Ford Motor Co.’s new Raptor is going racing.
The Dearborn automaker said Wednesday a race version of its 2017 performance pickup will compete in the 2016 Best in the Desert off-road racing series’ new factory stock class. The first race is in Arizona this week.
“The all-new Raptor has the DNA of a Baja race truck, with a purpose-built engine, chassis and suspension that enables it to travel fast over challenging desert landscapes or crawl over rocky terrain,” said Jamal Hameedi, chief engineer of Ford Performance.
The Raptor uses a 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine with a 10-speed transmission, much like its F-150 counterpart.
The race version will include a number of features of the production version, including: torsen front differential that significantly increases grip for the front end and allows the truck to pull itself over obstacles and up steep grades — even when traction is split between the front tires. And a first-ever dual exhaust and new Ford Performance 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels with next-generation BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires.
Modifications include: race-optimized 3-inch-diameter external-bypass front and rear Fox Racing Shox; race-optimized front and rear springs; custom-fabricated roll cage; MasterCraft seats with five-point harness safety belts and window nets; and LED light bars, racing fuel cell, Lowrance GPS, RacePak digital dash and data logger.
“This is the most stock truck I’ve ever seen in my time building Ford race trucks,” Greg Foutz, owner of Foutz Motorsports, Ford’s truck builder and primary race truck driver, said in a statement. “Without custom technology or other modifications, this all-new Raptor is ready to prove the toughness and performance in the Best in the Desert series.”
The production version of the Raptor will go on sale later this year. The performance truck is built in Dearborn alongside the F-150.