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Ken Block Takes The 2017 F-150 Raptor Dune Bashing In Newest Ignition Episode

The 2017 F-150 Raptor is the type of automotive superstar that you either love or hate. I’m with the “love it” crowd, but I’m not that big of a fanboy due to a certain element the Raptor lacks.
2017 Ford Raptor with Ken Block: Forget Gymkhana. Meet Dunekhana!!! - Ignition Ep. 169 11 photos
2017 Ford Raptor with Ken Block: Forget Gymkhana. Meet Dunekhana!!! - Ignition Ep. 1692017 Ford Raptor with Ken Block: Forget Gymkhana. Meet Dunekhana!!! - Ignition Ep. 1692017 Ford Raptor with Ken Block: Forget Gymkhana. Meet Dunekhana!!! - Ignition Ep. 1692017 Ford Raptor with Ken Block: Forget Gymkhana. Meet Dunekhana!!! - Ignition Ep. 1692017 Ford Raptor with Ken Block: Forget Gymkhana. Meet Dunekhana!!! - Ignition Ep. 1692017 Ford Raptor with Ken Block: Forget Gymkhana. Meet Dunekhana!!! - Ignition Ep. 1692017 Ford Raptor with Ken Block: Forget Gymkhana. Meet Dunekhana!!! - Ignition Ep. 1692017 Ford Raptor with Ken Block: Forget Gymkhana. Meet Dunekhana!!! - Ignition Ep. 1692017 Ford Raptor with Ken Block: Forget Gymkhana. Meet Dunekhana!!! - Ignition Ep. 1692017 Ford Raptor with Ken Block: Forget Gymkhana. Meet Dunekhana!!! - Ignition Ep. 169
Stop me if you heard this one before, but there’s nothing much to say about the sound produced by the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 other than “meh.” The exhaust note has that glorified lawnmower aural quality to it, which is totally different from the old model’s 6.2-liter freely aspirated V8.

And as with every comprehensive test of the all-new Raptor, Jonny Lieberman of Motor Trend identified this snag, then shrugged it off. He commented, “this one sounds pretty good,” even though there’s no competition whatsoever between the EcoBoost and the Boss V8 engine in the old-generation model. It’s a bit of a shame really, but for what it’s worth, the 2017 Raptor is better in every other aspect.

To prove that, Lieberman took the Baja Truck-inspired pickup to a dusty place called California City. Here, the craziest F-150 variant of them all hit 107 miles per hour on a dry lake bed. It’s also pretty quick considering its weight, hitting 60 mph in merely 5.2 seconds.

The real fun, however, starts in the second half of this episode of Ignition. Right outside Death Valley, the Dumont Dunes is a place the F-150 Raptor can call home. With the right man at the wheel, that is. And that man, wouldn’t you know, is rally driver Ken Block.

It’s thoroughly awe-inspiring to see Block wring out every ounce of off-road capability from the F-150 Raptor. Even more impressively, it appears that the truck, equipped with standard BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 rubber and available Torsen front differential, wasn’t phased by the intimidating dunes. In Baja driving mode and with Block in the driver’s seat, it kept on going and going and going.

Bottom line is, Ford has a winner on its hands with the all-new Raptor. However, it would have been an even more awesome machine if the Dearborn-based automaker wasn’t so stuck on promoting the EcoBoost V6 engine like there’s no tomorrow.

The YouTube comments for this episode of Ignition speak volumes: “Not a V8,” “There's no replacement for displacement,” and my absolute favorite, “That EcoBoost sounds f***ing awful... I've seen plenty of 2017 Raptors here in Michigan, and they sound just as pathetic in person sadly. Your ears must be shot if you think that buzzing sounds good... or you want to maintain a buddy-buddy relationship with Ford.”

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