A Raptor R with a supercharged V8 will hopefully arrive next year.
Ever since the all-new Ford F-150 was unveiled last year, we've been waiting with bated breath for the high-performance F-150 Raptor to arrive with - hopefully - the goods to compete with the Ram 1500 TRX. Well, the covers have finally come off the hot off-roader. There have been many rumors circulating about the specifics of the new Raptor, with most relating to the powerplant that would be used.
Earlier this year, a leaked order guide indicated that a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 would power the new Raptor, and that has now been confirmed. While there is no sign of the expected V8 engine option, there is some hope that it's still on the way. Curiously, Ford has not yet shared the V6 engine's outputs. We expected this unit to improve on the previous Raptor's outputs of 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque, but until Ford confirms this, we won't know for sure.
Nevertheless, Ford has said that the new twin-turbo V6 offers improved low-end torque and a meatier exhaust note thanks to an active valve dual exhaust. It's been confirmed that a high-performance Raptor R is on its way next year, and this is the version that could employ the Shelby GT500's supercharged V8 engine.
For now, fans will have to settle for the V6 with its EPA-estimated range of over 500 miles and a maximum conventional towing capacity of 8,200 pounds. That's an improvement over the last Raptor, which could tow a maximum of 8,000 lbs. The new Ford F-150 Raptor's V6 will be paired with a 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission. Of course, this truck is about a lot more than its powertrain.
To maintain high speeds over rough terrain, the F-150 Raptor has a new five-link rear suspension that Ford says offers more wheel travel than any Raptor before it. This rear suspension setup boasts longer trailing arms and 24-inch coil springs, claimed to be the longest in its class. Added to this are new FOX Live Valve internal bypass shocks with position-sensitive damping. Numerous sensors can automatically adjust damping rates 500 times per second at each corner.
Another first for the new Raptor is either 35- or 37-inch tires, with the latter said to be the biggest factory-fitted tires found on a production light-duty full-size pickup. Designed by BF Goodrich, the Raptor has 13.1 inches of running clearance when equipped with the 37-inch tires. In addition, these tires offer a departure angle of 24.9 degrees, a 33.1-degree approach angle, and a breakover angle of 24.4 degrees.
With the 35-inch rubber, the F-150 has approach/departure/breakover angles of 31/23.9/22.7 degrees, along with 25 percent more wheel travel than was offered with the first generation of the Raptor. To withstand the harshest elements, the Raptor's high-strength steel frame is fully boxed, while tougher shock towers and stronger rear control arm mounting points have been used.
As for that new exhaust system, it offers no less than four sound modes: Quiet, Normal, Sport, and Baja. Along with the higher towing capacity, the maximum payload is also 200 lbs more at 1,400 lbs. An electronic locking rear differential and a transmission bolted to a torque-on-demand transfer case are standard fare. Along with the impressive hardware on offer, the F-150 boasts numerous off-roading technologies to make it as effective as possible over challenging terrain.
There are seven selectable driving modes for the Terrain Management System. These are Slippery, Tow/Haul, Normal, Sport, Off-Road, Baja, and Rock Crawl. A convenient Trail 1-Pedal Drive system makes rock crawling easier by automatically activating the braking system when the throttle pedal is released. The Raptor also comes with an optional 360-degree camera system and standard Trail Control (effectively cruise control for off-road environments).
Clearly, the new Raptor's mix of hardy mechanicals and the latest off-road tech will make it a remarkable off-roader and it should prove unstoppable over the dirt. The design of the new Raptor is no surprise since we had already seen the latest F-150 and Ford shared a teaser image of the Raptor a couple of days ago.
Elements like the power dome hood, the darkened grille with FORD lettering, bold front fenders, and the much chunkier rubber give it an aggressive stance. Notably, only a SuperCrew configuration is on offer.
In the cabin, the Raptor benefits from the latest F-150 range's SYNC 4 infotainment interface, while sporty Recaro bucket seats are available. The availability of over-the-air updates means that features like trail maps can be updated in the future. "Raptor is the original desert truck," said Ford Performance vehicle program director, Ali Jammoul. "We just took it to another level."
Pricing has yet to be indicated but the new F-150 Raptor will hit showrooms this summer before next year's arrival of the Raptor R.