2017 Raptor Wraps Desert Testing

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Many were shocked when Ford pulled the wraps off the 2017 Ford Raptor at this year's North American International Auto Show, almost two years ahead of the vehicle's on-sale date. Our Raptor video, shot on the floor of the show soon after its debut in the Ford booth, has been one of our most popular to date.

Now Ford is saying that its desert-testing program for the new truck is nearly complete, and it's discovered some interesting performance information regarding the high-performance EcoBoost-equipped specialty pickup.

When tested over the same 66-mile, open-country Borrego Springs, Calif., test course (used specifically for Raptor testing and meant to duplicate much of the terrain and many of the obstacles found on the brutal Baja 1000 race course in Mexico), Ford engineers found they had an all-aluminum Raptor that finished the course 25 percent faster than before. The 66-mile course is full of sand washes, rutted two-track trails, steep hill climbs and rock-crawling sluices; at certain points speeds can exceed 100 mph, while others require slowing to 10 mph or below.

It's worth noting the original Raptor (tested at the same facility) had a 5.4-liter SOHC V-8; the 6.2-liter was standard in 2011. We're told the 2017 test Raptor used during this testing phase had a mix of parts from 2015 and 2017 Raptors, but did have the exclusively designed high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost, reported to offer as much as 400 horsepower, and a brand-new 10-speed paddle-shifting transmission.

The 2017 Ford Raptor is scheduled to go on sale in the fall of 2016.

For more details on the desert testing, click here.

Manufacturer images


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Looks like the twin turbo 5.0 might make it into the raptor. That is according to one source that is known for speculation, namely horsepowerkings. But here's hoping that Ford does offer it, hopefully with 550 to 600 hundred horsepower. Would be totally awesome.

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