Ford’s flagship exemplifies the modern yet rugged full-size pickup truck U.S. consumers expect. The F-150 boasts the brawniness to haul and tow at the top of its class while offering a decent mix of technology and luxury. This blend of muscle and style has earned the F-Series a solid reputation as one of the most versatile trucks on the market. As a result, it’s also one of the top-selling vehicles in the United States.
The Ford F-150 comes in six trim models (excluding the hybrid), but we’ll focus on two — the 2020 F-150 Raptor and the 2021 F-150 Hybrid — for this article. Here’s a look at price, power, and a few other interesting points about these two F-150s.
The 2020 Ford F-150 Raptor
Starting at $53,455, the 2020 Ford F-150 Raptor is built with the off-road enthusiast in mind. This third-generation Raptor looks meaner, pounds the trails faster, and performs better than the previous model. Thus, it offers some pretty impressive off-road equipment, such as a sophisticated long-travel suspension and large all-terrain tires. Other awesome off-roading features are high-output, off-road FOX Live Valve Racing Shox. These monotube shocks are “class-exclusive,” meaning they’re classed for full-size pickups weighing under 8,500 pounds.
The 2020 F-150 Raptor offers a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 EcoBoost that produces 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque. The engine is paired with an electronic 10-speed automatic transmission with towing, hauling, and sport modes. It makes off-roading a breeze thanks to its electronic 4X4 “shift-on-fly” system, “trail control,” and terrain management system. Shift on the fly allows you to shift between 2H (two-wheel-drive high), 4H (four-wheel-drive high), and automatic at any speed. It’s suggested to shift into four-wheel-drive low (also known as 4Lo) at lower speeds or when stationary — doing so at higher speeds would be like dropping from third or fourth gear straight down to first.
The 2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid
Starting at $41,200, the 2021 Ford F-150 V6 Hybrid gets four more miles per gallon than the regular F-150. It might not seem like a drop in the bucket, but it amounts to a 20 percent improvement in fuel efficiency. For those who use their pickups for work, every penny saved is a penny earned. On top of that, the hybrid version runs as smoothly as the EcoBoost version and provides nearly as much towing and payload capacity.
Another incentive to buying a hybrid pickup truck is the government’s federal hybrid vehicle tax credit. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you’re eligible to receive a tax credit of up to $7,500 for each hybrid vehicle you buy. This tax credit took effect on January 1, 2010. Further, as of January 1, 2019, the IRS gives tax credits of $2,500 to $7,500 when consumers purchase a brand -new hybrid vehicle.
But like all good things, these tax credits come with a hitch: They last only until each participating vehicle manufacturer sells 200,000 EVs in the United States. Individual states also have their own incentives for electric vehicle drivers.
Ford claims its full hybrid 3.5-liter PowerBoost V6 engine is class-exclusive. However, the automaker must’ve conveniently forgotten about its competitor: the 2021 Ram 1500 eTorque with a 3.6-liter V6, boasting 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque.
With 430 hp and 570 lb-ft of torque, the F-150 Hybrid still beats the Ram nonetheless. As one Car and Driver reviewer put it, the “2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid proves to be an electrifying workhorse.” That’s because the F-150 Hybrid’s PowerBoost V6 pairs with a 47-hp electric motor, making this the highest-output powertrain in the current F-150 lineup.
The Raptor vs. the F-150 Hybrid in a drag race
Several of today’s plug-in hybrids and EVs show that going electric doesn’t mean settling for a Prius-like ride. The 2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid drives that point home well. When it comes to its powertrain technology and expensive-feeling interior, you can appreciate the $79,000 price tag. That’s roughly $2,000 more than the sportier F-150 Raptor.
And according to AutoEvolution, the folks at The Fast Lane Truck (TFL) proved that fancy technology can beat pure muscle in a drag race. Their matchup between the 2020 Ford F-150 Raptor and the 2021 F-150 Hybrid saw the latter hit 0-60 in 6.06 seconds. The Raptor took 6.11 seconds to reach 60 mph. AutoEvolution’s verdict: “It’s safe to say the new model is at least equal to the Raptor, the outgoing model. That’s like the new Civic being as quick as a Type R, which is frankly embarrassing for the little dinosaur truck.”
Last, for any Ford F-150 fans disappointed to hear that the 2020 Raptor might be the last year this model is produced, dry your eyes. Rumors across the web make it seem likely a new and improved Raptor will be revealed in 2021. Some sources claim that to compete against the 2021 RAM 1500 TRX and its 717 hp supercharged 6.2-liter Hemi V8, Ford will drop the Mustang GT500’s supercharged 5.2-liter V8 into the new Raptor. That means 725 hp! We’ll keep you posted.