Shelby Raptor

New Shelby Raptor Is a Blinged-Out, Off-Road Beast

The 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor was already a capable go-fast off-road package, but the latest Shelby version kicks the drama up a notch.

The latest Ford F-150 Raptor gets the Shelby treatment for 525 ponies of take-you-anywhere eye candy. From the monstrous tires to the state-of-the-art suspension, Shelby promises that this off-road beast will have you skimming sand dunes and cruising the asphalt in style.

Shelby Raptor: The Latest ‘Super Truck’

Gary Patterson, president of Shelby American, says that this latest rendition of the F-150 Raptor is Shelby’s “most polished off-road truck to date.” This comes from a lineup that includes the Shelby F-150 Super Snake, Shelby F-150 trucks, and the Shelby F-250 Super Baja.

On the interior, Shelby keeps things classy with features like the embroidered leather interior and Baja Raptor embroidered floormats. There’s also the gratuitous carbon fiber accents — just to keep the cabin feeling sporty from behind the wheel.

Shelby Raptor interior

In terms of tech, the Shelby Raptor comes standard with the now-usual over-the-air updates and a “connected experience” with features like shareable digital trail maps. It also comes equipped with the FordPass mobile app so you can check on the truck remotely.

The Shelby Raptor’s exterior definitely looks the part, too, thanks to the imposing front and rear steel bumpers, as well as a multitude of LED lights (including a 30-inch curved light bar, two 10-inch driving lights, and a 50-inch power actuated light bar, just to name a few).

It also sports a bed chase rack system carrying not one, but two mounted 37-inch spare tires — just in case you find yourself serving as a support vehicle for a nighttime desert rally.

So the Shelby badge clearly translates to a super-looking truck that appears polished and poised for action. But is it ready to get off-road?

off road tires
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Kiss the Pavement Goodbye

According to Patterson, even though the Shelby Raptor doesn’t skimp on the creature comforts, it still has the “capabilities to back up its bold looks.”

That capability comes in the form of a heavy-duty suspension highlighted by 2.5-inch FOX Live shocks featuring top-of-the-line internal bypass technology and adjustable dual speed controls.

The most obvious off-road party piece (aside from the bed-mounted chase rack) are the 18-inch alloy rims wrapped in 37-inch BFG KM3 Mud-Terrain tires. These monstrous tires certainly give the Shelby Raptor presence — and all that rubber should actually come in handy off-road.

Shelby Raptor rear

Under the hood, the Shelby Raptor gets a custom cold-air performance intake system and a tune that bumps Ford’s Performance EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 to 525 horsepower (from 450 horsepower stock) and 610 pound-feet of torque. (Note: You’ll need to shell out for 93-octane fuel to achieve those numbers.)

And Shelby claims that thanks to the suspension design and techy engine management software, the truck can direct more torque to the rear wheels for quicker starts off the line, faster acceleration, and better throttle responsiveness — perfect if you tend to treat your off-roader like a drag car at the green lights.

Eyeing the Off-Road Competition

So, how does the Shelby Raptor stack up to the competition? Well, for one, the price tag is a big pill to swallow. The closest competitor is probably the RAM 1500 TRX, which comes in a few grand less (but similar with current dealer “market adjustments”).

The TRX might not boast as much rubber as the Shelby Raptor, 35s versus 37s, but does come with a lot more power: 702 horsepower versus 525. What the TRX doesn’t have, though, are the Shelby name, looks, and upgrades.

At the end of the day, that Shelby badge is about stepping into a limited-edition motorsports heritage, courtesy of Carroll Shelby. And perhaps owning a new Shelby Ford F-150 Raptor is just as much about showing off that off-road bling as it is about getting off the pavement.

The Shelby Ford F-150 Raptor starts at $124,820 MSRP and will be available in limited quantities through select Tuscany and Ford dealers in North America.

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Kristen Arendt

Kristen Arendt is a creative writer and lover of the great outdoors. A long-time competitive runner on both the roads and track, she's branched out into vehicle-assisted adventure, trail running, and backpacking. When she’s not playing with words or planning her next adventure, she’s most likely exploring a trail in the mountains of her home state of Colorado.