Here's How The Ford Raptor Can Be Both AWD And 4WD

(Image Credit: Ford)
(Image Credit: Ford)
Truck YeahThe trucks are good!

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.

Illustration for article titled Heres How The Ford Raptor Can Be Both AWD And 4WD

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.

Jalopnik Staffer from 2013 to 2020, now Editor-In-Chief at Car Bibles

Share This Story

Get our newsletter


David Tracy

Jeep Cherokees debuted in 1987 with an NP242 transfer case that used an integrated center diff to give drivers the option of AWD or 4WD.