2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Ready For Desert Racing

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The 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor off-road performance truck doesn’t just look the part; it’s a superbly capable machine engineered from the ground up to tackle whatever a trail should throw at it.

To prove it, Ford is putting its money where its mouth is, and will be running the new Ford F-150 Raptor in the “Best In The Desert” (BITD) off-road racing series this year. The truck will be competing in the new factory stock class. That means the racing truck will be devouring desert landscapes with the same 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine and 10-speed automatic that customer trucks will ship with.

“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,” says Ford Performance Chief Engineer Jamal Hameedi.

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Apart from that winning engine/transmission combo, the new Ford F-150 Raptor boasts a fully-boxed frame, lending to greater rigidity and durability than a run-of-the-mill half-ton pickup. It also features a torque-on-demand transfer case, a Torsen limited-slip front differential for increased front grip, and a set of beadlock-capable 17-inch wheels.

Said Ford’s race truck builder Greg Foutz of Foutz Motorsports: “This is the most stock truck I’ve ever seen in my time building Ford race trucks. 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.”

In fact, the only real modifications to this 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor race truck are three-inch-diameter, external-bypass Fox Racing Shox, taller coil springs, a custom roll-cage, racing seats with 5-point harnesses, LED light bars, a racing fuel cell, a Lowrance GPS, and a RacePak digital dash and data logger.

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The first race of the 2016 Best In The Desert series is in Parker, Arizona this week. You can watch the all-new 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor perform there.

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Written by Aaron Brzozowski

Aaron Brzozowski is a writer and motoring enthusiast from Detroit with an affinity for '80s German steel. He is not active on the Twitter these days, but you may send him a courier pigeon.

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