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How the Ford Raptor Gives You 4WD and AWD

Road & Track logo Road & Track 9/26/2017 Brian Silvestro
How the Ford F-150 Raptor Gives You the Best of 4WD and AWD in One Package© DW Burnett How the Ford F-150 Raptor Gives You the Best of 4WD and AWD in One Package

One of the main selling points of the Ford F-150 Raptor is its ability to drive over virtually any surface. In addition to the Fox Racing shocks and big BF Goodrich tires, the Raptor has a trick transfer case that combines the best attributes of four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. Here's how it works.

Unlike most normal trucks, which feature a 4WD mode that locks both axles together, the Raptor's "4 Auto" mode uses a wet multi-plate clutch to distribute power between the front and rear axles as traction demands, just like an all-wheel drive system. So it allows for slip, even on pavement, meaning you can drive it anywhere without the binding and strange behavior of a locked 4WD system.

Of course, you can still put the Raptor into true 4WD by selecting "4Hi" or "4Lo," which lock the axles together in the traditional sense. So in essence, the Raptor features both 4WD and AWD.

We first wrote about the Raptor's trick system (the first of its kind, by the way) back when the truck debuted at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Now, Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained has put together an in-depth video giving you an even closer look at how it works. Watch for yourself.


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