Feature Spotlight: The 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor’s Unique AWD/4WD Transfer Case

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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.

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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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  1. Ford’a raptor is 99% of what a real truck should be. But if/when dodge decides to make the rebel trx a reality then it’s over for ford. Chevrolets Camaro has already destroyed the mustang which was the only nice car ford has. The challenger and charger are both better cars than the mustang it’s just that the mustang handles better for now. As far as fords trucks go, they are probably dead last as far as looks go with chevy being the best looking and dodge being the most exciting looking. Ford needs to step their game up with everything they make and stop with this electro-autonomous crap and go back to making vehicles with v8 engines, bring us a falcon sedan with a proper v8 to match the charger, drop the fusion, fiesta, escape, and edge from the lineup and just have the mustang, a falcon, explorer, expedition and f-series trucks. The 450hp 3.5l ecoboost should be the base engine in everything with the 10 speed auto while a 500hp 5.0l v8 should be what’s in the gt mustang and a gt falcon. The gt350 should be pushing 535hp, a new 5.8l Mach 1 should push 550n/a hp and the gt500 should run around 750hp. The falcon should have all of these options while the explorer should have all except the flat plane 5.2l gt350 voodoo engine. The new raptor should have a version of the gt500 7.0l in the neifhborhood of 550hp. If ford ever wants to be competitive this is what they need to do

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