What Does The ‘Baja' Button On The New Ford F-150 Raptor Do?


In some ways it makes dreams come true.

Using computers as magical silicon helper elves, cars have become much more adaptable to multitudes of situations. They have also become better at each specific task by using the technology to adjust individual settings to make the vehicle seem tailored to whatever road lies ahead. This is especially true on a truck like the Ford F-150 Raptor. In its newest iteration, the Raptor makes do with six adjustable settings to help it rip apart rocks off-road and destroy winding roads with ease.

Drivers can cycle through normal, sport, weather, mud/sand, rock crawl, and the inconspicuously named Baja mode. Normal helps on-road performance in daily driving situations and if nature proves to be stubborn, weather mode should wipe away any apprehension. Meanwhile, sport mode is reserved for lead foot adventures on the pavement by holding gears longer, sharpening throttle response, and adding a more engaging steering feel. The other driving modes are reserved for when the Raptor is taken off the pavement. Rock crawl is the only one that engages the low-range four-wheel drive system, makes use of the front cameras to help crawl rocks, dulls throttle response, turns down the traction control system, and locks the differentials.

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Mud/Sand also uses the same locking differential trick but allows for playful off-road sessions in high-range 4x4 mode. The last mode seems to be the one where the Raptor feels most comfortable. The truck’s promotional video has shown it leaping over sand dunes and using its heavy-duty suspension to comfortably turn small cliffs into ramps. By engaging high-range 4x4, using a sharp throttle map, and retaining sporty transmission and traction control settings, Baja mode enables the Raptor’s dream of flying through the air to become a reality. Given that the twin-turbo V6 has such a wide array of modes to manage it, the 500+ horsepower it produces will pack more of a laser-guided oomph than a bludgeon of unrestrained power.

Watch how the system brings all of this capability together while you get your deposit ready.