2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Marries 4WD, AWD

Luke Vandezande
by Luke Vandezande

The next Ford F-150 Raptor is going to be leaps ahead of the model it replaces with a technology that isn’t just new to the model, but the auto industry in general.

The disappointment was palpable when Ford announced that the new aluminum-bodied Raptor, which it showed for the first time last January during the Detroit Auto Show, would be attached to the 2017 model year. Two months later, the reasons are coming into focus. Not only will the new Raptor carry a version of Ford’s high-performance 3.5-liter EcoBosot V6 akin to the unit scheduled for duty in the upcoming GT supercar, it will have both four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive.

SEE ALSO: Ford GT Engine Shares ‘70 Percent’ With F-150

All-wheel drive uses clutch packs to connect and disconnect the auxiliary wheels on the move. That is advantageous on pavement or loose ground where most vehicles spend the majority of – if not all of – their time. Systems like that gauge which wheels call for torque and send it there based on grip. Trucks typically use a transfer case that forms a mechanical lock that offers a more robust but less rapidly adaptable connection to direct torque to both the front and rear axles. The new Raptor will have a version of both systems working together.

The new system adds a little bit of weight over a traditional transfer case, but the new Raptor will still be roughly 500 lbs lighter than the previous model because of its aluminum body. When the Raptor arrives late in 2016 for the 2017 model year, it will also have a new 10-speed automatic transmission that, in tandem with a new “street mode,” should allow the Raptor to achieve decent fuel economy at highway speeds without giving up off-road racing performance.

Discuss this story at our EcoBoost Raptor Forum

[Source: Road & Track]

Luke Vandezande
Luke Vandezande

Luke is an energetic automotive journalist who spends his time covering industry news and crawling the internet for the latest breaking story. When he isn't in the office, Luke can be found obsessively browsing used car listings, drinking scotch at his favorite bar and dreaming of what to drive next, though the list grows a lot faster than his bank account. He's always on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="http://twitter.com/lukevandezande">Twitter</A> looking for a good car conversation. Find Luke on <A title="@lukevandezande on Twitter" href="http://twitter.com/lukevandezande">Twitter</A> and <A title="Luke on Google+" href="http://plus.google.com/112531385961538774338?rel=author">Google+</A>.

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