Ford’s love-affair with turbocharged six-cylinder engines has produced a new surprise, as another car cover is lifted at the Detroit Auto Show.
Meet the 2016 F-150 Raptor performance pickup, which becomes the second model in as many days to raise the eyebrows of Ford’s fans with its choice of powerplant.
The Raptor will also be powered by a 3.5 litre twin-turbo V6 EcoBoost engine, but, while the GT version makes “more than” 447kW, the F-150’s version will have to make do with “more than” 307kW and 588Nm.
Importantly for Ford fans, that means the new model still gets a power boost over the outgoing Raptor, but the model itself no longer carries the Special Vehicle Team (SVT) badge.
Another badge missing in action is the 'EcoBeast' title. The new Raptor fits the bill nicely, but Ford made no mention of the recently trademarked term during the unveiling.
A further boost for the Raptor is the number of forward ratios, with the new model becoming the first to use the ten-speed automatic co-developed by Ford and General Motors.
Front styling still carries the dominant black grille with its elongated ‘FORD’ signage from the outgoing model, and as the new model now uses Ford’s aluminium body, it weighs a considerable 227kg less.
The tough look is emphasised by the Raptor’s track which is 153mm wider than the standard F-150, while the cabin gets paddle shifters and overhead switches to control some of the features.
Fox Racing Shox are carried over from the previous model but they’re now larger and longer, allowing for more suspension travel, while a Torsen limited-slip differential is optional for the front.
The new Raptor gets a revised transfer case said to make better use of the engine’s power delivery, along with a Terrain Management System with Normal, Weather, Mud, Baja, Rock and Street selectable driving models.
Further changes include a new twin-exhaust system and new 17-inch wheels wearing specialist BF Goodrich off-road rubber.
The 2016 Ford F-150 Raptor will arrive in US showrooms in the Australian spring next year, but don’t expect to see this one at local dealers anytime soon.
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