Car & Driver Instrumented Test 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCrew
Car & Driver
We’ve lamented Ford’s decision to go V-6–only with the new Raptor. Its muted, synthesized hum makes us think of the Incredible Hulk as voiced by Charlize Theron. But Ford’s high-output, twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 atones for its thinner voice with brute force, delivering massive and immediate thrust pretty much anywhere. With 450 horsepower at 5000 rpm and 510 lb-ft of torque at 3500, the Raptor was one of the quickest pickups we’ve ever tested, bolting to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds and covering the quarter-mile in 13.8 at 100 mph—certifiably swift and a significant 1.5 and 1.4 seconds (and 8 mph) quicker than the old crew-cab Raptor with a 411-hp 6.2-liter V-8.
Ford’s new 10-speed automatic transmission, co-developed with General Motors, links the engine with the Raptor’s advanced suite of chassis electronics. A rocker switch on the steering wheel toggles through six driving modes (Normal, Sport, Weather, Mud/Sand, Baja, Rock Crawl). The Mud/Sand setting we used at Silver Lake, for example, put the Raptor in four-wheel drive, locked the rear differential, sharpened the action from the engine and gearbox, lightened the electrically assisted steering, and dialed back the stability-control intervention (which we ultimately fully deactivated). While the 10-speed usually toils away smoothly to keep the turbocharged V-6 on boil, during our off-road excursions it frequently slurred shifts as if it were a CVT. Sport mode was our preferred setting on the street because it firmed and hastened gearchanges and minimized the initial lag from the engine. While throttle response is excellent in Baja and Sport modes, the 10-speed sometimes can be reluctant to upshift and can stumble for gears when pressed with rapid throttle inputs. You can’t miss the massive paddle shifters behind the steering wheel, but they simply aren’t responsive enough to help with managing all those ratios yourself.
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