Friday, March 20, 2015

Rodeo tips hat to next-gen Ford F-150 Raptor

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The 2017 Raptor, Ford's most macho F-150, is coming to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Truck enthusiasts and Ford fans can sneak a peek at the next generation of the aluminum alloy-bodied, off-road specialty pickup at NRG Center starting the afternoon of March 17. The Raptor will remain at the Ford display until the rodeo closes March 22.
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Ford says that the new 2017 Raptor, expected to go on sale in fall 2016, will have a new, high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine. While it's too early for specifications, Ford did say that the turbocharged V6 will exceed the 411 horsepower and 434 lb.-ft. of torque produced by the 6.2-liter V8 that went into 2014 Raptors. The truck, which has its own, stronger frame, also will sport a new 10-speed transmission, LED lighting, camera technology for better around-the-clock visibility, upgraded Fox shock absorbers, dual exhaust, new 17-inch wheels and BFGoodrich All-Terra KO2 tires.

John Williams, sales director and finance administrator at Joe Myers Ford, said the Raptor has been popular.

"Ford has a pretty big following in the Trophy Truck racing series. They're very similar to what the Raptor is. It's the only truck out there of its type that you can buy, and with little or no modifications, go enter the Baja 1000. That's been Ford's proving ground for the Raptor since its inception," he said.

Williams said that when the new aluminum-bodied F-150 came out, Ford dealers wondered if that meant the end of the Raptor. But since Ford took the wraps off the 2017 Raptor at the North American International Auto Show in January, he said, "almost every single Raptor customer we have had wants to know when the new Raptor will be available. The Raptor customer is the one who wants the latest and greatest and the most capable truck."

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