the F-150.
What are the differences between the Ford Raptor and the Ford F-150?
In 2021, Ford revealed the newest generation of F-150s, including the Raptor. The company used more aluminum to save weight and included a vast array of engines, including gasoline, diesel, and, eventually, an electric option. Though, the Raptor only comes with one, exclusive to itself.
You can read more about Ford’s changes for 2021 in our article here. But the differences far exceed the engine.
First of all, large parts of the Raptor’s design are exclusive, such as the bed and wheels. Its track is wider than that of the F-150 to improve handling while driving at high speeds off-road.
The transfer case is new. It’s able to withstand punishment but also be comfortable enough for city driving. Also, in the Raptor, suspension components come with improvements, including racing shocks and adjustable heights.
Though the DNA is still there, much of the truck has changed. But, it can still do some towing if it needs to.
But there’s a vital difference with the F-150. The Raptor’s softer suspension can sag under heavy weight, causing the back to drop under heavy weight. This makes steering lighter and handling unresponsive.
And, while we’ve compared the Raptor with other mid and full-sized pickup trucks, we haven’t talked about the competition.
How does the Ford Raptor compare to the competition?
Even though pickups flood the US automotive market, the Ford Raptor has very few competitors. Not many manufacturers have seriously considered creating a street-legal off-road racer. But one has.
Ram recently came up with the Ram 1500 TRX and, today, you can think of it as the Raptor’s only competitor. So far, it’s more than a worthy adversary.
First, there’s the power. Ram’s offering is on another league, with 702 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. And, while the Raptor is lighter, the difference is less than 1,000 pounds. The 1500 TRX has a curb weight of 6,396 pounds, while Ford’s option weighs in at 5,697 pounds.
Still, Ram has dedicated much of that power and torque to pure performance. With a 0-to-60 time of 4.5 seconds and launch control, the 1500 TRX doesn’t have towing in mind. The 1500 TRX pulls 8,100 pounds, just 100 more than the Ford Raptor.
The 1500 TRX also edges out the Raptor in ground clearance with 11.8″ while the Ford has 11.5″. But, if you’re eyeing the Ram, keep in mind that there’s a $16,540 difference.
In reality, what stands out of this comparison is that so few manufacturers have gone down this path. Brands like GMC, Chevrolet, and Toyota offer special versions of their full-size pickups.
But, these are upgraded versions of their pickups and not street-legal off-road racers. Those looking for some lunacy in their lives have to choose between the 1500 TRX and the Raptor. Fortunately, they’re both attractive options.
This article wants to answer if the Ford Raptor is good for towing. While the Raptor has excellent off-road performance, it can only tow a maximum of 6,000 pounds in the SuperCab configuration and 8,000 in the SuperCrew.
These towing numbers place in the middle of the mid-size pickup segment when it, in reality, is a full-sized pickup. Let’s remember that it shares the F-150 platform. If we compare it to the F-150, we can see that the mechanical differences have seriously affected the Raptor’s towing capacity.
Plus, it’s not the best towing vehicle out there, thanks to its soft suspension. Ford didn’t produce it with work in mind. Instead, it exists for those who want an adventure on the weekends and commuting from Monday to Friday. And, yes, the occasional, light tow wouldn’t hurt.
But the reality is that the Ford Raptor is a street-legal off-road racer. And so, we should see it as such. It has good power, putting out 450 hp and 510 lb-ft. It has medium-travel suspension, which feels great on the dunes but not great in stop-and-go driving. So, all these features take away from its towing capacity.
And, if you’re looking for competitors, the catalog is quite slim. Only Ram has come up with something just as crazy. Its 1500 TRX seriously outperforms the Raptor in most performance figures. But, it can only pull 100 pounds more.
So, it’s evident that those seriously looking into these two trucks aren’t doing so because of towing capacity. And, that’s fine. We can see it the other way around. The Ford Raptor is a crazy vehicle that can pull some cargo if it has to.