DETROIT – Ford announced a new truck at this week’s North American International Auto Show, but it’s keeping quiet about where the engine will be made.
Production of the new F-150 Raptor will begin later this year, with the first ones on sale around the end of the year.
The truck has a 3.5 liter EcoBoost engine, some of which are made at Ford’s Lima Engine Plant, Ford announced Monday in Detroit.
The company hasn’t announced where the engine will be made, but Eric Peterson, F-150 Marketing Manager at Ford, said it’s “probably a good bet” that they’ll be made in Lima, as “it makes a lot of sense.”
Mark Fields, president and CEO of Ford, wouldn’t comment on where the Raptor’s engine will be built.
The vehicle has a high-performance EcoBoost engine, instead of the traditional V-8 engine, Peterson said.
“High performance is a new variant of engine,” Peterson said. “It’s one of a kind.”
The company definitely saw demand for a truck like this, Peterson said, as the current Raptor was a “home run.”
Last year, Ford sold almost 800,000 trucks, he said. Fields said someone is buying a Ford truck every 19 seconds.
“The demand for trucks has definitely gone up,” Peterson said.
As for the Raptor, “There was high demand because it was one of a kind,” Peterson said. “It’s very genuine, very authentic. It’s true to being a truck. It went fast, it went hard, it went off road.”
And the 2017 Raptor is even better.
The 2017 Raptor is aluminum-bodied and there’s 500 pounds of weight-saving in the truck, he said.
“No other truck comes from the factory that’s ready for the type of off-roading or performance activity,” Peterson said.
Though the truck is lighter, there’s more horsepower and torque than the current Raptor, he said. It also has a terrain management system, bigger shocks than the current Raptor, and more suspension travel, Peterson said.
“We’re excited about the national best high-performance off-road vehicle,” Fields said.
The engine is a V-6 and 10-speed.
The EcoBoost pickup has been a “smashing success,” Peterson said. “That engine has helped revolutionize pickup trucks.”
“It has great capability but even better fuel economy,” he said, though Ford has not released how many miles per gallon it gets.
The company also announced its Fusion Energi, the No. 1 mid-sized plug-in hybrid that “should eliminate range anxiety,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president of global product development and chief technical officer. It offers 500-plus miles on a tank, he said.
Ford also announced a lot of mobility technology, including increased connectivity, a way to share vehicles, more data and analytics, and call-in assistance from humans 24/7. The company has “re-imagined the entire company experience,” Fields said.
The company has been testing fully autonomous vehicles for more than a decade in Arizona, California and Michigan and recently tested one on snow.