2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Review

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Review Because it blitzes alongside a railbed slicing by means of Southern California’s Anza-Borrego Desert, the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor sashays gently side to side, its wide all-terrain tires tracking the bumps and ruts in the sandy trail. The ventilated seats are set to higher, even though our hands twitch the wheel back and forth with minor corrections to maintain the truck pointed straight. Properly, straight-ish. We’re making very the dust cloud, but that’s less due to the swinging hips than our proximity towards the speed governor. The Raptor doesn’t must be traveling at triple digits by way of the desert to amaze, nevertheless it absolutely helps.

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Review

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Review

For example, its new twin-turbo three.5-liter V-6 and 10-speed automatic transmission enable the Raptor to amaze within a straight line. Its turbochargers whistle more boost (as much as 18 psi) in to the manifold than do those with the standard F-150’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost mill, which itself has been updated for 2017. Combined using a new aluminum block, upgraded internals, port and direct fuel injection, and also a lighter valvetrain, the turbos help this engine crank out 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque, increases of 75 horses and 40 lb-ft over the regular EcoBoost three.5, which abruptly seems wimpy in comparison. Much more critical, that is 39 horses and 76 lb-ft greater than the old Raptor’s six.2-liter V-8, gains which can be instantly noticeable. This Raptor feels a lot quicker than its predecessor, and we count on it’ll attain 60 mph within the low-five-second range.

With 3 overdrive gears, the 10-speed is above all a play for highway fuel economy, but its ratio spread does retain the twin-turbo six inside the meat of its powerband, as well. This transmission, however, is among the Raptor’s handful of weak points, in spite of the genuine magnesium shift paddles. Even beneath complete throttle, it slurs shifts in Standard mode. For faster gear swaps, you've to utilize the mode switch on the steering wheel to toggle the truck into Sport-one of six out there settings-at which point those shifts occasionally are rather harsh. And, when cruising, every single toe tip into the throttle reminds us what a major quantity 10 is, as the transmission shuffles down to locate the essential gear. We did uncover it amusing, although, that with all the transfer case in low range, it is already in fifth gear by 15 mph. A five % reduction in aerodynamic drag aids the transmission elevate the Raptor’s fuel economy from the old truck’s 12 mpg city and 16 mpg highway to 15/18 mpg. The aero improvement is due not merely towards the new styling but additionally to automatic grille shutters along with the air-smoothing effect of skid plates, which have an environmental benefit beyond just reducing the incidences of 5W-30 spilling out of rock-pierced oil pans.

When a commercially out there truck which will repeatedly enter and return from (exceptionally) low-Earth orbit without the need of undue harm is impressive, the Raptor’s ability to do so is in no way surprising. That’s what it’s engineered to perform. What's surprising is how nicely a vehicle with all the suspension essential to do so performs on pavement. The Raptor’s roll control is basically excellent. Yes, the BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires hinder the truck’s paved-road adhesion limits, but its behavior up until those limits is startling. It is a genuinely composed and comfy cruiser, and it handles twisty roads far superior than a Mustang would manage desert operating. Not surprisingly, a Mustang doesn’t have 34-inch-tall, reinforced-sidewall KO2s-which, incidentally, would be the purpose the speed limiter is set so low-mounted to optional beadlock-ready 17-inch wheels. They appear awesome.

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Review - Interior:

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Review

By way of the Anza-Borrego, we hammered the Raptor over a 50-mile route composed of long stretches of washboard chatter bumps and countless larger whoop-de-dos that tossed the Ford into the air. A lesser truck could crawl more than this very same terrain with no a lot risk. But prior to you attempted to complete so at the speeds the Raptor can accomplish, you’d desire to start off a pool for what would come about initial: a pricey Fox damper punching by means of the hood or the bed, an axle rolling out behind the truck, or the nose sticking a landing and throwing you into an endo. The Raptor just pounds more than all of it, its suspension travel of 13.0 inches in front and 13.9 out back ensuring that the driver cries uncle ahead of the truck ever falters. So higher may be the Raptor’s threshold of abuse that the size of the lump, hole, or other obstacle hardly seems to matter; plow into it, let the suspension soak it up, and carry on.

To much better endure the abuse any self-respecting owner will subject the truck to, the Raptor’s frame is strengthened more than the common F-150’s with further welds and fortified shock mounts. Its Fox dampers are now three.0 inches in diameter, a 0.5-inch enhance from the old Raptor’s. This makes it possible for 44 percent far more fluid volume, bolstering heat- and fade-resistance. To allow the Raptor’s surprising on-road aptitude, the shock absorbers are softer inside the middle of their travel but stiffen as they near both full compression and full extension-the former to handle bottoming out, the latter to manage the suspension’s motion when the truck achieves liftoff.

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Review

It is possible to turn off the stability control completely. Nonetheless, excess yaw can couple with unpredictable desert terrain to turn straight-line speed into many rollovers and a helicopter ride with no view but the faces of medics leaning more than a backboard. Recognizing that, we identified the Baja driving mode a great selection. In this setting, the stability-control calibration is superb, permitting excellent leeway and stepping in only beneath extreme circumstances with smooth, subtle interventions. This mode also relaxes the ABS, enabling some lockup to pile sand in front with the tires, extended a favored implies of stopping in softer terrain.

Baja mode also tweaks the engine-management plan, shutting down fuel flow but keeping the throttle open when the driver jumps off the accelerator. This keeps air flowing via the engine, which in turn keeps the turbos spinning and cuts lag when the driver gets back on the gas. This function is limited to Baja mode simply because it negatively impacts emissions and fuel economy. However the finest thing about Baja mode is how the transmission hangs onto gears to such an extreme degree, maintaining engine response piano-wire tight. It’ll hang inside just a few hundred rpm of redline for as long as your foot tells it to, urging you to toe a bit deeper, clear those last couple of revs, and grab the next gear-and then start off reaching for the following.

And drivers will hold reaching once again and again. Couple of cars of any sort and at any price-and none close to the Ford’s $49,520 base price-offer as a lot of thrills or fulfill their mission as perfectly as the Raptor. Driving this truck off-road and at max attack is as exhilarating an automotive knowledge as you will uncover.

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