On the same day the 2015 Ford F-150 was announced as the 2015 North American Truck of the Year, Ford showed that has no intentions of letting off the throttle. Well ahead of its debut in the fall of 2016, Ford has officially taken the wraps off the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor (note the lacking SVT affiliation) giving off-road enthusiasts something to fantasize about for the next year and a half.

Like the 2010 to 2014 Raptor, the 2017 Raptor will be easy to spot with its distinctive stance, which is a result of the wider track that stretches the body by six inches compared to a 2015 F-150. The Raptor’s signature “FORD” grille is front and center on this truck as are elements such as unique LED lights and exclusive 17-inch wheels wrapped in BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 rubber.

Replacing the powerful but thirsty 6.2-liter V-8, the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor will be powered exclusively by a retuned version of the F-150’s 3.5-liter, EcoBoost V-6. In its current stock form, this engine is rated at 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, but Ford promises this engine has been retuned to deliver more power than the 6.2-liter V-8 used in the first-gen Raptor, which produced 411 horsepower and 434 pound-feet of torque. Ford is keeping the official output under wraps for now, but some of that added power could have come through the new dual exhaust system.

Keeping with the credos of the 2015 F-150, the next-gen Raptor will also be lighter and more efficient than the truck it replaces. Curb weight is down a whopping 500 pounds compared to the current Raptor, and while Ford has not specified fuel economy, it will likely get a decent boost thanks the use of Ford’s upcoming 10-speed automatic transmission.

Making its off-road performance truck even better, Ford has equipped the 2017 Raptor with larger Fox Racing Shox that increases suspension travel even more than the current truck’s amazing 12 inches of wheel travel. Want more? There’s an available Torsen front differential as well as Ford’s Terrain Management System, which includes your typical sand, mud, rock and snow modes but also gets a unique Raptor tune to include Street and Baja modes. On top of all of this, the next Raptor will get an advanced camera system that Ford says will improve visibility day or night.

We still have some time before the new Raptor is upon us, but it will definitely be even more fun to drive.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2017 Ford Raptor.

Why it matters

The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor has made a name for itself as the preeminent off-road performance truck, and this trend will continue with the introduction of the second-gen Raptor. Ford has improved just about every aspect of the 2017 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor from the chassis strength, suspension travel, engine performance and even off-road goodies. When it debuts in the fall of 2016, the 2017 F-150 Raptor will most likely be as close to a street-legal trophy truck as you can buy.

2017 Ford Raptor

2017 Ford Raptor Breaks Cover in Detroit High Resolution Exterior
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Press Release

Ford, America’s truck leader, today introduced the all-new F-150 Raptor – the ultimate high-performance off-road pickup in the company’s lineup.

Ford has reengineered every part of the F-150 Raptor to make it the toughest, smartest, most capable off-roader – and more efficient than ever.

“When we created the first Raptor, we set out to prove vehicle performance isn’t just measured on the street or at the track – off-road can be even more fun,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “The original Raptor, plus enhancements on the all-new F-150 set the bar for us to make the all-new Raptor better in every way.”

ToughestAutomatic word wrap
The all-new Raptor starts with a purpose-built frame – the backbone of the truck – that is the strongest in the F-150 lineup, featuring more high-strength steel than the outgoing Raptor.

Forged from high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy that helps save more than 500 pounds of weight, Raptor’s exterior design is inspired by Ford’s performance heritage in off-road racing that includes Best in the Desert, Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series and the famous Baja 1000.

Raptor’s chiseled looks are reminiscent of those found in Trophy Trucks – the most powerful and fastest off-road pickups.

Raptor is 6 inches wider than the standard F-150 for improved stability off-road.

The all-new Raptor also boasts its first-ever dual exhaust and new 17-inch wheels with next-generation BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires specifically designed for off-road performance.

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Raptor is powered by Ford’s new, second-generation 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 first-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost proved its mettle off-road – racing in the original F-150 EcoBoost Torture Test truck in the 2010 Baja 1000, as well as notching repeated wins in off-road race series.

The high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost is a Raptor exclusive in the F-150 lineup. It will be paired with an all-new 10-speed transmission for improved efficiency.

An all-new four-wheel-drive, torque-on-demand transfer case, with an advanced, easier-to-use version of off-road mode driver-assist technology, further improves Raptor’s trail performance.

Raptor’s new transfer case, which manages power distribution between the front and rear wheels, combines the best attributes of clutch-driven, on-demand all-wheel drive with durable, mechanical-locking four-wheel drive.

“The new transfer case offers better traction for a greater variety of terrain at low and high speeds – both on-road and off-road,” said Jamal Hameedi, chief engineer, Ford Performance.

Raptor’s pioneering off-road mode driving 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.

The new Raptor features calibration changes to its powertrain, driveline, traction control, ABS and AdvanceTrac stability control for optimal performance. There are six preset modes for the truck depending on terrain and driving conditions:

Normal mode for everyday drivingAutomatic word wrap
Street mode for higher-performance, on-road drivingAutomatic word wrap
Weather mode for rain, snow or iceAutomatic word wrap
Mud and sand mode for muddy and sandy trails and terrainAutomatic word wrap
Baja mode for high-speed desert runningAutomatic word wrap
Rock mode for low-speed rock crawling

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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.

Building a high-performance off-road truck isn’t just about engine power – more importantly, it’s about the suspension.

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 to help prevent the truck from bottoming out.

Front and rear shock canisters have grown from 2.5 inches to 3 inches in diameter for improved performance. They feature more suspension travel than the current Raptor’s 11.2 inches at the front and 12 inches at the rear.

Advanced LED lighting and camera technology contribute to improved visibility on the trail or street – day and night.

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While the exterior design of the F-150 Raptor is about projecting an image, the interior design is about creating a comfortable place for driver and passengers to enjoy their time on- and off-road.

Added content includes interior upgrades, three color material levels, and paddle shifters to manually shift the 10-speed transmission.

Auxiliary switches to control aftermarket equipment such as lights or an air compressor are mounted out of the driver’s way in the roof of the cab – similar to a fighter plane.

“This all-new F-150 Raptor takes Raptor performance to the next level,” said Dave Pericak, director, Ford Performance.

The all-new Raptor will be built at Dearborn Truck Plant, and goes on sale fall 2016.

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