Ford has announced the all-new 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The list of upgrades is long but some highlights are expected items. How about lighter overall weight, stronger frame, more power, all-new transmission, more wheel travel and larger shocks! This truck is sure to make waves wherever it goes.

Ford says the all-new Ford F-150 Raptor is their toughest, smartest, most capable truck for the ultimate off-road performance.

“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 Raptor features a purpose built frame that is the strongest in the F-150 lineup and has more high-strength steel than the outgoing model. The cab is forged from high strength, military grade aluminum alloy that helps shave more than 500 pounds of weight. The aggressive wider stance and menacing looks that are unique to the Raptor are still very much a part of the new exterior design. It was inspired by Ford’s racing heritage in off-road that includes Best in the Desert, Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series and the world famous SCORE International Baja 1000. The Raptor’s looks are straight off those found in Trophy Trucks.

The all-new 2017 Raptor is 6 inches wider than the standard F-150 for improved stability off-road but features more wheel travel than the current 11.2 inches of travel up front and 12-inches out back. The latest edition comes standard with new FOX Racing Shox with custom internal bypass technology. Designed to damp and stiffen suspension travel over rough terrain and help prevent the truck from bottoming out. Both front and rear shocks have grown .5 inches in diameter to 3-inches  to handle the extra wheel travel and rougher terrain.

Another first for the Raptor is a dual exhaust and new 17-inch wheels with the next-generation BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires. One thing that didn’t make it was the 6.2-liter V-8 and instead is being replaced by a newer and much more powerful second-gen 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6. The new engine produces more power with greater efficiency than the current 6.2-liter V-8, which is rated at 411 horsepower and 434 lb-ft of torque.The first-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost proved itself off road in racing the F-150 EcoBoost Torture Test truck at the 2010 Baja 1000, as well as notching repeated wins in off road race series.

The high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost is a Raptor exclusive in the F-150 lineup. Mated to an all-new 10-speed transmission for improved efficiency. All new four wheel drive, using a torque on demand transfer case equipped with an advanced off-road mode driver-assist technology, further improves the Raptor’s trail performance. The Raptor’s new transfer case, which manages power distribution between the front and rear wheels, combines the best features of a clutch driven all-wheel drive with a durable mechanical locking four wheel drive.

The Raptor’s pioneering off road mode driving technology has evolved into an all new Terrain Management System. It enables the driver to select modes to optimize driving dynamics to environmental conditions. Think snow to mud mode or sand mode.

The Raptor features calibration changes to its power train, driveline, traction control, ABS and AdvanceTrac stability control. All items that have evolved based on testing the previous generation and finding where improvements could be made. There are six preset modes depending on terrain and driving conditions: Normal mode for everyday driving, Street mode for higher performance, weather mode for rain, snow or ice, mud and sand mode for muddy and sandy trails, Baja mode for high speed desert running, and Rock mode for low speed rock crawling. I dig the technology but honestly give me a stick shift and a locker and throw all the gizmos and do dads out. Simple doesn’t break and if it does you can fix it.

Up front there is an available Torsen front differential that increases off road capability further with increased grip allowing the front end of the truck to pull itself over obstacles and up steep grades.

While the exterior design is about projecting an image, the interior is about comfort. Inside includes three color material levels, paddle shifters to manually shift the 10 speed transmission. A set of auxiliary switches to control aftermarket gadgets such as lights or winch are mounted in the roof of the cab. Advanced LED lighting and cameras contribute to improved visibility on any surface day or night.

No word on how much power is added with the new motor as well as no info on suspension travel, or fuel numbers we do know it will be a beast on or off road. Fun yes, practical maybe, complete overkill most definitely. We give a 4WAAM thumbs up.

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William Connor

As the Editor, William is responsible for all the good, the bad, the ugly and the indifferent that happens at 4WAAM. William brings a wide range of experience to this role. He also wields a freely shared...

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