by Patrick Rall
There is no truck on the American market like the Ford F150 SVT Raptor, offering more power and more off-roading capabilities than any truck in the class. This has allowed the mighty Raptor to stake the claim of being the best factory built off-roading truck of all time, but for the 2012 model year, Ford has added a new Torsen front differential and a high tech front end camera system to make the Raptor even more capable.
The original SVT Raptor was deigned to essentially do anything that an off-road race truck would do. After the 2010 model year, Ford packed the Raptor with the new 6.2L V8 to make it the most powerful half ton truck on the market. There are few downsides to the F150 Raptor but some owners found that it was less than perfect when rock crawling or climbing up especially slick slopes. So the Special Vehicle Team has equipped the 2012 Raptor with a new Torsen front differential.
The Torsen front end differential system allows the Raptor to get significantly better grip, thanks to an internal helical gearset that helps to shift the power to the front wheel that is getting the most traction. Should one front wheel be in a slippery place ““ or be off the ground altogether ““ the Torsen front diff will push the front end power to the wheel that is providing solid traction so that the Raptor can pull itself through more difficult situations.
Next, SVT wanted to give 2012 Ford F150 Raptor drivers a better look at what is directly in front of the truck, which can prove to be helpful when climbing a long uphill grade, so they mounted a camera in the grille that aims directly at the areas in front of the truck. Using a technology typically used to show drivers where they are backing up, the 2012 Raptor’s front view camera turns on when driving under 15 miles per hour. The camera shows the area that is unseen by the driver across the front of the vehicle with dynamic and static overlays to show where the wheels are headed on the large 8 inch touch screen mounted in the center stack. This allows drivers to avoid sharp rocks or deep holes at low speed while off-roading. While it is less practical for on-road use, it could help the everyday family guy to avoid toys left laying in the driveway or garage. Or kids for that matter.
Finally, there are some aesthetic changes for the 2012 Ford F150 SVT Raptor, as FoMoCo has added the option of a matte body side Raptor graphic on the outside along with new optional Euroflange wheels that allow the wheel balance weights to be fixed to the inside. This protects the weights from being pulled off by any ornery rocks on the trail. Inside, the 2012 Raptor offers new cooled seating surfaces with the luxury package, along with a new matte anodized blue interior color accent package, specific to the 202 Raptor.
So, what’s the best new feature? Shout off in the forums and check out lots more pics!