When the 2017 Ford SVT Raptor F150 was introduced at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, there were some aspects that we had expected and some aspects that came as a surprise. As expected, the next generation Raptor applies the styling of the previous generation Raptor to the body of the new 2015 F150 and like the standard F150, the new Raptor has weight saving aluminum body panels. What we really didn’t see coming was the SVT-tuned 3.5L EcoBoost V6 mated to a new 10-speed automatic transmission rather than the throaty V8 and proven 6-speed transmission in the previous Raptor F150.
According to the folks at Ford-Trucks.com, the 10-speed automatic transmission from the new Raptor will soon be used throughout the entire F150 lineup, giving the standard half ton pickups some of the same advantages as the high performance SVT version.
The New 10-Speed Transmission
Prior to the debut of the next generation Ford Raptor F150, it was common knowledge that General Motors and Ford Motor Company were working together on a few automatic transmission projects, including a 9-speed transmission for transverse (front wheel drive, all-wheel drive) platforms and a 10-speed transmission that would be used for longitudinal (rear wheel drive, four wheel drive) vehicles. It was speculated that the F150 and the Mustang could get the new 10-speed transmission, but it came as a surprise when the next generation SVT Raptor was introduced with the first consumer grade transmission with double digit gears.
The new 10-speed transmission will help improve performance and fuel economy, as the numerically lower gears (1st, 2nd, 3rd) can be geared more aggressively for better low end acceleration and better low end towing power while the numerically higher gears (8th, 9th, 10th) will be geared in such a way to keep engine RPMs very low when cruising, which improves fuel economy. On paper, it seems like a great idea, provided that the new 10-speed gearbox is tough enough to stand up to the abuse handed out by Raptor F150 owners. When mated to the 450hp EcoBoost V6, this new transmission should make the 2017 Raptor an all-around better performer while also making it more efficient than the outgoing version that had the 6.2L V8 and the 6-speed transmission.
Coming to the Full F150 Lineup
As soon as the new 10-speed transmission was introduced in the next generation Raptor, it was speculated that the entire F150 lineup would get this transmission and when conversing with an F150 project manager on Facebook, Ford-Trucks.com’s Chad Kirchner learned that the entire lineup will soon get this new transmission. This will bring all of the advantages that will be enjoyed by Raptor owners to buyers of the lower performance models, which will have the same effects and maybe – just maybe – it will help the F150 become the most fuel efficient truck on sale today.
Right now, the 2015 Ford F150 with the 2.7L EcoBoost V6 and the 6-speed transmission is the most fuel efficient gasoline powered half ton truck in America while the Ram 1500 with the EcoDiesel is the most fuel friendly truck in the half ton segment. A big part of the Ram lineup’s fuel economy advantages come from their 8-speed automatic transmission, so in dumping the 6-speed for the new 10-speed gearbox, the future F150 should be able to at least close some of the ground between their segment leading (gas powered full size trucks) gas truck and Ram’s class leading diesel.
Unfortunately, there was no clear time frame as to when the 10-speed will reach the rest of the Ford F150 lineup, but with the Raptor expected to arrive for the 2017 model year, I would expect that the rest of the lineup would get the new transmission then – if not for 2016.