This year’s North American International Auto Show is going to be one of the largest in recent memory, and headlining the show is the series of Ford Performance announcements, including the new Shelby GT350R, Ford GT, and the 2017 Ford Raptor.
For those worried that the next generation Raptor would lose some of the edge that made the previous truck so great, have no fear.
Everything that you loved about the previous truck is in the new one. So the Fox Racing suspension is back, and bigger, with bigger shocks and more suspension travel.
Surprisingly, the new Raptor is powered by a V6. This 3.5L EcoBoost is similar to what is in the new F-150, and the new Ford GT, have it in, just in a different state of tune. Ford is promising more power and torque than the 6.2L in the outgoing truck. Talking to some contacts, it might not be just a little bit more than the previous truck, but a lot more. How much? I’m not sure yet.
The aluminum construction on top of the high-strength steel frame allows the new Raptor to weigh 500 pounds less than the previous truck. Also brand new in the Raptor is a 10-speed automatic. Yes, 10 gears.
But the specs are only part of the story. The truck looks great in person. You can tell it’s different from the previous versions, but even with a passing glance you can tell it’s a Raptor. The black grille is redesigned to work around the LED headlights. It works.
The Ford Performance blue paint gives the truck a unique look, and I hope that the color is available in the production version. All of the performance vehicles during the announcement were painted in that color.
There are some subtle new touches to the truck. The exhaust has dual outlets on the new truck. The rear tailgate has FORD written in big letters across it. The box side graphics are a new design for 2017, but still retain their original theme.
Also, like the previous truck, you will be able to get it with a lot of options. The big sunroof that made its appearance in the 2015 F-150 is available. Sync 3 will be available, with the new AppLink 3.0. Surely, heated and cooled seats will come with it. Also, expect to see the LED headlights available. All of the luxury options that were on the previous truck will be available on the new truck.
The big talk of the show might end up being the mid-engined, rear-wheel drive Ford GT, but the Raptor is just as important. Unlike the GT, the Raptor is a truck that’s obtainable for a lot of people. The technology you see in this truck will trickle down to their other products.
It’ll be a long wait until the 2017 model year when the truck becomes available. But in the meantime we can take solace that the new Raptor is on its way, and that it’s going to be awesome. As soon as it rolled out on the stage I knew I’d want it. It didn’t disappoint.
Source: Ford Truck Enthusiasts
-Mullinax Ford Newsletter