Raptor lovers rejoice! The wildly fast and tough F-150 Raptor will be making it’s triumphant return in 2017. Ford lovers far and wide were crushed when Ford announced the shuttering of the Raptor version of their popular F-150 pickup truck in 2014.
While the Raptor has only been around since 2010, it made a lasting impression on truck lovers everywhere by combining power, speed, and design into a package that’s been the benchmark for performance trucks still today. The Raptor is back but to understand why it’s so great, first we need to see where it started.
Some Quick History
As we mentioned above, the Raptor was released for the 2010 model year as the SVT Raptor, which was a variant of the F-150 platform. The original SVT Raptor was built specifically as a dedicated off-road truck that utilized a variety of Ford performance parts as well as a full Fox suspension.
The Truck was the first since 1981 that did not tout the blue oval logo but instead featured FORD spelled out in the grille. The SVT Raptor launched with a 411 horsepower 6.2-liter V8 that mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox.
Ford continued with this setup until 2014 when the line was discontinued partially due to the changes that the new F-150 has seen and the impact on the off-road variant.
The New Ford F-150 Raptor
The newest version of the Raptor, which will be available for the 2017 model year is a nearly complete departure from the previous model, in a very good way. For starters, Ford is ditching the V8 in favor of a twin-turbo Ecoboost V6 engine mated to a 10-speed transmission. Ford hasn’t spoken on the power ratings of the new engine and transmission application, but primes it will be more than the V8 models.
The new Raptor will be six inches wider than the standard F-150 model, too.
While speed is important, this isn’t the biggest feature of the Raptor as a whole. The Raptor is great because it can apply the speed and power it has in a useful way off-road. The new Raptor uses a steel frame underneath an aluminum body and bed just as the new F-150 does, saving nearly 500 pounds off the previous model.
The new Raptor has larger Fox Racing Shox than before as well as 17-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires that were designed specifically for the Raptor. There’s also a new transfer case that manages power distribution in a better way than before, and an all-new terrain management system. In short, there’s a lot of new hotness in the new Raptor.
The look is updated while keeping the design cues that make the Raptor so beautiful and rugged. The only complaint so far about the new design is the addition of a printed FORD across the tailgate. This is similar to the front grille and seems to be an odd design addition to an otherwise beautiful truck.