It's no secret that we're big fans of the Ford Raptor pickup. After all, there aren't many vehicles you can drive straight off the showroom floor, over and through harsh desert terrain at high speed and then back again. But Ford decided its off-road-ready truck needed a few updates for the 2012 model year.

While the 2011 Raptor was quite adept at handling varied terrain, from rutted washboard surfaces to the occasional jump (within reason...), it's four-wheel-drive system wasn't really designed with hardcore rock climbing in mind. For the new model year, though, Ford's extreme pickup gets a new Torsen front differential that features a helical gearset that promises to send torque to whichever front wheel has the most traction.

Another intriguing update for '12 is a front-mounted camera that can be ordered alongside the navigation system. This feature ought to help the driver figure out where best to steer the truck's front wheels so as to avoid otherwise unseen obstacles. The eight-inch screen in the center of the dash will be used to display what the camera sees at speeds of 15 miles per hour or less. Oh, and there's a dedicated washer for the camera to help keep it clean.

Besides those functional upgrades, the 2012 Raptor also gets a new optional side graphic that sports two diagonal stripes and is accented in matte, gloss and textured black. On the inside, a matte anodized blue treatment is now available on every color but Race Red (also new for '12). Rounding out the notable changes are optional cooled seats and new Euroflange wheels that keep their weights on the inside for better protection from off-road hazards.

Check out our high-res image gallery to see it all for yourself, and feel free to read the complete press release after the break.
Show full PR text
2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Expands Off-Road Prowess with New Torsen Front Differential and Off-Road Front Camera

- 2012 F-150 SVT Raptor demonstrates Ford's focus on raising the bar for off-road capabilities in a production truck, offering customers more of the tools they need to tackle everything off the beaten track
- New Torsen front differential is one such technology that increases grip significantly on the front end of the truck and improves its capabilities in handling obstacles, slippery conditions and steep grades
- Class-exclusive and patent-pending new front camera system makes its debut on F-150 SVT Raptor, enabling drivers in off-road terrain to see what's directly in front of the vehicle, even when their view from the driver's seat might be blocked
- 2012 F-150 SVT Raptor also adds style upgrades with a new wheel design, unique bodyside graphic and upgraded optional interior package with aluminum accents

DALLAS, Sept. 29, 2011 – The 2012 F-150 SVT Raptor is set to deliver a new level of the no-compromise off-road performance the truck is famed for and, with a variety of new technologies and interior and exterior updates, it won't disappoint.

"A major element of the SVT Raptor program is our work to continuously expand the capabilities it offers to customers. We want to cover all dimensions of off-roading – from desert running to rock climbing," said Raj Sarkar, Ford F-150 Marketing manager. "We always aim to keep the product fresh and exciting, and all of our changes for 2012 reflect that."

Additional capability for the 2012 F-150 SVT Raptor comes from a new Torsen front differential. The system increases grip significantly for the front end of the truck and allows it to pull itself over obstacles and up steep grades, even when the traction is split between the front tires.

An internal helical gearset is used to help force torque from the wheel that is losing traction to the wheel with traction. The system is set with a torque bias ratio of 2.5:1 to help multiply torque from wheel to wheel and the preload is set to zero to help minimize steering feedback.

"This system is key for letting Raptor customers tackle new ground in their truck," said Kerry Baldori, Ford SVT Global Performance Vehicle chief functional engineer. "Its extreme capability lends itself well to rock climbing situations."

SVT and Torsen worked with the traction control team to further enhance the brake traction control system to improve the Torsen's capabilities. It was put to the test both in Ford's powertrain labs and in real vehicle durability testing, where it had no issues coping with SVT's unique off-road 1,000-mile torture test.

Special modifications were made for the differential's use on F-150 SVT Raptor, with a redesigned case created specifically for the truck's high-torque application.

Looking ahead

A new class-exclusive and patent-pending off-road front camera system also makes its debut on F-150 SVT Raptor, giving customers a new and unique view of what's happening in front of their truck. Activated through the 4.2-inch LCD productivity screen, the system uses the 8-inch navigation display and helps drivers see what's directly in front of the vehicle, even when their view from the driver's seat might be blocked.

"It's a surprise and delight feature that works during low-speed crawling, and it's particularly useful for seeing in front of the vehicle when tackling large inclines," said Jamal Hameedi, Ford SVT chief engineer. "We found the system particularly useful for avoiding large rocks or placing a tire on a rock. It can even take the place of the spotter at times, which is a great feature when the truck is in one foot of mud."

The front camera can be ordered with the Navigation System and is designed to aid at speeds of less than 15 mph in challenging off-road environments. The display from the camera will appear on the navigation screen on the center stack and includes dynamic and static overlays to help drivers determine where their wheels will go.

The camera is mounted in the front grille and includes a dedicated washer function that is activated by pressing a lever on the left steering column stalk.

Exterior and interior upgrades

The 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor will offer owners new ways to add a customized touch to their truck with a fresh bodyside graphic.

Similar to the hood graphic, it now features the distinctive Raptor logo. The graphic is based around two diagonal stripes, with jagged lines and shapes that give it both a racing and off-road feel.

The graphic uses gloss, matte and textured black finishes to give it a one-of-a-kind look. The textured finish complements the other black-grained exterior parts, such as the hood vents, fender air extractors and running boards.

Additionally, a new matte anodized blue interior color accent package will replace the existing one, which will be available with every paint color except for the newly offered Race Red. The package includes accent leather-trimmed front seats with unique leather inserts and accents on the center stack, rear seat inserts and door panels. Aluminum trim also is used on the instrument panel and flow-through center console.

Also new for 2012 is the addition of cooled seats to the optional luxury package and a new Euroflange wheel, which has weights on the inside to better protect from off-road debris and obstacles.

Hot seller

The 2011 F-150 SVT Raptor is proving to be incredibly popular. Ford is seeing a significant increase in overall volume, as well as increased interest in the new SuperCrew option, with take rates at more than 80 percent.

High-performance off-roading

The F-150 SVT Raptor is the first-ever high-speed off-road performance truck offered by any manufacturer and highlights 34 years of Ford truck sales leadership by emphasizing F-150's Built Ford Tough durability, innovation and engineering.

Developed with the DNA of an off-road pre-runner, the Raptor has comprehensive modifications focused on chassis and suspension enhancements.

The F-150 SVT Raptor is 7 inches wider than a base F-150 to make room for the additional suspension components that give Raptor its unparalleled off-road abilities. The wider stance also gives the truck an aggressive appearance.

Internal triple-bypass shocks by FOX Racing Shox – the first on a production truck – provide position-sensitive damping and extra suspension travel for extreme off-roading and a smooth ride on the road.

Raptor also has unique cast-aluminum front control arms and SVT-tuned 35-inch BFGoodrich®
All-Terrain TA/KO 315/70-17 tires. These components give Raptor 11.2 inches of front suspension travel and 12.1 inches of rear suspension travel on either SuperCab or SuperCrew.

The 145-inch-wheelbase SuperCrew adds to the extensive list of F-150 SVT Raptor features. While contributing additional space and flexibility for the customer, the SuperCrew still delivers outstanding performance as well.

The standard 6.2-liter V8 engine, which produces 411 horsepower and 434 lb.-ft. of torque, makes F-150 SVT Raptor the most powerful half-ton pickup on the market.

Bringing this all together in a comprehensively engineered factory offering adds up to a Built Ford Tough truck that is truly in a class of its own.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 56 Comments
      Paul P.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nice, I wish a Torsen front differential was an option on the regular F-series line as well. I also wish for a Raptor version of the Expedition (Bronco anyone?), but I doubt we'll see that.
        Rotation
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Paul P.
        Bolt one in. It's a truck, not an iPhone. You can mod it to your liking.
          EXP Jawa
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          Yep. I wouldn't be surprised if Ford offers it in the Ford Racing catalog. They already offer the Torsen for the Boss 302. Granted, they already sell various models of Torsen for the 8.8" axle, but the Raptor unit was developed specifically for IFS use, and is significantly stronger than the previous Torsen 8.8 diffs (save for the Boss model).
        PeriD
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Paul P.
        110% agree. If they bought this out in a bronco/suv version I'd sell my soul for it. I wish they offered the ecoboost in this thing too.
        johnb
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Paul P.
        We'd all love to see a Bronco. Something small to compete with the Jeep. Come on Ford!!!!!
        tinted up
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Paul P.
        If they were to offer an expedition variant as a Bronco I would not approve. The Bronco MUST have 2 doors... It would have to be more like a standard cab F-series with a bench seat in the back and some utility, otherwise it's not a bronco. BTW I LOVE BRONCOS!!! My final production year Bronco is a tank, unstoppable. It got ran into by a GMC pickup once and the 'Bronk' melted that poor GMC's face off.
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Paul P.
        1. Revive the Bronco and give it a Raptor badge 2. Special Parnelli Jones Edition later on 3. ??? 4. Profit
          Elmo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          Uh jtav, I've never used it before.
      Krishan Mistry
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is the equivalent of a Boss 302 in so many ways. One will dominate on a smooth racetrack, another when you run out of civilization completely. For the price, you can't do better out of the showroom than a Boss or Raptor without spending 50-100% more. And both have optional Torsens and look attractively aggressive with orange paint and black stickers. Now for a DD fun hatch, how about Ford hurry with that Fiesta RS? That would be a trifecta of fun for the enthusiast who bleeds blue.
      Jarda
      • 3 Years Ago
      oooh driving this baby here in Europe would be so wring
      ramairjer
      • 3 Years Ago
      DO WANT
      Krishan Mistry
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is like the Boss 302 of high speed offroading. Yes, you can get more performance out there, but be prepared to shell out twice the price. Also both now have Torsen options and l
        Krishan Mistry
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Krishan Mistry
        Oops pressed send twice, I thought this one was erased.
        Dean Hammond
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Krishan Mistry
        more performance...not turnkey, and not direst from the manufacturer....
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Ian Moore
        • 3 Years Ago
        The frame does fine if you aren't trying to jump cattle guards at 100+mph. The cost to fix the bent frame, if you can't resist high speed jumps, is a hair under $800. You can drive out of the desert with a bent frame while only having to endure people seeing evidence of you driving like an ass. You can't drive out if you snap an axle, shear off suspension components, or break a wheel. If you need more than a Raptor can do, you need to build a tube framed trophy truck
        XT6Wagon
        • 3 Years Ago
        Better a bent frame than a snapped spring and/or axle at 80mph. I think you need to revisit just how tough these things are given the owners didn't die hitting that rather large bump in the road. The cattleguard wasn't any where near as bad as what they hit a bit later. To give you a clue, the back end of the truck became airborne from hitting this rather large ledge in the road. On a truck that had to have been pushing 7K+ lbs of wieght with the people, gear and modifications
      AcidTonic
      • 3 Years Ago
      I've been waiting for a real manual transmission. I refuse to buy a truck with an auto. Especially an "off road" truck that seems to cater only to the mildly-interested crowd who don't know any better. In my opinion the regular F-150 is still the better off road truck. Why? You can get the 6.2 V8, with 4x4, with low-range gearing still available. The Raptor removed the low-range gearing which wasn't needed for their Baja crap. So it's actually worse than the base model. FAIL.
        72CJ5driver
        • 3 Years Ago
        @AcidTonic
        The raptor still includes a 2 speed transfer case. I've test driven one.
        Dean Hammond
        • 3 Years Ago
        @AcidTonic
        ACID...wah wah wah...do you ever stop...SERIOUSLY, and the Raptor has had ahigh and low range since day one, which leads to a call out...where the hell did YOU drive a pre-production Raptor..i for one am calling totyal BS....and by the way, if it was pre-production it was a 5.4.... THATS FAIL....the truck is a full blown sucess....
        Dean Hammond
        • 3 Years Ago
        @AcidTonic
        I know someone that has a 400 hp AWD sedan that can go 0-60 in 5 seconds in the pouring rain, I also know of a pickup that has 4WD with 411 hp that will kick its imported a$$ all over the place in mud sand and deep snow, over rocks and rough terrain....does the sedan have a low range? can it tow, dune hop, have a payload of any significance? Acid, you should change your name to "Hate Ford"....This truck is unique....no-one, and I mean no-one has anything even similar.....and PS, glad to hear you'll never be buying a truck....
      Chi
      • 3 Years Ago
      What they need is a 6 speed 3 pedal MANUAL tranny and a turbo DIESEL engine! Automatic trucks are for wimps and gassers are too thirsty
        jtav2002
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Chi
        Autos are for wimps? Let me know how many people think you're badass because you have an extra pedal in your truck.
          Dean Hammond
          • 3 Years Ago
          @jtav2002
          fat fingers * STICK.....dammit Autoblog EDIT FEATURE FOR GODS SAKE....everyone else has em...
          Dean Hammond
          • 3 Years Ago
          @jtav2002
          well, anyone can jump from a manual and drive a syick...same cannot be said vice cersa can it....
        72CJ5driver
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Chi
        I'm a huge beliver in diesels for pickup trucks, but when you are building a vehicle like this, the weight of the diesel isn't worth it. An extra 500-1000lbs on the front axle would really upset the already tenuous balance of a pickup truck. And unfortunately, automatic trucks are for people who buy trucks. The only new fullsize truck that can be had with a stick anymore is a dodge HD diesel, and you can't even get the H.O. diesel with the stick.
      budwsr25
      • 3 Years Ago
      A little MPG would be nice to have. I thought the H2 sucked gas this thing is just as bad.
        NightFlight
        • 3 Years Ago
        @budwsr25
        This isn't made for fuel efficiency. AT ALL.
          Tommy
          • 3 Years Ago
          @NightFlight
          Yes they are somewhat, how would they win Baja with no attention to fuel efficiency? I'm glad they didn't give up performance for fuel efficiency but the Raptor really does need the fuel efficiency of the eco boost to appeal to a wider range by being more affordable. It would also have more power at altitude and farther range in the back country
      Danny
      • 3 Years Ago
      The only thing I don't like about this truck is the cheap plastic grille.
        Bradford
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Danny
        the grille is the coolest looking part!
        50merc
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Danny
        Hey man your right . plastic grill looks like an afterthought.
        Sekinu2
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Danny
        The grille looks cool plus its high impact plastic compounds but better then a metal one as if you break this its a lot cheaper to replace then a metal one and it can be modded easier.
      Rotation
      • 3 Years Ago
      Torsens are great diffs. But they aren't for rock climbing. They can maintain a very high torque split, (72%:28% in this case) depending on design. But when you live a wheel into the air, no ratio will save you because 2.5x nothing is still nothing. You need a locker for rock crawling. A torsen is great for the kind of road running the Raptor is sold as being for, with the added benefit of being great for just driving around on paved road trying to look like you are an offroader, which is where the Raptor really finds most of its customers.
        Paul P.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        The F150/Raptor also has a brake-based traction control system. When you combine that with the Torsen, it's possible for the differential to split torque to both sides, even with one wheel in the air. I don't know if they did set the system up so they'll work in tandem like that, but it makes sense that they would.
          72CJ5driver
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Paul P.
          @ Acid tonic There aren't many new "off road" vehicles out there with any sort of front differential traction device at all. In fact, the only other ones I can think of out there are the Jeep Rubicon, Dodge Power Wagon, and the Mercedes G500. The Grand cherokee is brake based now (some older WJ's and WK's had a limited slip up front) The hummer alphas are dead so they don't count anymore the FJ and tacoma have rear lockers only and open front diffs GM's gov-lock is rear only with open front diffs Land Rovers are brake based So the fact that ford offers any limited slip or locking front differential at all is an advantage. What do you have against the raptor anyway, aside from misinformation?
          EXP Jawa
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Paul P.
          Rotation, the Torsen isn't really intended to help improve the rock-crawling ability, but rather the general offroad tractability. As you say, it helps in other areas of offroading. SVT found that it allowed them a good deal more traction than before and generally had to use the rear locker a lot less. That is, of course, a big help when it comes to manuevering in tight quarters. When rock crawling, the transfer case is locked, and I would assume that the driver would lock the rear up beforehand anyway, so the front diff can't spin up unless both rear wheels and one wheel all loose traction all at the same time. I'm trying to picture a rock-crawling senario that this would occur, or if it did occur, would continue to occur after the traction control stepped in briefly. Again, three tires have to loose traction for it to make a difference. I'm not saying it's can't occur by any means - I can easily see two loosing bite together, but three becomes a much harder senario to set up. At the end of the day, a locked rear, locked center and biasing front is pretty nearly unstoppable for most of the use this truck will see.
          AcidTonic
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Paul P.
          Yeah and now you burn your brakes out to do a job the differential should be doing. Is this still the only "off road truck" that only comes with a pansy automatic? I think so.
        XT6Wagon
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        you are right in a way since its clearly ment for improving grip and predictablity in loose surfaces. However, front lockers hurt most people as much as they help. Lol useless steering and piles of broken parts.
        Tommy
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        I agree with you, look into the Wavetrac differential, that was what they should have went with. It's the only limited slip differential that split torque 100% from what I understand. A bit more expensive but worth it IMO
          Rotation
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Tommy
          No company is going to sell a truck with a locking front diff from the factory. It thwarts steering and they don't want to get sued over that. If you want a Wavetrac or whatever upfront, you are going to have to install it yourself. If you're going to boulder, just get a manually locking front diff. It'll do more than anything else, and for less. And as mentioned, there are models with known reliability records.
          EXP Jawa
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Tommy
          The Wavetrac is interesting for sure, but I'm not sure if it could produced at a price point that Ford would be willing to bite at. The 9310 steel used in the gearing is incredibly expensive. I would interested to learn how well the speed-sensing wedge device would hold up to validation testing. I'm not suggesting that it wouldn't, but rather it's an unknown aspect to me, so I'm curious. Both about that, and how their packaging (of the lockup wedge) may or may not limit the strength of the gearing. That they are using high-end materials in the gearing and case suggests that it wouldn't survive with more common steels. Again, that's just speculation. I'm curious, I'm not trying to debunk the design, so I'd welcome any input from someone with experience with it. There's also the issue of whether or not an automaker would be willing to expose themselves to the liability of a self-locking differential in the steering axle of a vehicle. That they allowed the rear locker to be engaged at any time is unique, so maybe there's a precedant there.
          72CJ5driver
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Tommy
          That wave track is interesting. Its a torsen with an independent clutch that takes over at higher slip ratios. Pretty ingenious. Its mostly offered for imports, but the ford 9-inch and 8.8 applications could find their ways into some off roaders, but I have a feeling they are geard towards streed driving. Anyway, I don't see it gaining alot of market in the truck and off road world. They are expensive. The off road/ rock crawling crowd would buy an ARB locker for that money, or a detroit locker for less. Both of those will give even better lock up and have decades of proven performance behind them. IMHO, the torsen front is still a good addition that can improve rock crawling capability. It still increases the traction available when both front wheels have some or different traction. In situations other than one wheel in the air, its a useful performance addition. There are a lot of jeeps running around with detroit "tru-track" torsens's added to their front ends with good results.
      The Law
      • 3 Years Ago
      What about power?
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