If there’s one truck we’d love to own, it would no doubt be the Ford Raptor. It exudes coolness in looks and it has impressive capabilities all the same. The competition still hasn’t fielded any entries to compete against it really, although Toyota is trying to parlay revived interest into sales for the new Tacoma Baja Edition. When it debuted it was available in standard cab form, but Ford has since expanded Raptor availability to the Super Crew four-door model. Ford says it is seeing 80 percent take rates on the four-door model, helping to greatly increase sales. For 2012, some changes have been announced that tweak the package even further.
The biggest addition is a new Torsen front differential with a helical gear set. The changes are aimed at improving the Raptor’s performance while rock climbing. The system increases front grip, forcing torque from the wheel that is losing traction to the one with traction. It has a torque bias ratio of 2:5:1.
Exterior changes include a new color called Race Red, the addition of body-side Raptor graphics and a new “Euroflange” wheel design. In the interior a matte anodized-blue interior color accent package will feature, except when the exterior color is Race Red. When you opt for that color, you get aluminum trim and accent leather on the front seats, rear seats, center stack and door panels. We’d imagine that means it will cost more than standard colors. The luxury package also gains cooled seats for 2012..
The feature that will delight gadget freaks and off-road enthusiasts alike is the addition of a new off-road front camera system. It is placed in the front grille and relays video feedback to the Raptor’s 8-inch navigation screen when at speeds under 15 mph. It will prove useful when off-roading by being able to see what is directly in front of you.
“It’s a surprise and delight feature that works during low-speed crawling, and it’s particularly useful for seeing in front of the vehicle when tackling large inclines,” said Jamal Hameedi, Ford SVT chief engineer. “We found the system particularly useful for avoiding large rocks or placing a tire on a rock. It can even take the place of the spotter at times, which is a great feature when the truck is in one foot of mud.”
It includes dynamic and static overlays on the screen to help the driver determine where the wheels will go. It even includes a washer system, activated from the inside, to make sure it provides a clear view. Ford says it is a class-exclusive and patent pending feature.