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2017 Ford F-150 Raptor desert testing heats up

In case there was any doubt, Ford is taking the development of the second-generation SVT Raptor very, very seriously. The Blue Oval recently completed over 1,000 miles of testing in the boiling heat of the American southwest.

Apparently, that mileage was accrued over a 66-mile route designed to mimic the torturous terrain encountered by racers in the Baja 1,000 off-road race. The prototypes, which were built from a mix of existing and next-gen Raptor components, were tested with "fast sandy washes, deep-rutted silt beds, steep climbs in deep sand, and slow meticulous crawls through tight trenches."

Ford claims the new truck managed to run the circuit 25-percent faster than the current F-150 SVT Raptor, averaging 50 miles per hour while going as fast as 100 mph in stretches. That said, Dearborn didn't release any dedicated times, so it's unclear just how quickly the 66-mile stage was completed.

We do know that durability was a big part of the testing. Ford claims each lap was completed by what sounds like a pretty significant jump, with the trucks ascending a steep ramp onto a two-foot plateau and then completing a step-down to level ground. We have to take Ford at its word here, though. "Steep" can mean any number of things, and we've no idea just how fast the trucks were hitting the ramp or how much air they got. Hopefully, the jumps were aggressive enough to prevent future frame issues. Still, Ford boasting about how rough the Raptor's testing is can be taken as a positive sign for fans of the next-generation of SVT's rugged pickup. Show full PR text NEW F-150 RAPTOR WRAPS UP INITIAL DESERT DURABILITY TESTING
DEARBORN, Mich., July 7, 2015 – The 2017 F-150 Raptor – Ford's toughest, smartest, most capable off-road truck ever – recently completed more than 1,000 miles of testing in the southwestern United States.

Over 1,028 miles of desert trail designed to parallel the Baja race course in Mexico, the 66-mile route featured a wide range of surfaces including fast sandy washes, deep-rutted silt beds, steep climbs in deep sand, and slow meticulous crawls through tight trenches. The truck topped speeds of 100 mph in places, slowing to 10 mph in others, for an average speed of approximately 50 mph. The 2017 Raptor is 25 percent faster than the current truck based on lap times.

At the end of each lap, the new Raptor completed a tabletop jump consisting of a steep ramp up to a two-foot plateau, then a step-off back to level ground. The vehicles tested were early build prototypes made from a mix of 2015 F-150 and 2017 F-150 Raptor components.

As is the case with all Built Ford Tough trucks, Ford engineers pushed the new Raptor harder in a few days than it will be pushed over the lifetime of a typical vehicle – far exceeding what an owner would do on the trail.

Testing of the next Raptor, first revealed earlier this year, continues into 2016. The 2017 F-150 Raptor goes on sale in fall 2016. Source

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