Off-road enthusiast know it all too well – there’s a rather big difference between four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, as the latter are the simpler option to create traction on all four wheels.
For crossovers all-wheel drive systems are simpler and usually clutch-based, as opposed to the four-wheel drive systems that get mechanical connections with components that lock to function better. Real world application means all-wheel drive is better when it has to work all the time, on both loose and high-traction surfaces. Four-wheel drive systems are far more important to off-road users, and since they use locked mechanical connections, they shouldn’t be used for full-time engagement. And usually vehicles have one or the other system. But Ford’s all-new F-150 Raptor actually has both.
The Terrain Management System comes with a dual-mode transfer case, to deliver clutch-based all-wheel drive functionality and also has electronic lockers for true mechanical connections when off-roading. “Raptor’s transfer case provides the best of both worlds, with the natural benefits from all-wheel drive, such as increased traction in rain and snow, as well as extreme off-road capability that comes with a mechanically locked system,” comments Tony Greco, Ford F-150 Raptor program manager. And functions are easily switchable via the Raptor’s Terrain Management System – everyday functions get performed well through 4×4 auto, or you can tune it with the weather mode for slippery times, or the sport mode for when you want an engaged driving scenario. For off road use there’s mud/sand mode to automatically engage 4×4 high using a traditional, mechanical lock – or the rock crawl mode that gets the 4×4 low setting with an additional gear reduction ratio.