The battle for the toughest, meanest pickup truck on earth is heating up, and Ford is raising the bar a little higher with the new generation of its F-150 Raptor. This rock-climbing, mud-slinging arena also includes the Ram 2500 Power Wagon, the Toyota Tundra TRD Pro and – if it reaches production – the Nissan Titan Warrior Concept that was also presented in Detroit.
Dropping the SVT suffix, the new version of Ford’s brutal truck will again be offered in SuperCab and SuperCrew configurations, and will also benefit from a new engine as well as a revised suspension with FOX Racing Shox dampers. And since it’s based on the latest F-150 pickup and its aluminum body panels, the Raptor is lighter by up to 500 pounds compared to the previous generation, according to the manufacturer.
The 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor boasts a new style that’s arguably more aggressive than before, and it’s six inches wider than a standard F-150. It also gets a dual exhaust system, new 17-inch wheels with BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires as well as available beadlock-capable wheels.
The old 6.2-litre V8 has been ditched in favour of an exclusive version of the twin-turbo, 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6, matched to a new 10-speed automatic transmission. Output hasn’t been officialised, but Ford claims it will dish out more muscle than the outgoing V8’s 411 hp in addition to being more fuel efficient.
The Raptor’s four-wheel-drive system is new, and so is its transfer case. A Terrain Management system will be included, enabling the driver to select between six preset modes: Normal, Street, Weather, Mud and sand, Baja and Rock. Suspension travel has risen from 11.2 inches on the old Raptor to 12.0 inches on the new one. A Torsen front differential will be optional as well, which is said to further increase off-road capability.
The 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor will go on sale in the fall of 2016.