Article by Anthony Alaniz (Anthony_Alaniz). Images from Ford.
When the Raptor was unleashed on the automotive world in 2010, it took many by surprise, even the likes of the competition, who were left scrambling to offer anything resembling the off-road ready truck. It has been highly successful for Ford, since becoming the poster child of Ford truck capability.
In 2015, Ford introduced the aluminum-body F-150, gaining significant weight savings. Continuing to ride its predecessor’s success, a Raptor ceremoniously broke cover at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
One of the big changes for the new Raptor, which will be a point of modification for many, is the new 3.5-liter, turbocharged EcoBoost V-6 engine. While final power figures are elusive, Ford did say that it produces more horsepower and torque than the outgoing V-8 engine offered. The 6.2-liter V-8 engine found in the Raptor makes 411 horsepower and 434 lb-ft of torque⎯for reference.
Interestingly, the six-pot engine is paired with a new ten-speed transmission that will not only increase fuel efficiency, but capability as well. According to Ford, it "pushes the limits of what a full-sized pickup can be."
The weight savings on the regular F-150 carry over to the Raptor; the new truck now more than 500 pounds lighter.
For those who want more out of their previous Raptor⎯because once you have one you must buy two⎯the next-gen Raptor includes larger Fox Racing Shox, 2.5 inches longer and 3 inches in diameter, that offer more suspension travel and works with the new Terrain Management System to provide the greatest off-road capability.
Suspension travel outstretches the previous Raptor's 11.2-inch travel in the front and 12-inch travel at the rear.
The Terrain Management System comes with six presets: Normal, Street, Weather, Mud, Baja and Rock making the truck capable in almost every situation. Ford, we would love to verify this if you are reading, FYI.
The Raptor is 6 inches wider than the standard F-150, which improves off-road stability. The truck also boasts an all-new four-wheel-drive, torque-on-demand transfer case.
Inside, you’ll not only find the comforts offer by an F-150, but also paddle shifters behind the steering wheel for the transmission. Auxiliary switches in the cabin are designed to give enthusiasts the ability to install and control aftermarket equipment such as lights or an air compressor. Expect to find the next-gen Raptor on dealership lots and American back trails in the fall of 2016.