words and photos by Isabel N. Delos Reyes
Did an old man just flick me the bird at the stop light?! He sure did! Wow! Overreacting, are we? Oh, I may have blipped the throttle a couple of times for fun, it was pretty reserved in the cabin. I did not realize how loud the bespoke exhaust of the all-new Ford Raptor sounded on the road. The last Raptor I drove was quite a few years ago in a much more raw and heavier bodied chassis (over 400 pounds heavier) powered by a unique SVT-tuned 411 bhp (434 lb-ft of torque) 6.2-liter V8. That old model made me feel indestructible on the road, and to make things a bit more dangerous, I also couldn’t see the road ahead as well as I can with this all-new and substantially better-performing super truck. And the old Raptor was way noisier too!
I knew this day would come. No, I’m not talking about the cranky old man in his beaten-up Dodge Challenger. I’m talking about the 2nd generation all-new Raptor with its long sheet of superlatives. Hey, girls love trucks, and this is the supreme king of them all. Obviously, the new Raptor is already based on the superior, new F-150 chassis that celebrates copious amounts of aluminum, so that it’s considerably lighter and stronger than before with a cabin that would embarrass many sedans on the road even in its more compact SuperCab format (two doors plus two rear-hinged half-doors), like before you can buy the more spacious four-door SuperCrew variant too.
Before I get ahead of myself, do let me tell you that the upcoming all-new Expedition will not only weigh at least 300 pounds less than the outgoing model despite having more space and equipment but it will also use the same 10-speed transmission and perhaps a slightly less angry version of the Raptor’s twin-turbo V6. I think it will be the ultimate full-size SUV.
Now, back to the beast. Aside from that one lone dude that complained about the noise, the new Raptor is a lot more civilized than before even if it does perform so much better. There is a lot less tire noise on the forged 17-inch alloys shod with gigantic 315/70R17 BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires and I felt way more planted and more confident behind the steering wheel. Suspension travel is up by 1.8-inches in the front and 1.9-inches at the back on even better, new 3.0-inch Fox Racing dampers. Power is up too by 39 bhp and 76 lb-ft of torque while squeaking out a bit better fuel economy from the old Raptor’s 11 mpg City / 16 mpg Highway to 15 mpg City, and 18 mpg Highway with the new one with a bigger fuel tank, so you do get more range. You get even more range with the even larger fuel tank on the Raptor SuperCrew.
I did not have the courage to test the Raptor in the open desert, forests, and deep in the mud where it is in its optimal elements, but I can tell you that it is so much lighter on its feet and more communicative with the driver, so the new Raptor was much easier to drive even in the city. Parking was fairly easy as well thanks to the 360-degree cameras, which I can imagine would be vital when trailing along the Rockies. Thankfully, the new Raptor has essentially stronger brakes than before, with 13.8-inch front discs managed by two-piston calipers and 13.7-inch rear discs squeezed by single-pistons. I think Ford could have actually installed Brembos like the system used in the Shelby GT350, which would be stronger and lighter. Keep in mind that the Raptor accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 5.2 seconds, which is almost two seconds quicker than before.
As much as I absolutely love the all-new Raptor, I admit that it may actually be too big for the Philippines unless it is used solely out of the metropolis. It can play and it can work like a regular pick-up truck for farming duties. If anything, the Raptor is a fabulous demonstration bed for what is to come. The new 10-speed gearbox worked brilliantly and smoothly. I didn’t ever feel any abrupt or clumsy miss-shifting either. I am so looking forward to the all-new 2018 Ford Expedition. Have you seen how awesome it looks inside and out?
Specification – 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCab
Engine: V6, 3496 cc, dohc 24V, Direct Injection Intercooled Twin-Turbo, VVT, 10-speed AT
Max power: 450 bhp @ 5000 rpm
Max torque: 510 lb ft @ 3500 rpm
0-100 km/h (0-62mph): 5.2 sec.
Top Speed: 173 km/h (108 mph) Governed
Fuel Mileage: 15 mpg City / 18 mpg Highway
Price as tested: US$ 67,911.00
C! RATING 10/10
+The greatest and most entertaining high-performance super truck on the planet
-Not sold in our market, thirsty