Ford fans were probably left scratching their heads when they found out that the latest F-150 Raptor does not have independent rear suspension (IRS). Sure, it made the transition from leaf springs to coil springs out again – which led many customers to believe that the IRS would be a piece of cake. Not the case though, since the new Raptor has the same solid shaft design from the previous model.
As disappointing as this may be for many Ford purists, we would be happy 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 sporty extra long rear arms, a Panhard bar and 24-inch coil springs – a mere .378 inches longer than those on the TRX if you keep the score.
While many would argue that a solid rear axle would be a major drawback for the F-150 Raptor, it could not be further from the truth. In addition to providing more towing and payload capacity, the new rear suspension design brings even more to the table; It also provides better articulation over obstacles, reduced friction and tip weights much easier than any leaf spring setup.
Semantics aside, Ford’s new configuration allows for 15-inch rear suspension when equipped with 35-inch tires. It may sound like a jumble of numbers, but for some perspective it’s 25 percent more than the first F-150 Raptor and a full two inches more than the Ram TRX offers.
However, the most important advantage of coil springs – a land mile – is the superior ride quality. Therefore, it is very likely that this configuration will fall to other F-150 models in the not too distant future.