When Ford released the original F-150 Raptor in 2010, it was insanely popular. It was the first true high-performance off-road pickup truck with a manufacturer’s warranty. Developed by Ford’s Special Vehicle Team, it survived the Baja 1000 desert race. More of the same are predicted now that the F-150 has a new and lighter platform.
Many details of the new 2017 F-150 Raptor are still shielded, but the second generation pickup will launch in fall of 2016 as a 2017 model under the new Ford Performance banner. It is also a more thoroughly engineered special vehicle itself… it has a dedicated chassis and powertrain to go with the special bodywork. The Raptor’s new boxed steel frame is reinforced from the normal F-150’s and will come in two sizes: the sportier 133-inch-wheelbase SuperCab and the roomier 145-inch SuperCrew. Despite the beefier frame, Ford claims that the new truck’s aluminum body cut 500 pounds from its predecessors curb weight.
No longer is there a big V-8 under the hood, so that should save some weight right there. Yes, folks… the 2017 Raptor is EcoBoost only and the first beneficiary of a second-generation 3.5-liter V-6 with twin turbochargers and direct fuel injection. Ford says the high-powered EcoBoost engines it develops for sports-car racing influenced some of the production V-6’s improvements, including a new aluminum block and updates to the fuel system, cylinder heads, and internals. Paired to the Raptor’s engine will be the first application of Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission and a new four-wheel-drive transfer case, which will work with a terrain-mode system to configure the truck for varying conditions (mud, snow, rocks, etc.). Controlled via steering-wheel buttons and a menu in the cluster, the system will tailor the characteristics of the engine, drivetrain, stability control, and more to help weekend warriors get the most from their Raptors without rolling them down hillsides.
There’s also no uncertainty that the new Raptor certainly looks the part all toned in its alloy. Of course, the raptor has its proud “FORD” grille and an array of marker lights. However, they are now framed in a design more in tune with the new look of the vehicle.
Like the first-generation model, the new Raptor features Fox Racing Shox with custom internal bypass technology. This time around the front and rear shock canisters’ diameter has increased from 2.5 inches to 3.0 inches. Ford says the new shocks have more suspension travel than the previous model’s 11.2 inches front and 12 inches rear travel.
The 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor will be built at the automaker’s Dearborn Truck Plant and will go on sale in fall of 2016 in the U.S. and Canada.