Changes to the car’s structure are limited – in fact, there’s not a heap of difference between the stock Raptor and the race version.
Lastly a race-optimized long-travel suspension has also been added.
Ford has touted its F-150 Raptor as the factory-built off-road rig to beat right from the start, and the bravado hasn’t let up with the introduction of the 2017 model.
“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. Ford hasn’t confirmed the output of the new motor, but says it will best the 411 hp that the old Raptor’s 6.2-liter V8 could muster. In 2016 Ford Raptor will be kicking up rocks in a desert race. Joining Foutz in piloting the truck in the series is Tim Casey, a veteran desert racer. It will also compete in the Mint 400, Laughlin Desert Classic, Vegas-to-Reno, Bluewater Challenge and Pahrump Nugget 250.
The race-modified Raptor will get its first chance to prove itself at the Parker 425 in Parker, Arizona on February 4.
The cabin gets a full tube custom-fabricated roll cage along with MasterCraft seats with five-point harness safety belts and window nets. There is also a Ford Racing exhaust system, although the power gains from the bigger pipes should be minimal.
Similarly the lightning and electronics have been adjusted for an off-road competition.
Ford has handed one of its all-new super-trucks to longtime racing partner Greg Foutz, of Foutz Motorsports, who will campaign it in the Best in the Desert off-road racing series this year.
The new Raptor is expected in showrooms this fall, and with its bold styling, it’ll be hard to miss.
Ford’s Raptor is about as off-road ready as trucks come, but not even the toughest pickups can necessarily cut it when it comes time to race.
“The technology and innovation built into this truck should help it surpass the competition”, said Foutz.