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When we got our first glimpse at the next-generation Ford F-150 Raptor, we wagered that the automaker would continue to use the bold FORD-branded grille. However, new spy photos suggest that may not be the case. A mesh covering over the grille seen on the truck in older spy photos is gone in the new shots, revealing a surprisingly modest grille design that looks like it could be an option on any other F-150 trim. Too bad, as the Raptor's in-your-face grille was one of the coolest parts about it.

There were doubts Ford would roll out the next-gen Raptor in 2021, but Ford confirmed there’d be one. The new spy shots come after Ram introduced the TRX, its 702-horsepower (523-kilowatt) Raptor competitor. The TRX sports the Dodge SRT Hellcat’s 6.2-liter supercharged V8. The Raptor doesn’t offer a V8 anymore, though that could change with the new-generation pickup.

Gallery: 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor Spy Photos

Anonymous sources claim the 2021 Raptor will get some motivational help from a high-performance stablemate – the Mustang Shelby GT500. If the rumors prove true, the Raptor will use the GT500’s supercharged 5.2-liter that’ll allegedly make between 725 and 750 hp (541 to 559 kilowatts). That’s below the 760 hp (567 kW) the mill makes in the Mustang; however, that is more than the TRX, which matters most on paper and to internet arguments.

Ford paired down the Raptor’s powertrains in 2017 to just one – a 450-hp (331-kW) 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 that produced more than the 6.2-liter V8. That mill will likely carry over into the new pickup. While the TRX is making waves for its audacious horsepower figure, there’s the possibility of less-powerful models in the future, which would likely lower the price tag and output to compete with what the Ford Raptor is today. We won’t see the next-gen Raptor until early next year, and we have our fingers crossed it comes with that burly V8.

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