Will the 10-Speed Automatic Debut Before the 2017 Raptor?

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Raptor

Last January, in a very cold and snowy Detroit, Ford heated up the Cobo Center with three all-new, high-performance, automobiles. The one that captured most of our interest was the 2017 Ford Raptor. Ever since the 2015 F-150 was announced, I had been bugging Ford about the Raptor. Apparently, a lot of people have been as well, since they decided to show us the truck so early.

Unlike the Shelby GT350R that we’ll likely see later this year, or the Ford GT that will enter production next year, the Ford Raptor is several years away as a 2017 model year. Further proving that development is still on-going, only one Ford Raptor exists in the “finished for people to view” form.

Raptor 10-speed transmission with paddle shifters

We asked if you’d rather have a 2014 Raptor over the 2017 version, and several of you expressed concerns regarding the 10-speed automatic transmission. That transmission, co-developed with General Motors but built by Ford, in the Raptor is the first time we’ve heard about this transmission being used.

Logic tells us that the 10-speed won’t be exclusive to the Raptor. It’s a transmission that’ll make its way into other truck products, and most likely across the entire Ford lineup. Ford has eschewed the idea of CVTs (except in the hybrids), and opted to develop standard automatic transmissions. This transmission is just another step in that development.

17FordRaptor_12_HR

But just because Ford announced that the new Raptor will have the 10-speed transmission doesn’t mean that that truck will be the first one to have it.

Yes, putting it in a lower-volume vehicle like the Raptor would be a good way to test it out before heading to mass-vehicle production. Considering that the Raptor’s power and torque output will likely be the most that transmission will see would make it a logical starting point.

CHECK OUT: 2017 Raptor with 10-Speed Automatic Transmission Details

However, it’s also possible we’d see it in a 2016 vehicle, maybe even the new F-150, before seeing it in the Raptor. Many of you don’t want to be beta testers of a new transmission in a high-performance vehicle like the Raptor, but if Ford put it in other vehicles before the Raptor, you’d probably be less apprehensive.

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Regardless of whether or not the 10-speed appears in other Ford products before the Raptor, it’s clear that Ford is putting a lot of time and research into its development. Presumably, they knew from the minute that the 2015 F-150 project was underway that they’d continue to build a Raptor. Sales were too strong for them to rule it out.

Considering that we have to to wait two whole model years for the Raptor version of the aluminum F-150 shows that they are putting a considerable amount of time and development into this special model. Presumably, a lot of that time is testing the durability and performance of the 10-speed transmission.

Just like how Ford knows how important the 2015 F-150 is to the company’s bottom-line, they also recognize how important the new Raptor is to the brand’s image and the Ford Performance catalog of vehicles. It’s not something they want to mess up.

What do you think? Let us know in the forums!

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

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