All-new Raptor competing in races before hitting showrooms

Months before the all-new 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor hits showrooms, Ford Performance is entering a race-ready version into the 2016 Best in the Desert off-road racing series. The truck will compete in the Factory-Stock class, thanks to only a minor handful of modifications past the standard Raptor.

“The all-new Raptor has the DNA of a Baja race truck, with a purpose-built engine, chassis, and suspension that enables it to travel fast over challenging desert landscapes or crawl over rocky terrain,” said Jamal Hameedi, chief engineer at Ford Performance.

Despite Hameedi’s accolades, this specially prepared Raptor utilizes the same 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, 10-speed automatic transmission, transfer case, and Torsen differentials. Even this race version of the Raptor rides on the same frame as the production version. This speaks volumes about the 2017 Raptor’s ruggedness right from the factory.

Modifications do exist, of course, but mostly deal with safety. A full roll cage and racing seats with harnesses line the interior, while LED light bars light the way at night. A fuel cell, Lowrance GPS, Racepak digital dash, and data logger allow the truck to pass inspection.

Ford Performance did upgrade the suspension, though not heavily. Race-optimized front and rear springs raise the ride height for extra ground clearance and increased suspension compression. The Raptor’s new Fox Racing shocks were swapped for Fox Racing’s race-specific three-inch diameter shocks with external bypasses, both up front and out back.

“This is the most stock truck I’ve ever seen in my time building Ford race trucks,” said Greg Foutz, owner of Foutz Motorsports, Ford’s truck builder and primary race truck driver. “Without custom technology or other modifications, this all-new Raptor is ready to prove the toughness and performance in the Best in the Desert series.”

Keep reading for the full rundown.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Race Truck.

  • 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Race Truck
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V6
  • Transmission:
    10-speed automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    420 (Est.)
  • Torque @ RPM:
    440 (Est.)
  • Energy:
    Twin-Turbocharged
  • Displacement:
    3.5 L
  • 0-60 time:
    5.5 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    150 mph (Est.)
  • Layout:
    Front Engine, 4WD w/ Low Range
  • Price:
    100000 (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Race Truck High Resolution Exterior
- image 664085

The Ford Performance Raptor race truck wears a Ford livery, plastered with logos like the “Built Ford Tough” square, F-150 script, EcoBoost moniker, and the Raptor lettering across the bed. Up front, the LED off-road lights are mounted on a custom steel bar that helps protect the front end from hard landings. Also protecting the truck is a full underbody skid plate package that isn’t found on the production truck.

Save for the racing livery, LED lights, the roll cage protruding into the bed, and the additional ground clearance, the Raptor looks stock.

The wheels and tires, however, are the same as what’s offered on the standard Raptor. These beadlock wheels are optional from Ford at the dealership and allow low tire pressures to be run without the risk of losing the tire slipping off the rim. They might be the ugliest beadlock wheels, but they serve a purpose. They come wrapped in BF Goodrich’s newest offering, the All-Terrain T/A KO2. They’re designed to last longer and provide better grip than the outgoing All-Terrain T/A KO tires.

Save for the racing livery, LED lights, the roll cage protruding into the bed, and the additional ground clearance, the Raptor looks stock. It’s amazing Ford produces such a truck in these red-tape, CAFÉ-regulated days.

Interior

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Race Truck High Resolution Interior
- image 664099

Ford Performance engineers started with the standard Raptor interior. A full roll cage was added for safety, as was Plexiglas windows and safety nets for the driver and co-driver. MasterCraft race seats replace the two front buckets, offering five-point safety harnesses. A fire suppression system further’s the Raptor’s safety factor.

Race tech includes a Lowrance GPS system for navigating wild terrain, a RacePak digital dash to keep up with vital truck information, and a data logger for record keeping – all placed within easy reach of the co-driver.

Drivetrain

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Race Truck High Resolution Exterior
- image 664086

Unlike the interior and suspension system, the drivetrain is completely stock. That means the twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 is found under the hood, mated to the all-new, 10-speed automatic transmission. The 2017 Raptor’s all-new, Torque-On-Demand transfer case intelligently divides power between the front and rear axles, while Torsen limited slip differentials front and rear properly divide power side to side.

The new 10-speed automatic might have a ton of gears, but it also comes with a ton of tech.

Ford still has yet to confirm horsepower and toque figures for the second-generation EcoBoost, but reaffirmed its statements saying the V-6 would out-perform the outgoing 6.2-liter V-8. That’s astounding, as the naturally aspirated V-8 kicked out 411 horsepower and 434 pound-feet of torque.

The new 10-speed automatic might have a ton of gears, but it also comes with a ton of tech. The gearbox, in conjunction with the ECU and traction control, has Ford’s all-new Terrain Management System. The electronics offer the driver six preset driving modes for varying terrain. They include Normal, Street (for on-road performance), Weather (for rain, snow, and ice), Mud & Sand, Rock, and Baja modes. That last mode is specially calibrated for high-speed desert running, just what this specialized Raptor will be doing on its racing circuit.

Last, but certainly not least is the updated suspension system. New springs, both front and rear, give this Raptor a higher ride height. Race-optimized, three-inch-diameter external-bypass Fox Racing shocks complement the springs at all four corners. This setup allows the truck greater wheel travel, while smoothing out the ride. The front control arms, rear solid axle, and high-strength steel frame are all unchanged from the production version Raptor. Impressive.

Prices

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Race Truck High Resolution Exterior
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There’s no telling what Ford Performance has spent getting the Raptor ready for race season. Then again, costs were likely curbed since a pre-production F-150 Raptor slotted for testing could have been tapped for race duty. The list of modifications isn’t that extraordinary, so perhaps the biggest costs come with manpower.

Nevertheless, we’d figure this race-ready Raptor would cost roughly $100,000. Of course, that’s a pure guess, but since the production Raptor – at least the last generation Raptor – didn’t cost much over $60,000, that seams like a fair guess.

2016 Racing Schedule

Race Location Date
Parker 425 Parker, Arizona Feb. 4-7
Mint 400 Las Vegas, NV March 10-14
Laughlin Desert Classic Laughlin, NV May 5
Vegas to Reno Nevada Aug. 17-20
Bluewater Challenge Parker, Arizona Sept. 10-Oct. 6
Pahrump Nugget 250 Pahrump, NV Dec. 1-4

Conclusion

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Race Truck High Resolution Exterior
- image 664094

The 2017 Ford Performance F-150 Raptor is certainly the coolest version of the updated Raptor we’ve seen so far. Never mind that is the first modified Raptor released from the Blue Oval… Anyway, the truck’s stock bones and handful of race tech make it seem reachable for the slightly-above-average pickup buyer. If blasting down desert trails is your thing, this is the truck for you. Sadly, Ford will never sell such a package. This is technically a racecar after all.

It will be fun to watch the Ford Performance team compete in the Best in the Desert series. With a truck this good, it’s hard to imagine the competition amounting to much of anything.

  • Leave it
    • Not for sale
    • Somewhat unknown racing series

Press Release

There’s a roar in the desert – spitting sand and kicking up rocks. It’s the sound of the all-new 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor, running in the 2016 Best in the Desert off-road racing series’ new factory stock class.

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Race Truck High Resolution Exterior
- image 664085

The Raptor race truck will leverage Raptor’s production platform including its all-new high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost® engine and 10-speed transmission, along with torque-on-demand transfer case.

“The all-new Raptor has the DNA of a Baja race truck, with a purpose-built engine, chassis and suspension that enables it to travel fast over challenging desert landscapes or crawl over rocky terrain,” said Jamal Hameedi, chief engineer, Ford Performance.

Putting the all-new Raptor through this grueling stretch of races will help demonstrate how a truck born in the desert is even more prepared to take on the very toughest of terrain.

Ford Performance is a premier automotive sponsor of off-road racing in the United States, and the company has a long history in motorsports. Shelby® GT350R-C Mustang and Ford GT compete in IMSA, with the supercar also running in World Endurance Championship international sports cars. Focus races in Rallycross, Fiesta runs in the World Rally Championship and touring cars, while Fusion, Mustang and F-Series appear in NASCAR and Mustang CobraJet competes in NHRA sportsman drag racing.

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Race Truck High Resolution Exterior
- image 664086

Production foundation
The purpose-built fully boxed frame of the all-new Raptor – the backbone of the truck – features 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 six inches wider than standard F-150 for improved stability off-road.

The all-new race truck leverages the built-in capability and features of the production Raptor, including:

Torsen front differential boosts off-road capability further, significantly increasing grip for the front end and allowing the truck to pull itself over obstacles and up steep grades – even when traction is split between the front tires
First-ever dual exhaust and new Ford Performance 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels with next-generation BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires enhance off-road performance

“This is the most stock truck I’ve ever seen in my time building Ford race trucks,” said Greg Foutz, owner of Foutz Motorsports, Ford’s truck builder and primary race truck driver. “Without custom technology or other modifications, this all-new Raptor is ready to prove the toughness and performance in the Best in the Desert series.”

Modifications to the F-150 Raptor race truck include:

Race-optimized three-inch-diameter external-bypass front and rear Fox Racing Shox similar to Raptor’s segment-exclusive internal-bypass Fox Racing Shox
Race-optimized front and rear springs raise ride height to gain additional ground clearance and provide increased compression rate to handle extreme terrain
Custom-fabricated roll cage
MasterCraft seats with five-point harness safety belts and window nets
LED light bars, racing fuel cell, Lowrance GPS, RacePak digital dash and data logger

The new factory stock class is the most production-specification class in the history of Best in the Desert. Joining Foutz in the truck is Tim Casey – both are multiple stock full-class desert racing champions.

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Race Truck High Resolution Exterior
- image 664087

“The technology and innovation built into this truck should help it surpass the competition,” said Foutz.

Technology to race smarter
F-150 Raptor is powered by Ford’s second-generation high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine that produces more power with greater efficiency than the outgoing 6.2-liter V8, rated at 411 horsepower and 434 lb.-ft. of torque. The new 3.5-liter EcoBoost is a Raptor-exclusive in the F-150 lineup, and paired with an all-new 10-speed transmission for improved efficiency.

A 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 to send power to the wheels in slippery conditions.

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. Six preset modes help the truck power through different terrain and 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, sandy trails and terrain
Baja mode for high-speed desert running
Rock mode for low-speed rock crawling

Dates and locations to catch F-150 Raptor racing events this year are as follows:

Parker 425, Parker, Arizona, Feb. 4-7
Mint 400, Las Vegas, March 10-14
Laughlin Desert Classic, Laughlin, Nevada, May 5
Vegas to Reno, Nevada, Aug. 17-20
Bluewater Challenge, Parker, Arizona, Sept. 10-Oct. 6
Pahrump Nugget 250, Pahrump, Nevada, Dec. 1-4

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