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New Lean and Mean Ford F-150 Raptor




Ford. Struck. Again. Another high horsepower, high performance model. This time, it's the return of F-150 Raptor, which will once again set the standard for production high performance off-road vehicles. This time, Ford reengineered more of the truck to differentiate it from the standard F-150 compared to the last generation and make it more formidable.




For starters, the Raptor gets a bespoke, purpose built frame that is unique to the Raptor, making it the toughest in the lineup and stronger than the outgoing Raptor. Using the same (high strength, military grade) aluminum alloy that deputed on the body of this F-150 generation, Ford claims a 500 lbs weight reduction compared to the outgoing Raptor. Lighter and tougher? Can't complain. The exterior is still easily distinguishable from the rest of the lineup and it doesn't disappoint. I think the truck looks absolutely menacing.




Some of the updates, though, are sure to upset a few people. The truck no longer comes with a big V8. Instead, it comes with a high output 3.5 litre, twin turbo, EcoBoost V6. Ford says the engine will make more than the outgoing 6.2 litre V8 output of 411 hp and 434 lb-ft of torque. Judging by the popularity of the standard 3.5 litre EcoBoost that was in the outgoing truck and is back in this generation, this high output version is bound to make more friends than enemies. I can't help but feel a little discouraged, though, about the possibility of an impending future without any mainstream V8 engines. Nevertheless, at least there is assurance that manufacturer support for high performance and high hp vehicles will live on. The new engine will be backed by an all new 10-speed transmission with manual paddle shifters. The combination of the EcoBoost engine, the 10-speed transmission and weight and aerodynamic improvements in this F-150 lineup should push the fuel economy far past the outgoing model's 11/16/13 city/hwy/combined mpg EPA ratings. 




Routing power to the wheels is an all new active transfer case which distributes torque on demand to all four wheels. Ford says the transfer case "combines the best attributes of clutch-driven, on-demand all-wheel drive with durable, mechanical-locking four-wheel drive." The transfer case has multiple operating modes:
  • 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
The different modes have different calibrations for the powertrain, driveline, traction control, ABS and AdvanceTrac stability control for optimal performance based on driving conditions. A front Torsen differential will be available as an option for improved front end traction and off road capability. There is no mention of the rear end differential so presumably, it will once again be a locking differential. Putting all the power to the ground are next-generation BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires.




Ford obviously overhauled the suspension as well. The standard shocks will be 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. The shock canisters are now 3 inches in diameter, up from 2.5 inches, to improve performance and will allow more suspension travel than the outgoing Raptor’s 11.2 inches at the front and 12 inches at the rear, although Ford didn't say how much more.




Inside, Ford made "interior upgrades" to improve driver and passenger comfort and will offer three colour material levels and 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. The Raptor will also feature advanced LED lighting and camera technology to improve visibility on the on and off road – day and night.

Unfortunately, the truck won't go on sale until fall 2016 so it will be a while before they're available but Ford kept referring to the outgoing F-150 Raptor as "current" so maybe Ford will continue to build it until then. If so, the next few months may be the last chance for someone looking to grab a new F-150 Raptor powered by a V8. Hopefully we'll see Chevy and RAM respond with similar offerings! For more information, visit All-New F-150 Raptor - Ford Media.


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