By Asian Journal Auto Editor

2017 Ford Raptor pic 1The Ford F-150 Raptor is a limited edition high-performance, all-terrain, four-season pickup that has true off –roadies salivating every time they see one. Now in its second generation, the 2017 Raptor has a serious amount of high tech suspension, gearbox, all-wheel drive system, engineering and options that make it unbeatable off-road. Yet, the Raptor still remains both fun to drive and practical in everyday use. Built on the F-150 SuperCrew pickup, the Raptor is comfortable and spacious enough for four or five adults. Biggest change for 2017 is the new second-generation, twin-turbo EcoBoost V6. This 3.5-litre unit delivers an impressive 450 horsepower and 510 lb.-ft. of torque. The new transmission is a more modern, 10-speed unit that allows the driver to change gears using magnesium paddle shifters mounted behind the steering wheel.

Our tester was a fully loaded model with the exterior and hood graphics package, 17 inch forged aluminum rims, and the Raptor technology package ($2500). The Raptor comes in at a base price of $69,899. Options on our tester cost $18,040 bringing the price to a rather eye watering $96,391. The cabin in both spacious and practical, especially in the SuperCrew, with its four large doors. The seats are wide, comfortable and nicely sculpted, and the driving position is very decent. Our Raptor tester came with a smart looking black leather interior with cool tangerine seat accents and color co-ordinated trim on the doors and dash. Exclusive to the Raptor is different interior upper center console with an eight-inch touchscreen and special displays and controls for the Raptors towing and all-terrain driving modes. What makes the Raptor really special is the plethora of high performance specialized equipment and upgrades. It starts with a stronger high strength steel frame to handle the heavy duty suspension – Raptor exclusive double A-arms, coil springs and cast aluminum lower struts up front and high-spec Fox Racing Shox on all four corners for longer suspension travel. The rear differential features a 4.10:1 ratio with High-low locking rear mode, while the front differential features Torsen limited-slip front capability. The tires are also specialized big 35-inch LT315/70 BFGoodrich T/A KO2 tires, with a special All-Terrain design. The tires can also be fitted to optional forged aluminum wheels with a proper off-road beadlock feature for maximum performance.

The new 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor’s Terrain Management system is a very advanced system that allows the driver to choose from six different driving modes, for different conditions, controlling accelerator, steering, gearbox and all-wheel drive system, settings. The drive modes will make any off-roading enthusiast very happy. Rock mode allows for low speed crawling up rocky terrain, the aptly named Baja is for high speed sand and desert busting. Weather mode is for wet and slippery surfaces, there is also a Mud-and-Sand mode. For everyday driving street mode provide quicker reflexes. There is also a default normal option.

In normal road conditions, the Raptors high performance engine endows this big, heavy truck with surprising speed and power the V6 has impressive acceleration and stays strong, providing ample power. The new 10-speed automatic transmission is also a great improvement over the old six-speed unit with smoother, more seamless shifts. The Raptor’s official fuel consumption rates are 15.6 L/100 km city, 13.2 highway, and 14.5 combined. The verdict is in, off road, the Predator is unbeatable with its specialized equipment, able to take on any terrain with ease. On road, it is a comfortable practical, eye-popping ride that will make everyone stop and stare. It is expensive, but first generation Raptors are already collector items and hold their value extremely well. If you want the ultimate factory off-road pickup truck this is it, Fords halo truck and deservedly so!

2017 Ford F150 Raptor SuperCrew. Base priced from $69,899. Total vehicle price including options destination and delivery $96,391.