Engineering Explained Breaks Down the Raptor’s AWD & 4WD

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Ever wonder how the Ford Raptor and some F-150s can be both AWD and 4WD? The answer is as complex as you imagined.

Modern technology, to many, is the great equalizer. The fact that computers can now enable a rookie to perform as a decent off-roader tends to upset some old-school folks.

Nonetheless, technology is here to stay, and the bridge between natural and computer-aided skill is becoming shorter every year. Such is the case of the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor’s plethora of all-terrain software. At the touch of a button it allows folks like you and us to feel empowered and even brave.


In order for us to understand how the Raptor’s more intricate systems work, we look to the geniuses from Engineering Explained. They’re the guys who get excited over things like gears, ratios, percentages, algorithms, and many sorts of algebraic equations that we can’t even comprehend. In their new video, they clearly and concisely explain the mechanics behind AWD and 4WD systems.

The hand-drawn diagram shows how the Raptor sends its power from the engine to the transmission, which then sends it to the transfer case. That’s where the transfer case can behave wildly different, depending on which 4WD or AWD mode has been selected, as well as the programmable driving mode (the Raptor has six of them).


From that point, many, many variables will dictate how the truck reacts, drives, and feels to the driver. We know this is accurate because we’ve experienced the 2017 Raptor in a wide variety of conditions.

If you’re an engineering or mechanical geek, this video is for you!

Chime in with your thoughts on the forum. >>

Jerry Perez is a regular contributor to Ford Truck Enthusiasts, Corvette Forum, and 6SpeedOnline, among other auto sites.

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