In the company’s quest to deliver supreme off-road performance and capability in the all-new F-150 Raptor without compromising daily drivability on-road, Ford deployed a new, cutting-edge transfer case capable of operating in either a clutch-based AWD mode or a mechanically-linked 4WD one, depending upon the whims of the driver.
Typically, four-wheel-drive systems are one-or-the-other: that is, the truck’s transfer case is equipped with either a hard mechanical coupler that locks the front axle to the transmission output, or a clutch-based one that allows for some slip. It would be ill-advised to use the former type on high-traction paved surfaces, as it can lead to driveline-binding and component damage.
The Ford F-150 Raptor’s transfer case incorporates both: a clutch system for on-road use, and an electronically-locking system for off-road. Use the F-150 Raptor’s Terrain Management System to set the truck to either “Sport” or “Weather,” and the transfer case will spin the front axle on-demand using the clutch-based system for either spirited street driving or safe, controlled travel in inclimate conditions. In “Mud/Sand”, “Baja”, or “Rock Crawl” mode, the transfer unit calls upon the electronic locker to deliver superior off-road performance. The latter mode also switches the case into low-range mode.
Notably, drivers can also tailor the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor’s Terrain modes as they see fit, switching between 2-high (RWD), 4-auto (clutch), 4-high (locked), and 4-low (locked) with a dash knob.
“Raptor’s transfer case provides the best of both worlds, with the natural benefits from all-wheel drive, such as increased traction in rain and snow, as well as extreme off-road capability that comes with a mechanically locked system,” says Ford F-150 Program Manager Tony Greco.
Stay tuned for our full review of the all-new, 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor.