Durability testing of the new Raptor says it’s faster than the last version
By Steve Turner
Photos courtesy of Ford Motor Company
We haven’t heard much about the forthcoming 2017 F-150 Raptor since its big reveal at the North American International Auto Show last January. However, Ford has just revealed that it is deep into testing the new truck and the results are quite positive.
“Over 1,028 miles of desert trail designed to parallel the Baja race course in Mexico, the 66-mile route featured a wide range of surfaces including fast sandy washes, deep-rutted silt beds, steep climbs in deep sand, and slow meticulous crawls through tight trenches,” says the company. “The truck topped speeds of 100 mph in places, slowing to 10 mph in others, for an average speed of approximately 50 mph. The 2017 Raptor is 25 percent faster than the current truck based on lap times.”
So, if you were wary of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine supplanting the 6.2-liter V-8, the early results should lay those worries to rest. Besides the truck’s pace, it looks to be quite capable off-road as well.
“At the end of each lap, the new Raptor completed a tabletop jump consisting of a steep ramp up to a two-foot plateau, then a step-off back to level ground,” the company added. “The vehicles tested were early build prototypes made from a mix of 2015 F-150 Raptor and 2017 F-150 Raptor components.”
Perhaps the best news is that the testing will continue throughout this year, and the truck will hit dealer lots in the fall of 2016.