DETROIT—Ford has introduced its all-new 2017 F-150 Raptor high-performance off-road pickup
Ford says it has reengineered every part of the F-150 Raptor to make the tough, capable off-roader more efficient than ever.
“When we created the first Raptor, we set out to prove vehicle performance isn’t just measured on the street or at the track—off-road can be even more fun,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice-president, Global Product Development. “The original Raptor, plus enhancements on the all-new F-150 set the bar for us to make the all-new Raptor better in every way.”
The all-new purpose-built frame features more high-strength steel than the outgoing 2015 version of the Raptor.
Forged from high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy that helps save more than 500 pounds of weight, Raptor’s exterior design is inspired by Ford’s performance heritage in off-road racing that includes Best in the Desert, Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series and the famous Baja 1000.
Raptor’s chiseled looks are reminiscent of those found in Trophy Trucks – the most powerful and fastest off-road pickups.
Indeed, the Raptor is 6 inches wider than the standard F-150 for improved stability off-road.
It boasts a dual exhaust and new 17-inch wheels with next-generation BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires specifically designed for off-road performance.
Gone is the roaring 6.2-litre V8 monster of an engine, as Ford opted to power the off-road beast with its second-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine. Ford said it will produce more power with greater efficiency than the 6.2-liter V8, which is rated at 411 horsepower and 434 lb.-ft. of torque.
This high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost is a Raptor exclusive in the F-150 lineup. It will be paired with an all-new 10-speed transmission for improved efficiency.
Also new is the four-wheel-drive, torque-on-demand transfer case, with an advanced version of its off-road mode driver-assist technology. The new transfer case manages power distribution between the front and rear wheels, combining the best attributes of clutch-driven, on-demand all-wheel drive with durable, mechanical-locking four-wheel drive.
“The new transfer case offers better traction for a greater variety of terrain at low and high speeds – both on-road and off-road,” said Jamal Hameedi, chief engineer, Ford Performance.
Raptor’s pioneering off-road mode driving technology has evolved into an all-new Terrain Management System™ that enables the driver to select modes to optimize driving dynamics to environmental conditions – from snow to mud, sand and more.
The new Raptor features calibration changes to its powertrain, driveline, traction control, ABS and AdvanceTrac stability control for optimal performance. There are six preset modes for the truck depending on terrain and driving conditions:
- Normal mode for everyday driving
- Street mode for higher-performance, on-road driving
- Weather mode for rain, snow or ice
- Mud and sand mode for muddy and sandy trails and terrain
- Baja mode for high-speed desert running
- Rock mode for low-speed rock crawling
An available Torsen front differential increases off-road capability further. The system increases grip for the front end of the truck to pull itself over obstacles and up steep grades, even when traction is split between the front tires.
F-150 Raptor comes standard with new FOX Racing Shox with custom internal bypass technology that works to damp and stiffen suspension travel over rough terrain to help prevent the truck from bottoming out.
Front and rear shock canisters have grown from 2.5 inches to 3 inches in diameter for improved performance. They feature more suspension travel than the current Raptor’s 11.2 inches at the front and 12 inches at the rear.
Advanced LED lighting and camera technology contribute to improved visibility on the trail or street, day and night.
Auxiliary switches to control aftermarket equipment such as lights or an air compressor are mounted out of the driver’s way in the roof of the cab, similar to a fighter plane.
“This all-new F-150 Raptor takes Raptor performance to the next level,” said Dave Pericak, director, Ford Performance.
The Raptor will be built at Dearborn Truck Plant, and goes on sale fall 2016.
Check out this video of the F-150 Raptor: