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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.