Ford Trail-Tests 2017 F-150 Raptor
New Video Shows Truck in Tighter Confines and Rougher Terrain
With its public debut just over one year away, Ford is putting some of the finishing touches on its 2017 F-150 Raptor super-truck. Apparently, that includes putting the big pickup through its paces on a tight, woody off-road singletrack, compared to the earlier testing we reported took place on wide-open desert trails.
While the fullsize truck isn’t ideally suited to mountain terrain where its width and length can be a liability, the Raptor looks like it handled the rutted trails, log climbs, water crossings, and steep grades rather well. Ford released a video of the Raptor on the test trail (embedded below), and the factory monster truck acquits itself well.
The company says credit rests with the Raptor’s new 3.0-inch FOX Racing Shox with custom internal bypass technology. Those shocks, which grow in size by half an inch compared to the SVT Raptor’s units, help keep the Raptor riding smooth, teaming with springs that provide more ground clearance and suspension travel than the outgoing Raptor.
A fancy transfer case gets some techno-flash in the form of some torque-on-demand technology, which combines the elements of a clutch-driven all-wheel-drive system with a fully locking four-wheel-drive transfer case. We predict this will enable some truly lurid four-wheel drifts on dirt (and maybe even in dry weather) without abusing the front drive axles. It all seemed to work well in Ford’s short video.
We can’t wait to get our hands on a Raptor, in both high-speed desert situations and crawl-happy mountain terrain. Ford says we’ll have to wait till next fall to get the chance though. We’ll start saving our pennies.