Ford fans were likely left scratching their heads when they found out that the latest F-150 Raptor won’t have independent rear suspension (IRS). Sure, it made the transition from leaf springs to coil springs out back – leading many customers to believe that IRS would be a piece of cake. Not the case though, as the new Raptor shares the same solid-axle design from the previous model.
As disappointing as this may be for a lot of Ford purists, we’d be remiss not to mention that the Ram TRX uses a very similar setup; both share a very similar five-link configuration with the Blue Oval offering sporting extra-long trailing arms, a Panhard rod, and 24-inch coil springs – a meager .378 inches longer than those on the TRX if you’re keeping score.
Gallery: 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor
While many would argue that a solid rear-axle would be a big disadvantage for the F-150 Raptor, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Along with providing more towing and payload capacity, the new rear-suspension design brings even more to the table; it also allows for better articulation over obstacles, reduced friction, and tips the scales much lighter than any leaf spring setup.
Semantics aside, Ford’s new configuration allows for 15-inches of rear suspension travel when equipped with 35-inch tires. That might sound like a jumble of numbers, but for some perspective that’s 25 percent more than the first F-150 Raptor and a whole two inches more than the Ram TRX offers.
However, the most important advantage of coil springs – by a country mile – is the superior ride quality. Therefore, it’s very likely that this configuration will trickle down to other F-150 models in the not so distant future.