Raptor Gen 2 Engine Performance
When Ford set out to develop a sporty and very capable desert off-road pick-up, they knew it needed more power than the typical F150. Ford Special Vehicle Teams (SVT) was tasked at designing the pick-up truck that would become synonymous with Baja. There’s no question that a V8 powerplant was the answer, but at what level? A big truck geared up to fly through the desert needed a stout engine with a larger displacement with the necessary horsepower and torque to take on the most rugged and fierce terrain. As the years progressed, Ford discovered that their EcoBoost engines were putting out reliable power — it was without a doubt that the next generation of Raptor would have some sort of version of their new and improved EcoBoost engine. Come 2017, a high-output twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 would become standard, capable of over 450 horsepower and over 500 foot pounds.
The second generation Raptor began with the debut of the thirteenth generation F-150. With the standard F-150 trim, the EcoBoost is also present, but puts out a bit less horsepower at 375 and torque at 470 pound-feet. The high output version that got put into the Raptor gave a significant boost in power, even compared to the previous generations 6.2L V8 which put out 411 horsepower and 434 pound-feet of torque. The power difference isn’t the only plus for the second generation though. The Raptor is known to be a very versatile truck, taking on any obstacle you throw its way, which is why the broad torque curve of the EcoBoost engine helps the performance dramatically. The newer Raptor has a 21 percent better torque-to-weight ratio than that of its predecessor.
Another key reason that the EcoBoost succeeded is because it added to the weight savings of the second generation Raptor. Because the second generation Raptor was built off of the 2015 F-150 platform, it now featured an all-aluminum body, saving up to 500 pounds, with additional weight savings from the much smaller 3.5-liter EcoBoost, shaving off a significant amount compared to the previous 6,000 pound platform.
The high-output EcoBoost, however, didn’t come without years of development and engineering. Highly technical performance calibration, an impressive anti-lag system, and the addition of two Borg-Warner turbos all combined gave the 3.5-liter EcoBoost its guts.
The Borg-Warner turbos are built with an innovative electrically activated wastegate that provides high torque and quick response. Additionally, VCT Phasers control airflow which helps to increase fuel economy, reduce emissions, and most importantly, increase power density. When diving deeper into the internals, you’ll find that the V6 is made up of an aluminum block and heads, combined with a forged steel crankshaft, cast aluminum, direct injection pistons, and forged metal connecting rods.
Connected to the high-output EcoBoost is a 10R80 10-speed automatic transmission, which gives the second generation Raptor 4 more gears over the previous generation, providing much better fuel economy while also giving the Raptor more options when looking for the right gear to hit the right power band. It also maximizes shift points and 7.4 span gear ratios which optimize engine power and efficiency, while only being 25 mm longer than a common 6-speed transmission.
Once the power has gone through the 10-speed 10R80 transmission, it hits Fords advanced four-wheel-drive torque-on-demand transfer case. What makes this transfer case so advanced is the Terrain Management System, which automatically can manage power and torque distribution depending on what sort of traction and performance is needed for a certain terrain or obstacle. The Terrain Management System includes six driving modes: Normal, Weather, Mud and Sand, Baja, and Rock Crawl. Each mode will select the most suitable drive mode, including two, 4H, 4L, and all-wheel drive, as well as recalibrating engine, transmission, braking and stability control systems.
Thanks to the 3.5-liter EcoBoost and 10-speed transmission, the Raptor is able to improve its fuel economy while also delivering more low-end torque and greater overall horsepower. With a fuel economy increase of over 20% compared to the first generation Raptor, the second generation now was rated at 15-mpg city and 18-mpg highway, making for a combined 16-mpg. With the additional weight savings, it's fairly obvious why Ford decided to go with the V6 EcoBoost in the second generation Raptor, but news of a possible V8 option coming back in 2022 could mean that Ford is looking to go back to their roots!