Truck enthusiasts and journalist alike have long swooned over the Ford F-150 Raptor. Introduced in 2010, the Raptor proved Ford could make a Baja trophy truck and sell it to the average Joe. First equipped with the old 5.4-liter V-8 and then the updated 6.2-liter V-8, the Raptor has always been a heavyweight bruiser when it came to off-road performance and muscle.
Things are changing for the Raptor – and for the better. Completely all new for 2016, the Raptor moves to the new F-150 design that incorporates the aluminum bodywork, beefy high-strength steel frame, upgraded interior, and yes, even Ford’s EcoBoost technology. That’s right, the Raptor is ditching the 6.2-liter V-8 for a high-output version of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6.
While some may be concerned the Raptor has lost its mojo, Ford says the new high-strung EcoBoost puts out more than the old 411-horsepower, 434-pound-foot V-8. The engine is then backed by a 10-speed automatic transmission and controlled by a new Terrain Management system and new transfer case.
Add to that the reduced weight of the V-6 and the new aluminum skin, and the Raptor tips in 500 pounds lighter that the outgoing model. While that’s not as much as the 700 pounds the standard F-150 lost, the 200-pound difference is tied up in the Raptor’s strengthened frame. Yes, strengthened beyond the newly upgraded 2015 F-150 frame.
Other improvements include a dual exhaust system that exits under the shorty rear bumper, larger FOX Racing shocks with more suspension travel, and BFGoodrich’s newly released All-Terrain K02 tires.