Tuesday, January 13, 2015

EcoBoost Boost Riles Up New 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

Always accepted favourably as a work truck, the Ford F-150 gained a different, more adventurous persona in 2010. A factory-prepped off-roading variant of Ford's best-selling half-ton pickup truck, the F-150 SVT Raptor provided a more playful edge to the vehicle. Distinctive styling, power from a potent 411-horsepower 6.2-liter V-8 engine and a high travel suspension allowed the Ford F-150 to trek more easily on trails not always explored by a light-duty work truck. Following the revolutionary redesign of the Ford F-150 for 2015, an all-new off-road riding Raptor model destined for the 2017 model year has premiered at Detroit's 2015 North American International Auto Show.

Employing much of the technology applied on the regular half-ton 2015 F-150 as well as racing the Baja 1000 desert race, the revised F-150 Raptor is a lighter, more off-road capable vehicle. Featuring a high-strength steel frame and military-grade aluminum body panels, the Ford F-150 Raptor's design is said to shaved off 500 pounds. The 2017 F-150 Raptor will be six inches wider than the SVT Raptor currently available. Just Like the first iteration of the vehicle, the new F-150 Raptor is unmistakably unique from the base F-150. A new front grille retains an all-black appearance completed with a large 'FORD' badge as well as three amber lights. For 2017, this grille is presented as more 3-D with the wording standing out in front of the meshing. LED lighting and the use of camera technology is also mentioned by Ford as equipment on the 2017 F-150 Raptor pickup truck.

Directly behind the new grille is the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor's all-new EcoBoost V-6 engine. A twin-turbocharged, direct-injected powerplant replacing the current 6.2-liter V-8, this announced high-output version EcoBoost engine promises to better the 411 horsepower and 434-pound-feet of torque already propelling the SVT Raptor. For handling the EcoBoost performance of the 2017 F-150 Raptor, Ford is preparing a 10-speed transmission with manual shift capabilities.

An all-new four-wheel drive system operating with a torque-on-demand transfer case also includes off-road mode driver-assist technology. Additional driver control will be provided with six preset modes where the powertrain, traction control, AdvanceTrac stability control, Anti-lock braking system and driveline is augmented for best performance. Drive settings for the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor consists of Normal, Street, Weather, Mud and Sand, Baja and Rock mode. An optional Torsen front differential will also be offered on the new Raptor.    

The 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor is supported by an enhanced suspension coupled delivering even greater wheel travel. While no exact wheel travel measurements numbers were released at the vehicle's Detroit debut, Ford has confirmed it will exceed the current SVT Raptor's 11.2 inches at the front and 12 inches at the rear. Standard equipment includes Fox Racing Shox featuring custom internal bypass technology provides improved damping performance preventing bottoming out. Larger diameter shock canisters delivers better stamina for off-roading. The 2017 model year F-150 Raptor's 17-inch wheels mounted within BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires enable a firm grip on terrain.

Able to trek over difficult terrain, the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor aggressively athletic exterior is accompanied by a tough yet civilized cabin. Offering three colour material levels, the interior is designed to provide comfort off and on trails. For mounting accessories such as additional off-road lighting, the new F-150 Raptor will be furnished with well-placed auxiliary switches.

Reviewing the hardware of the new 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor, I'm sure a lot of off-roaders has already planned outings with the specially-configured pickup truck. Unfortunately, those excursions will have to wait until fall of 2016 when the new Raptor is expected for release. 

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