Ford Tests 2017 F-150 Raptor at Silver Lake Sand Dunes
OEM Dune Buggy Goes on Sale Fall 2016
Ford released another video of the 2017 F-150 Raptor undergoing testing, and the truck looks like it’s really coming together. The company will begin sales of everyone’s favorite factory off-road package starting in Fall 2016.
Bounding around Silver Lake State Park in western Michigan, the Raptor looks very composed, although the video’s scope is admittedly limited. Still, in prototype spec (note the standard chrome F-150 bumper), the progressive suspension tuning looks like it very nicely soaks up bumps without harshness or excessive body motion.
Ford is also keen to point out the upcoming Raptor’s available Torsen front differential. In situations where traction is split between the front tires, the Torsen diff will split power side to side more evenly, allowing the Raptor to better pull itself out of trouble. We assume the Raptor shown in testing was equipped with the Torsen diff, as the front wheels look like they do a good portion of the work getting the truck up and over some of Silver Lake’s famous sand dunes.
As we’ve reported, the Raptor’s redesigned suspension and larger FOX Racing Shox endow it with substantially more suspension travel, and it’ll get the newest version of Ford’s Terrain Management system, which tunes throttle response, differential and four-wheel-drive system settings, and transmission behavior to match a variety of driving situations (sand, snow, mud, and rocks are the immediate suspects).
Still shrouded in mystery are the particulars of the Raptor’s powertrain. A high-output 3.5L EcoBoost is backed by a 10-speed automatic transmission (jointly developed with General Motors). Although Ford admits the EcoBoost will produce more power and torque than the previous Raptor’s 6.2L V-8, we still don’t know exactly how much to expect. 425 hp is a safe bet, but who knows?