The Raptor Returns – An Undisputed King
These days seldom we see the cars that marks or define their own segment or becomes a highlight of a segment. Such rarities are confined to the floor of motor shows or remains as a concept. A decade back we saw the Hummer as a leader in the SUV segment, its another thing that Hummer was never been a smart vehicle in business terms, yet smart enough to own the road proudly because of the Arnold Schwarzenegger kind of muscular styling. Sadly, Hummer died its natural death but gives the baton to Ford.
Filling The Niche
In 2010, Ford after giving a cool name Raptor just like the Hummer, from the ground up did two additional things that GM failed to do with Hummer. 1- Ford handed over the program to its SVT team to develop Baja race inspired truck for the road. Once in the hands SVT F 150 Raptor got the chassis reinforced and then further augmented with race bred hardware (Fox suspension) and later added a mighty 6.2l V8 pumping 411 hp. 2- Like Hummer body Ford also gave Raptor a unique unmistakable body design. Undoubtedly Raptor became a darling truck and unchallenged King of the segment. Yes, later Ram introduced hurriedly its own version of Baja inspired Ram Runner. Though intelligently Ram followed the footsteps of Ford and handed over the task to its Mopar team. However, recently Ram introduced a fully developed product called ‘Rebel’.
Chevrolet didn’t stay far behind and did the same thing as Ram did, quickly introduced a Raptor imitating Silverado. Now get this: it’s called ‘Reaper’! Yeah similar sounding name as Raptor. But then it only made Raptor more taller in the pride, as Reaper wasn’t produced in the Chevy home factory. It was done after market tuner, a long time GM aide, Lingenfelter. The last one to follow the was a Toyota and in 2015 Toyota made its own Raptor contender, known as Tundra TRD PRO. However, before I proceed with the all new Ford Raptor, Nissan recently at 2016 NAIAS, introduced as concept truck, almost production ready called as Titan Warrior. Interestingly, Nissan Titan Warrior looks a like badge clone of the Ford new F 150 line up and in this case, off course, nearly identical to the Raptor!
Watch these battling Raptor videos
King-of-the-Hill, 2017 Raptor.
Not resting on its laurels, rather proudly taking the leadership forward this year at 2016 NAIAS Ford introduced F-150 Raptor SuperCrew, billed as the toughest, smartest and the most capable Raptor ever.
F-150 Raptor SuperCrew with
four full-size doors provides rear passengers with more legroom and comfort on the trails and more space to stow gear while exploring the American and Canadian wilderness. SuperCrew’s 145-inch wheelbase is 12 inches longer than the standard Raptor SuperCab 133-inch wheelbase.
Advanced materials – including high-strength steel and high-strength, military grade, aluminum alloy – help save up to 500 pounds versus the prior Raptor for improved off-road prowess. Combined with all-new EcoBoost engine technology, the next-generation F-150 Raptor’s power-to-weight ratio has been improved, making the truck even more agile off-road.
“F-150 Raptor means superior off-road capability, from rock crawling to sand running,” said Dave Pericak, Ford Performance global director. “With the addition of SuperCrew, F-150 Raptor customers can leave the pavement behind – without sacrificing comfort and space.”
Developed with the DNA of a Baja race truck, F-150 Raptor is unique among off-road and performance vehicles, with a purpose-built engine, chassis and suspension that enables it to travel fast over challenging desert landscapes or crawl over rocky terrain.
The all-new F-150 Raptor starts with a purpose-built fully boxed frame – the backbone of the truck – that is the strongest in the F-150 lineup, featuring more high-strength steel than the outgoing Raptor. F-150 Raptor’s chiseled looks are reminiscent of Trophy Trucks – the fastest and most powerful class of off-road pickups. F-150 Raptor is 6 inches wider than standard F-150 for enhanced stability off-road.
F-150 Raptor is powered by Ford’s new, second-generation high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost® engine that produces more power with greater efficiency than the current 6.2-liter V8, which is rated at 411 horsepower and 434 lb.-ft. of torque.The high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost is a Raptor-exclusive in the F-150 lineup paired with an all-new 10-speed transmission for improved efficiency.
F-150 Raptor’s pioneering off-road driving mode technology has evolved into an all-new Terrain Management System™ that enables the driver to select modes to optimize driving dynamics to environmental conditions – from snow to mud, sand and more.
Six preset modes help the truck power through different terrain and driving conditions:
- Normal mode for everyday driving
- Street mode for higher-performance, on-road driving
- Weather mode for rain, snow or ice
- Mud and sand mode for muddy and sandy trails and terrain
- Baja mode for high-speed desert running and
- Rock mode for low-speed rock crawling
An available Torsen front differential increases off-road capability further. The system increases grip significantly for the front end of the truck and allows it to pull itself over obstacles and up steep grades – even when traction is split between the front tires.
F-150 Raptor comes standard with new FOX Racing Shox with custom internal bypass technology that works to damp and stiffen suspension travel over rough terrain, helping prevent the truck from bottoming out. The 2017 Raptor also boasts its first-ever dual exhaust and new 17-inch wheels with next-generation BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires designed for off-road performance.