Ford Authority

The 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Will Have A ‘Baja Mode’: Feature Spotlight

Like the all-new Ford Focus RS Mk III and its incorrigible “Drift Mode,” the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor will have a special, “let-loose” drive mode of its own: “Baja” mode.

Named after the famous Baja 1000 desert race, the new F-150 Raptor’s Baja mode will be selectable via steering wheel controls, along with Normal, Sport, Weather, Mud/Sand, and Rock Crawl modes. It was devised specifically with high-speed desert racing in-mind, putting the F-150 Raptor in 4 High (4-wheel drive, normal gear-ratio), relegating the AdvanceTrac stability-control system to its least-active state, and altering the throttle-mapping for more linear power-delivery.

Additionally, the behavior of the new 10-speed automatic transmission is changed to hold gears longer and shift more rapidly to keep the engine in its optimal power band.

The F-150 Raptor’s other drive modes deploy similar tactics – selecting between two- and four-wheel drive modes, calling upon different AdvanceTrac calibrations, and altering throttle-mapping and transmission-scheduling – in order to suit other driving scenarios. Normal mode is ideal for most street driving, while Sport introduces more aggressive transmission behavior, throttle response, and steering feel for spirited on-road performance. Weather and Mud/Sand modes both couple 4 High with a confidence-inspiring drivetrain calibration, with the latter mode also utilizing the electronic locking differential. Rock Crawl puts the F-150 Raptor in 4 Low, again with the locking differential activated, while AdvanceTrac is mostly turned off for optimal low-speed driving over inhospitable trails.

For more, check out the video above.

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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