Ford maintains a 66 mile course of sand and slag to test their trucks off-road, and after whipping the 2017 Ford Raptor through it they say the new aluminum-bodied 3.5 liter turbo truck made a 25 percent improvement on lap times over the old 6.2 V8.
The trucks tested were “early-build” prototypes, if you were wondering. Of course this performance claim is impossible for us to verify but it’s probably close to reality and definitely a good enough excuse to share that awesome photo of the test mule in action.
Anyway, the 3.5 EcoBoost engine rules. Crank up the boost, slap some long-travel shocks underneath the truck and you’ve got yourself a dune buster there, boy.
Ford describes their proving ground as a series of “fast sandy washes, deep-rutted silt beds, steep climbs in deep sand, and slow meticulous crawls through tight trenches.” At the end of every lap, trucks have to make a tabletop jump. And if Ford’s marketing men are smart, they’ll keep cranking out more pictures and “stats” from Raptor testing to feed the hype machine. (Count on it.)