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2017 Ford F-150 Raptor struts its stuff in off-road testing video

The 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor won’t arrive in showrooms until over a year from now, but Ford is steadily testing the off-road truck that debuted at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show.

To fill the massive tire tracks of its predecessor, the new Raptor will have to be both fast on agile over rough terrain (just like its namesake dinosaur, actually). Ford released a short video clip of a Raptor prototype undergoing testing at an undisclosed, heavily forested location.

So if you were wondering whether the 2017 Raptor can drive up a hill or through some mud, the answer is yes! The video also shows the Raptor twisting itself over some undulations pretty impressively, and being shadowed by some first-generation Raptors.

The 3.5-liter turbocharged EcoBoost V6 does sound a bit quieter than the 6.2-liter V8 in the old Raptor, although technical courses like this one don’t exactly give drivers the opportunity to really open up the throttle. The EcoBoost engine is expected to produce around 450 horsepower, compared to 411 horsepower for the outgoing V8.

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Ford also says the 2016 Raptor will have more ground clearance than the old model, and more sophisticated Fox Racing Shox dampers. Engineers also cooked up a new transfer case that supposedly combines the best attributes of the permanent all-wheel drive systems used in cars and mechanical four-wheel drive systems used in trucks and more traditional SUVs.

Like the rest of the current-generation F-150 lineup, the Raptor will also benefit from the weight savings of an aluminum body, which should cut around 500 pounds compared to the previous model. That will help both performance and fuel economy.

Also helping fuel economy will be a new 10-speed automatic transmission, which is expected to proliferate to the rest of the F-150 lineup after debuting in the Raptor, and possibly the Mustang as well.

When it arrives in showroom next fall, the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor will essentially be in a class of one. No other full-size truck maker has shown interest in building anything quite as extreme as this.