Ford’s behemoth of a debut at the 2015 Detroit auto show may be the long-awaited Ford GT successor, but truck enthusiasts would do well to strap in and buckle up too. The 2017 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor made its first public appearance today in Detroit, practically dripping with off-road menace and attitude. Not only does the 2017 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor look beastly, but it promises to be an even more monstrous off-road machine with more power, more torque, less weight, and as always — no nonsense.
Like the 2015 Ford F-150, the next-gen Ford F-150 SVT Raptor starts with an aluminum body and a tough high-strength steel frame. The new Raptor is 500 lbs lighter than the outgoing truck, meaning curb weight should ring in at about 5,500 lbs. Major suspension upgrades include new Fox Racing shocks, which increase in diameter from 2.5 inches to 3.0 inches, while also providing more travel. Seventeen-inch aluminum wheels with fierce off-road tires are also on the menu.
“It’s built to live off-road,” said Ford executive vice president Joe Hinrichs. It certainly looks the part, with the Raptor’s ever-intimidating black grille, slotted hood, contrasting wheel arches and Ford-badged rear tailgate, and twin rear exhaust helping separate this from a regular F-150.
Looks aside, the lifeblood of the 2017 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor is an all-new 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 engine, which Ford truck communications manager Mike Levine promises will be even more powerful than the old 6.2-liter V-8. “411 hp and 435 lb-ft of torque from the 6.2, but expect both of those numbers to go up with this new 3.5-liter EcoBoost,” Levine tells AUTOMOBILE. The regular 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine in the standard F-150 (it’s also used in several other Ford models) churns out 365 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, but the Raptor’s version will ratchet up performance courtesy of a new block and upgraded turbos. “This engine is all-new,” says Levine.
Mated to the new engine is a 10-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted shift paddles. The new gearbox should be considerably more versatile and fuel-friendly than the outgoing six-speed transmission, which helped return 11/16 mpg city/highway in the old, V-8-powered Raptor. The 2017 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor we saw is a SuperCab model, but we fully expect the badass Raptor treatment to be available in Double Cab form as well.
Look for the 2017 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor to hit showrooms in the fall of 2016. Until then, we’ll just have to keep lusting after its amped up performance, reduced weight, and tuned-up suspension. If it promises to be even better than the damn impressive Raptor we know and love, 2016 can’t come soon enough.