2017 Ford F-150 Raptor: The Bold, Bad Beast

Ford F-150 Raptor #1

The 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor recently completed over 1,000 miles of testing, through the hard desert climate of the Southwestern United States.  The course the F-150 Raptor ran mimics the infamous Baja in Mexico, with deep sand, steep climbs, rough silt beds, and tight trenches.

On the 66 mile course, the 2017 F-150 Raptor averaged 55 mph, racing up to 100 mph, then slowing to 10 mph, depending on the terrain.

Despite the harsh conditions, the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor is 25% faster than the current Raptor.

The trucks tested were early build prototypes, made from a mix of 2015 F-150 Raptor and 2017 F-150 Raptor components.  As testing continues, Ford engineers will push the new F-150 Raptor to more extreme limits, ensuring durability and reliability for future customers.

Testing like this subjects the truck to a lifetime plus of driving in just a few days.

Ford F-150 Raptor #2

A high-strength steel frame and military-grade aluminum alloy body slice 500 lbs. from the 2017 F-150 Raptor.  The weight reduction amplifies the power plant: Ford’s new, second-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost, married to an all-new 10-speed transmission.

Better power to weight ratio/capability remains the mantra for standard F-150. 2015 models saw up to a 700 lbs. weight reduction with the high-strength steel frame and military-grade aluminum body.

F-150’s durability increased and fuel efficiency improved.

The weight reduction also jumped towing numbers for the 2015 F-150, as the truck uses more of its available horsepower and torque to carry the loads behind it, versus itself.  Ford has moved away from the notion, often times misconceived, that a heavier truck is stronger and better.

This same principle carried over to the 2017 F-150 Raptor.

“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.  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.” ~ Raj Nair, Ford Group Vice President, Global Product Development.

Ford F-150 Raptor #6

Serious off-road enthusiasts will appreciate the upgraded function of the 2017 F-150 Raptor’s, torque-on-demand transfer case.  Attributes of clutch-driven all-wheel drive and mechanical-locking four-wheel drive combine as power is spread between the front and rear wheels.

“The new transfer case offers better traction for a greater variety of terrain at low and high speeds – both on-road and off-road,” ~ Jamal Hameedi, Chief Engineer, Ford Performance.

Terrain Management System better adapts the 2017 F-150 Raptor for a host of driving and environmental conditions.  Calibration shifts happen within the power-train, drive-line, traction control, ABS, and AdvanceTrac, depending on the selected preset.

Scrolling though these different drive modes will no doubt be a blast!

  • Normal Mode: everyday driving

  • Street Mode: high performance, on-road driving

  • Weather Mode: rain, snow, ice

  • Mud & Sand Mode: muddy, sandy trails

  • Baja Mode: fast desert driving

  • Rock Mode: lower speed, off-road crawling

Ford F-150 Raptor #3

Standard FOX Racing Shox feature a unique, internal bypass technology, dampening and stiffening the suspension in rough terrain to prevent bottoming out.

Front and rear shock canisters have grown from 2.5 inches to 3 inches for more suspension travel.

Driving dynamics off-road are unpredictable and longer suspension travel better absorbs those often encountered turbulent spots.

Between the engine, transmission, suspension, and overall unique styling of the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor, a new definition of off-road is being defined.

“This all-new F-150 Raptor takes Raptor performance to the next level,” ~ Dave Pericak, Director, Ford Performance.

The 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor will be built at the Dearborn Truck Plant.

It goes on sale fall of 2016. Check out a quick video of the Raptor’s off-road testing:

Ford F-150 Raptor #4

About The Author

Carl represents automakers in their marketing and product development arms as a Vehicle Coach, Product Specialist, and Facilitator. He has worked with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, and Volvo. Carl is President of Detroit Working Writers and on the Board of Directors for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Foundation. He enjoys a multitude of health and fitness activities and is a loyal Detroit Lions fan.

1 Comment on "2017 Ford F-150 Raptor: The Bold, Bad Beast"

  1. Awesome post. I learned a lot about ford and how they are really pushing the limits of the small eco-boost. Also, I had no idea that they were going in the direction of the germans with the high gear count transmissions. Very insightful

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