With competition hot on its heels, Ford Motor Co. has given its rugged F-150 Raptor a comprehensive overhaul for the third generation. The 2021 Raptor coming this summer will be outfitted with a beefier suspension, optional 37-inch tyres and a twin-turbo V6 engine for high-speed off-roading, the company has announced.

A rugged, aggressive exterior design includes a power dome bonnet with blacked-out grille and headlights that stretch fender to fender.

The bonnet has a new heat extractor and functional side vents at the top trailing edge of the fender, all inspired by the intakes of the F-22 Raptor fighter jet.

Out back, the blacked-out taillights and available tailgate appliqué create visual fender-to-fender width. Ford says the durable steel front and rear bumpers are built for the rigours of off-roading, with the rear bumper retaining the high-clearance design with dual exhaust tips tucked high up against the truck.

An all-new interior features enhanced materials, unique surface finishes and more storage. A new steering wheel features a laser-etched logo, top centering mark and aluminium paddle shifters. Seats with large bolsters keep occupants in place, while even more aggressive Recaro buckets are available.

For the first time, the Raptor is available with either 35-inch or 37-inch tyres – the largest factory-fitted to a production light-duty full-size pickup.

Wearing 35-inch tyres, the Raptor clears 12-inch obstacles with an approach angle of 31 degrees, maximum departure angle of 23.9 degrees and breakover angle of 22.7 degrees. With 37-inch tyres, it features 13.1 inches of running clearance, 33.1 degrees of approach angle, a maximum 24.9 degrees of departure angle and 24.4 degrees of breakover angle.

The Pro Power Onboard feature gives owners the ability to use their truck as a mobile generator. Raptor can be ordered with an available 2.0 kilowatts of exportable output to run power tools, camp lights and other equipment, providing more exportable power than any light-duty full-size pickup competitor.

The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker is protecting its position in the high-end truck market, which is about to be overrun with new entries including the V8-powered Ram 1500 TRX from Fiat Chrysler, now a unit of Stellantis NV, as well as a trio of highly anticipated electric pickups: the Tesla Cybertruck, GMC Hummer and Rivian R1T.

The F-150, the best-selling vehicle in the US, is Ford's biggest money maker, and the Raptor, built atop the mechanical foundation of the redesigned F-150, has given Ford street cred among a growing cadre of wealthy truck buyers looking to make a bold statement. It also has filled the company's coffers, with prices climbing higher steadily. Ford hasn't released pricing yet on the 2021 version.