The 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor Got Styling Inspiration From Marvel’s Iron Man

The 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor arrived looking particularly aggressive just a few days ago. While its design builds on that of the last generation, it looks tougher than ever. As you might expect, the Raptor’s lead designer Tom Liu crafted the truck by taking inspiration from various interesting sources.

According to a new report by The Detroit Free Press, Liu looked took heavy inspiration from Marvel’s Iron Man, video games, and even fighter jets. The idea was to take inspiration from sources that are not bound by real-life restraints and incorporate them into the truck’s design.

How did Iron Man inspire the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor?

An image of the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor in the desert.
2021 Ford F-150 Raptor | Ford

We have exterior designer Tom Liu to thank for the 2021 Ford F150 Raptor’s sharpened aesthetic. To craft this brand-new truck, Liu took inspiration from previous generations of the model. However, on top of that, he combined inspiration from Iron Man, video games, and fighter jets. Liu told The Detroit Free Press:

“Sometimes they focus their styling and design based in a fictional futuristic setup. They think outside the box; they’re not living with real-life restraints. They go crazy on design. That’s where I’ll look to get inspiration.”

Tom Liu via The Detroit Free Press

According to The Detroit Free Press, most of the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptors’ shapes and angles take inspiration specifically from fighter jets. Specifically the F/A-37 Talon from the movie “Stealth.” The goal was to make even small details such as the marker lights have an intentional design. In fact, Liu reportedly combined this design with added functionality.

It is the small details that make a massive difference

An orange 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor in the desert
2021 Ford F-150 Raptor | Ford

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In the 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor’s front grille, you’ll find three marker lights. While these may seem like a subtle lighting touch, they are required by law, given the Raptor’s size. However, the truck’s design team went above and beyond to incorporate them in a way that truly blends in. Liu told The Detroit Free Press that there is more to the story surrounding these little lights.

For starters, these tiny 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor lights now stick out from the grille and fenders for added functionality and improved aesthetics. Liu told The Detroit Free Press:

“They’re sticking out probably 5cm from the grille and fenders; so you can grab and hold onto the lights and feel the dimension of the lights.”

– Tom Liu via The Detroit Free Press

In terms of added functionality, these new marker lights stick out so you can see them from the left, right, above, in front, above, and below the truck. As a result, these are likely a small detail that will come to life once we see the truck in person.

These Raptor’s improvements keep up with its brand-new design

Aside from the obvious stylistic changes, the 2021 Ford Raptor is completely new underneath the sheet metal. For starters, the leaf spring suspension of old is gone in exchange for a five-link suspension with enormous coil springs. Additionally, you now get a brand-new set of Fox Live Valve shocks with electronically adjustable dampening.

In terms of the powertrain, there is still plenty we don’t know. The only thing we know for sure is that the twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 carries over to the new generation. Only time will tell exactly how powerful it truly is.