Next Ford Raptor spotted wearing aluminum skinWed, 07 May 2014 15:33:00 EST
Well, look at what we have here. Judging from these spy shots, Ford is indeed working on the next generation of its off-road-ready F-150 Raptor pickup truck. We've made no attempt to hide our appreciation for the Baja-style truck, which combines most of the usability of a fullsize truck with heavy-duty suspension components to make a kind of performance vehicle that is unique in the market.
What we haven't known, until now, is whether Ford would push forward with its Raptor program now that it has a completely new F-150 to serve as its base. And that's especially true since Ford made the bold move of switching the bodywork of its best-seller from tried-and-true steel to aluminum. As you can see above, the front and rear of this silver truck are clad in current-gen Raptor bodywork, while the center section that houses the occupants appears to come from the upcoming 2015 F-150.
Dissecting the views above, we note a few interesting tidbits. First, there looks to be a bulge in the truck's hood. Second, we see a new grille between the current Raptor's headlights, sporting a mesh finish and two horizontal bars. Lastly, our eyes can't help but lock in on those burly A-arm suspension pieces down below, not to mention all that ground clearance the specialty suspenders bring to the table.
These spy shots don't answer a few lingering questions: how much of the next-gen Ford Raptor will be made from aluminum, how far would a several-hundred-pound reduction in weight stretch the truck's already class-leading off-road performance, and will Ford continue using naturally aspirated V8 engines or would it consider switching to a six-cylinder EcoBoost? While we continue to mull over these thoughts, feel free to join us in hoping and wishing that this new Raptor hits the market sooner rather than later.
By Jeremy Korzeniewski
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