Posted April 6, 2015 | © Photo by The Flash List
Ford Motor Company promised to unveil their all-new 2017 F-150 Raptor to a group of local media as a kick off to the 2015 DFW Auto Show, but there had been no sign of the elusive high-performance off-roader. Finally though, the vehicle arrived and was quietly making its way across the exhibit hall and onto its designated platform. At first glance, it seemed mild-mannered, rather unassuming, and similar to other off-road trucks. But as I watched the handlers maneuver the Raptor into its center-stage place of prominence under the bright spotlights and beside the larger-than-life video board showcasing the vehicle's impressive stance, it became apparent this truck is one bad dude like a superhero.
Was the Raptor just playing possum as it rolled in? I had a hunch as to why it might have been late. Maybe the Raptor's entrance was intentionally modest like all the great superheroes are with their alter egos. When Ford's program manager Tony Greco described why this new generation Raptor was far superior to the first generation, I knew I was onto something. He said the new gen Raptor was tough, smart and capable, passion and obsession.I thought, well that pretty much describes any superhero worth their salt, so let's see how the Raptor stacks up.
Invulnerability Like Superman?
The frame the Raptor uses is the same patented high-strength steel frame that is used on all the Ford 150's with the addition of some reinforced cross members to give the Raptor extra strength to handle the extreme pressure of off-roading. Ford has also developed an aluminum alloy skin that will replace the traditional metal skin on the cab of the truck as well as the bed/tub area. The patented aluminum process nearly doubles the strength of the sheet material which helps achieve better dent and ding resistance and also reduces gross weight by 500 pounds. See the video showing the aluminum toughness.
Super-Genius Intelligence Like Tony Stark a.k.a. Ironman?
The power plant in the second generation Raptor will be Ford's new EcoBoost 3.5 V-6.It has been promised to deliver more power and torque than the gen-one Raptor which had a 6.2-liter V-8 engine that produced 411-horsepower and 434 pound-feet of torque. The Raptor will also offer, for the first time, a dual exhaust system that will help maximize power.
Ability of Flight and Weather Manipulation Like Thor?
As for putting all that speed and power to the ground, the Raptor will replace the current 6-speed transmission with a 10-speed transmission and also will have the first-in-class paddle shifters for those serious about their off-road racing. The hidden superpower here is the terrain management system that will feature six preset driving modes to allow the driver to select different calibrations for the truck's powertrain, driveline, anti-lock brakes, traction control, and stability control for ideal performance. The present driving modes, which can be adjusted on the fly, consist of Normal, Street, Weather, Mud and Sand, Baja, and Rock mode. The Raptor will also come standard with 17-inch BFGoodrich all-terrain KO2 tires and a bigger shock package for those towering jumps along with an overall tire footprint that is six inches wider for better stability and handling.
The sales growth the Raptor has seen year over year from year one, shows there are a lot of people that are buying the Raptor not only for their off road adventures but also for their daily driver. If you are looking for a truck that can be a safe mild-mannered suburban family taxi by day and a superhero up for any adventure on nights or weekends, then the Raptor may be the truck for you.
So why was "Raptor" late for the scheduled appearance at the DFW Auto Show? I personally think "Raptor" was out fighting a nemesis half a world away; and if we have learned anything from following superheroes, we know they are always late for some event they are required to be at. That is just what superheroes do.
"Raptor's" release date is currently set for the fall of 2016 with an MSRP that as yet remains to be seen. So stay tuned for Ford's next installment of "Raptor's" exciting adventure!