The 2017 Ford Raptor has been out for months now, and just about everyone who’s driven it has been impressed. It’s easy to appreciate immense power, but a lot of this truck’s most magical wizardry happens with gearing and electronic controls.
We took you through many aspects of the Raptor’s drive modes when the truck first came out. But this week Jason Fenske, one of the internet’s most articulate automotive nerds, has taken the time to dive us deep into how a “4WD/AWD” vehicle is possible and his video does a great job demystifying the innards of the Raptor’s transfer case.
Conceptually, this is pretty simple stuff: The Raptor’s two-wheel drive mode sends power from the engine straight to the rear wheels, all-wheel drive mode sends power to all four but allows for some slippage so that it can be used on a smooth surface and four-wheel drive locks the front and rear wheels to provide maximum traction over uneven terrain.
AWD lets you get across pavement without binding the vehicle’s gearing, while 4WD lets the slip occur at the wheels, not in the drivetrain, to keep the truck moving forward when one or two wheels lose traction.
But the actual mechanics of what’s happening in those three modes can be a little difficult to visualize. That’s where Fenske’s whiteboard skills come in to help us.
The Raptor is not the only vehicle to utilize such technology, but it is definitely the most exciting. “450 horsepower” might get your attention, but its the truck’s deep idiot-proofing abilities that really make it stand out.