2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Undergoes First Round of Desert Testing
One Thousand Miles Over Rough Terrain
The 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor is one of the most hotly anticipated trucks in recent memory. First shown at the 2015 North American International Auto Show, the new Raptor will come with tons of updates, including a trick transfer case, an EcoBoost V-6 engine making more than 400 horsepower, and a newly lightened shell (thanks to F-150–inspired aluminum bodywork and a high-strength steel frame).
However, although Ford has experience using much of that technology in desert racing, the company has to be absolutely sure it will all run smoothly for customers when the truck goes on sale in fall of 2016. Thank goodness, then, for test engineers.
Thanks to them, the company was able to announce that the Raptor had just completed its initial desert durability testing. Using a 66-mile route, the Raptor prototype encountered sandy washes, rutted silt beds, deep sand climbs, and rockcrawling through tight spaces. According to Ford, the truck hit more than 100 mph in places and averaged about 50 mph overall. Additionally, the company says the prototype, which is built from a mix of 2015 and 2017 Raptor components, is about 25 percent faster than the current truck, based on its lap times on the 66-mile course.
The Raptor prototype was even tasked with a motocross-style tabletop jump, giving some credence to the claim that the test simulated more hard wear in a few days than most trucks will experience in a lifetime. Ford says it does this with all of its trucks, ensuring they’re ready for whatever the typical owner can dish out.
One thing is for sure: We can’t wait to see more of what the 2017 Raptor can do, and better yet, we want to experience it for ourselves.