EXCLUSIVE Ford Chief Says New Raptor is a “Rocketship”

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Ford’s been making the news big lately. After a successful launch of the new Mustang, the 2015 F-150 is hitting the streets.

Recently, Ford announced that they’re bringing back the Ford GT supercar next year, and everyone’s favorite pickup, the Raptor, would be back in 2017.

Eric Peterson, Marketing Manager, F-Series

We caught up with Eric Peterson, Ford’s F-150 marketing manager, at the 2015 Houston Auto Show and wrangled him up to ask a few questions.

While he’s had a busy few months with the F-150 launch and the Raptor reveal, he’s still all smiles because, like all of us, he is genuinely excited about the future.


Remember, Raptor is over a year a way at best, so getting a lot of details is difficult, but I asked Eric what he’s most excited about for the new truck.

“The suspension travel. I love the power, I love the lighter [weight]. All of those things are going to make the truck so much better, but then you add more suspension travel. It’s fun now, but the suspension is the key to what makes a Raptor a Raptor.”

Raptor 10-speed transmission with paddle shifters

The new 10-speed in the Raptor sounds interesting, especially since it came from a partnership with General Motors. Is this a Raptor-exclusive setup, or is this something that we should expect to see in other Ford vehicles, including trucks, in the future?

“We’ll look at the 10-speed for other vehicles, for sure. We’re just looking to where it makes the right fit to bring in.”


One of the biggest controversies regarding the new Raptor is the ditching of the V8 engine in favor of the EcoBoost V6. What is Eric’s reaction to the nay-sayers?

“To me, it’s most about power. So power and performance. If we deliver Raptor customers with more horsepower and torque than they have today, in a lighter truck so the power-to-weight ratio is off-the-charts.”

Eric went on to say, the new lighter-weight (as a result of both aluminum and a lighter-weight engine) should make the new Raptor a “rocketship.” We love the sound of that!


Ford is cognizant of the people looking for the sound that comes with owning a V8. I wouldn’t be surprised if they do some engine augmentation through the stereo to change the sound, like the do with the 3.5L V6 now in the F-150. But based on a lot of your feedback, many of you don’t seem to mind it. At the end of the day, Raptor is about performance, and it appears this truck is right on target.

While Eric couldn’t give specifics because plans haven’t been finalized, expect to see the Raptor potentially desert racing or testing in the future. It’s what the truck is designed to do, and Ford will undoubtedly want to show off and test the performance of the new truck.

I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the new Raptor to see if it retains the charm, and the performance, that made the first truck so popular. Based on what we’re seeing so far, it looks like that’s a real possibility.

Tell us what you think in the forums.>>

Chad Kirchner is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other auto sites.

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