The 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor still hasn’t arrived in showrooms, but Ford has gotten pretty good about dribbling out information on the highly anticipated off-road performance truck in the roughly 20 months since it was unveiled at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show.
The latest morsel involves the Raptor’s Fox Racing Shox. The last Raptor used Fox shock absorbers as well, but the 2017 model’s are even better, Ford promises. The shocks have increased in size and sophistication, which should help the Raptor negotiate obstacles, cover desert terrain at high speeds, and whatever else an owner might ask of it.
The front and rear shocks have grown from 2.5 inches to 3.0 inches in diameter, while volume has increased by 44 percent, according to Ford. More room inside allows for better heat dissipation and fade resistance, the company notes. The shocks also have nine internal “zones” to help better manage the forces being channeled through them from the wheels.
Ford says the new shocks also help increase suspension travel. The 2017 Raptor has 13.0 inches of suspension travel at the front, and 13.9 inches at the rear. That’s compared to 11.2 inches of front and 12.0 inches of rear suspension travel for the previous-generation Raptor. Greater suspension travel makes it easier for the truck to deal with uneven surfaces by giving the wheels a wider range of movement.
In addition to beefy suspension, the 2017 Raptor will pack a 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 in place of the 6.2-liter V8 used in the previous Raptor. The new engine is expected to produce 450 horsepower, and will be mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission like the one used in other 2017 F-150 models. A Terrain Management System will allow the driver to alter settings for things like throttle response, steering, and the four-wheel drive system.
On paper, the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor looks like a pretty impressive rig, but we won’t know for sure until we drive one. Hopefully the wait will end soon.