Ford F-150 Raptor 2017

Ford F-150 Raptor 2017

If a Formula 1 race team built pickup trucks, they’d make a truck like the Ford F-150 Raptor. The Raptor isn’t just a regular F-150 with a bigger engine, either. Pretty much every aspect of the design from the suspension to the materials in the chassis has been souped up to make the Raptor more of a race car in disguise than a true pickup truck.

Ford has been selling Raptors since 2010, so the market for a hypercar version of a pickup truck survived several petrol price spikes. That didn’t stop Ford from making the 2017 version of the Raptor more fuel-efficient. Fuel-efficient is a relative term, of course, but the designers of the Raptor have found new ways to make the truck go even faster on a smaller powerplant. The way they accomplished it is fascinating.

A Smaller Engine Puts Out More Horsepower

The 2017 version of the Raptor has a 3.5-liter V6 instead of the old version’s massive 6.2-liter V8. The old truck produced a massive 411 horsepower. By turbocharging the new 3.5-liter direct injected powerplant, Ford managed to make a huge displacement savings but still put out somewhere between 450 to 500 horsepower. It will deliver more torque than the V8, too.

The Raptor delivers overall better performance with one simple trick: weight reduction. The V6 engine has a new aluminum alloy block, along with improved internals. The designers have done the same with the frame of the truck. Instead of the older version’s heavy steel frame, the 2017 Raptor will have a lighter frame, and even aluminum body panels to shave off more weight. Overall, the 2017 Ford Raptor will come in over 225 kilograms lighter. That’s despite the fact that the new Raptor will be both wider and longer than the original.

Lighter Weight and a More Robust Undercarriage

Power like the Raptor produces on a lighter frame will certainly make you go faster, but handling is always a concern with a pickup truck’s light rear end and unusual aerodynamics. The 2017 Raptor increased the wheelbase somewhat to keep the high body sitting on four wheels at all times during cornering, and the truck has racing shocks, massive control arms, and an old-fashioned leaf spring rear axle. The differential and axle adds weight to the rear, while the control arms are aluminum to better balance the weight front to back. The giant 17-inch wheels ensure traction on all for wheels at all times.

The Ford F-150 Raptor won’t go into production until late next year, but industry analysts expect it to come in at around the same sticker price as the current model, which is around $50,000 US, which is about 1,650,000 baht.

Posted: 12 March 2015

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