Baja Mode!

See why the new F-150 Raptor is a desert-shredding monster

We took the third-generation F-150 Raptor to the Dumont Dunes in the Mojave Desert to test it out.

You have to get up pretty early in the morning to get ahead of the brutal desert heat, but it does allow for some stunning sunrise photo ops.

Dumont Dunes looks like the kind of place you might go off-roading on Mars.

Ford equipped the new Raptor with an optional set of 37-inch tires. These are the largest ever fitted to a production truck, and they come with beadlock-capable wheels to help keep the rubber on the rim when playing extra hard.

These air extractors on the fender are an homage to the truck’s namesake, the F-22 Raptor fighter jet. They help pull hot air from the engine compartment.

For those who want to really show off their Raptor, Ford offers these optional sticker packs.

The 37 tells the world you went for larger tires, while the dotted line on the left is a trail map of the famed Baja 1000 desert race.

Underneath is where the really special stuff is. The blue bits show upgrades to the stock F-150’s frame, while yellow markers show suspension improvements.

Of special note is the new five-link rear suspension, a first for a production F-150.

The Raptor’s exhaust pipes are slightly different lengths, which makes the exhaust note less impressive.

So Ford ran a "trombone loop" to make both pipes the same length and beef up the exhaust sound.

Thanks in part to that loop, the new Raptor sounds ferocious.

(Tap the speaker icon for sound)

Safety flags are required when out on the dunes, so Ford’s engineers cooked up this tow hitch-mount. A lot of folks want Ford to sell it, but there are no plans for that yet.

The 2021 Ford F-150 Raptor is on sale now... if you can find one, that is.

Next, go read my full F-150 Raptor review.

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