Ford engineers drive 1,028 miles of open desert that included tabletop jumps and deep silt beds
It’s done. One of the more brutal parts of wringing out 2017 Ford F-150 Raptors just wrapped up with the engineering team logging more than 15 66-mile laps over a Southwestern desert trail designed to duplicate the Baja race course in Mexico.
The 1,028-miles of rugged terrain featured a wide range of surfaces including fast sandy washes, deep-rutted silt beds, steep climbs in deep sand, and slow meticulous crawls through tight trenches.
The trucks topped speeds of 100 mph in places, slowing to 10 mph in others, for an average speed of approximately 50 mph. Ford engineers say the 2017 Raptor is 25 percent faster than the current truck based on lap times.
At the end of each lap, the new Raptor completed a tabletop jump consisting of a steep ramp up to a two-foot plateau, then a step-off back to level ground.
The vehicles tested were early build prototypes made from a mix of 2015 F-150 Raptor and 2017 F-150 Raptor components.
As is the case with all Built Ford Tough trucks, Ford engineers pushed the new Raptor harder in a few days than it will be pushed over the lifetime of a typical vehicle – far exceeding what an owner would do on the trail.
Testing of the next Raptor, first revealed earlier this year, continues into 2016. The 2017 F-150 Raptor goes on sale in fall 2016.