Tweets From the Inside: A Convo With Ford’s Tony Greco on the 2017 Raptor
Ford is stoking the fire of consumer interest under the upcoming 2017 F-150 Raptor. The automaker’s latest blow came through the bellows of Twitter as Raptor project manager Tony Greco answered questions via Car & Driver’s account.
The majority of Greco’s tweets consisted of restating answers to questions already answered in the many reviews of the all-new Raptor. “The Raptor will come standard with a second-gen, high-output 3.5L twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6,” he tweets, starting the public conversation. One participant’s lust for a V-8 powertrain was quenched as the #RaptorMan said, “the high-output EcoBoost V-6 makes more power than the outgoing 6.2L V-8.”
I chimed in with several sneak attacks at gaining any unofficial information, leading with a question regarding official specs on the suspension travel with the new Fox shocks. “Expect increased suspension travel vs. the previous-gen Raptor – stay tuned for exact specs,” was his response. My questions regarding the truck’s tow rating and payload capacity went unanswered. The same is true for my question asking when the Raptor’s first official racing event would happen. I guess I was hitting a soft spot.
The RaptorMan did answer plenty of other legitimate questions, however. One twitter user asked if the paddle shifter for the 10-speed automatic transmission are making production. “Staying!” was Greco’s response, along with a photo of the Raptor’s interior. The project manager also reiterated the truck would be offered in both SuperCab and SuperCrew configurations with the 5.5-foot bed, would be fitted with BFGoodrich’s second-generation All-Terrain KO2 tires, and would ride on larger-diameter Fox shocks with improved springs.
The only unknown that came to light was a never-before-seen image of the Raptor in development. Hit the ‘Continue Reading’ button to see the picture.
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The photo shows a first-generation Raptor trouncing through the California desert, complete with a full roll cage and whip antenna. It’s likely this truck contains the underpinnings of the 2017 Raptor, along with its revised 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6.
Remember Ford is getting good at hiding development vehicles in plain sight. The automaker’s racing team ran a fully disguised 2015 F-150 in the 2014 Baja 1000 without anyone the wiser. That’s thanks to Ford stamping 2014 F-150 panels out of aluminum so it looked like the previous generation truck. The panels were then assembled atop a 2015 F-150 chassis and all-new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6. The clever charade paid off as Ford tested the all-new truck in one of the most grueling endurance races.
For a full list of my tweets, follow me on Twitter at @markmcnabb