2012 Ford SVT Raptor: updating an off-road icon [Video]

In Texas, trucks are a big deal. Texans buy about 1-in-5 out of every truck that Ford sells. When you combine Dallas and a few other major Texas cities, the individual cities alone sell more trucks than many states do in their entirety. This is why when a new truck is being unveiled, Texas is the place that Ford comes to. At the 2011 Texas State Fair yesterday Ford pulled the covers off the new 2012 SVT Raptor off-road pickup. The truck has some interesting updates for this year that will make Raptor fans happy.

One of the key updates to the car comes in a new Torsen differential in the front. The official press release on the truck doesn't mention the ratio in the front differential, but I believe it was said to be a 4.10 ratio in the front. The Torsen differential is the same type of diff used at the rear of the 2012 Boss 302. What the Torsen differential brings is a better ability to put the power down in instances where one tire has more traction than the other tire does.

On the outside of the new Raptor truck key styling changes for the 2012 refresh inside a new side graphic that says Raptor. When I drove the 2011 Ford Raptor with the graphics designed to resemble digital dirt on the side the thing most people asked was if you could get the truck minus the graphics. I think the new graphics are much more attractive than the old version and buyers will like them on the truck much more.

The other big exterior change is the addition of a new wheel style that looks a lot better than the wheels on the 2011 Raptor. The new wheels are a Euroflange design that put the weights on the inside to protect from the bumps and debris that comes with off roading. The new wheels are shod in SVT-tuned 35-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain TA/KO 315/70-17 tires. The suspension remains the same with internal triple-bypass FOX racing shocks. The big tires and special suspension give the Raptor 11.2-inches of suspension travel in the front and 12.1-inches of rear suspension travel on both SuperCrew and SuperCab versions.

The engine under the hood is the same 6.2L as last year packing 411 HP and 434 lb-ft of torque. One of the key new tech features of the 2012 model is the addition of a front camera in the grill area. This camera is angled down and is made to allow the driver to see what is in front of them even when the grade they are climbing means they see nothing but sky. The front camera shows what it spies on the LCD in the center cluster of the truck and has an integrated washer to keep the lens clear of mud and dust. The screen has graded lines to show distance to go and when in use it has blue dynamic guides so you can see what the truck is headed towards.

Inside the new 2012 Raptor, you can now get heated and cooled seats as an option. In previous models, the seats offered heat only. The seats are also now trimmed in blue thread with the same leather and mesh design that the 2011 models had, but with more color. The dash area also gets a blue anodized trim package option. The Raptor will be offered in a new Race Red color, which will not get the blue interior trim package option.

Pricing on the new 2012 Raptor hasn't been announced at this point, but Raj said the increase wouldn't be large since it's an incremental upgrade. During the unveil the speaker noted that Ford is selling every Raptor it can build and has traditionally offered its dealers only a 14-day supply of the trucks. The supply will be increased in 2012 to meet the market demand for the Raptor. Check out our exclusive video below to see the new 2012 Raptor for yourself.

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