The Ford F-150 Raptor is all-new for the 2021 model year. The third-generation model comes with many improvements for a winning formula, and among them is the optional tire kit which brings the largest tires ever offered by the factory in that segment. Whether you’ll go for the standard 35-inch tires or for the optional 37-inch kit, though, there are benefits and tradeoffs in both cases.

MuscleCarsAndTrucks had the chance to talk with the engineering team behind the performance truck and asked them about the upgraded tire kit and its advantages. It turns out the two tire options actually serve different purposes and when you think about it for a second, it makes perfect sense.

Gallery: 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor

“They both have some advantages,” Adam Busack, an engineer from the 2021 F-150 Raptor engineering team, explained. “The 35-inch tires have a little bit of extra travel, the most a Raptor has ever had. The 37-inch tires give you a little more ground clearance. It lifts the truck up, so rock crawling is easier… both packages are extremely comfortable on road and have really good driving dynamics.”

As MCT explains, if you want to go flat-out off the road, the smaller 35-inchers are the right set for you. If you want to attack more challenging obstacles at a lower speed, however, then you should go for the upgraded 37-inch tires. Both options come with BF Goodrich KO2 tires with the 37-inches measuring 37×12.5R17 with a C load range. Each tire weighs about 68 pounds (31 kilograms).

The new tires are so big that Ford had to modify its own production line to make it fit the new Raptor. But that doesn’t mean the 37-inch upgrade kit is just a set of chunky tires and nothing more. “A lot of times people just throw big tires on a truck, and the ride and steering get trashed,” said Busack. “But this package was designed specifically for the Raptor. It’s really comprehensive.”

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