If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. That’s Ford’s mindset when it comes to its popular Raptor model, which receives minor tweaks for the 2013 model year. Among those tweaks includes high-intensity discharge headlights and more notably, beadlock-capable wheels.
For those unfamiliar, beadlock wheels increase traction when there’s little to be found. Beadlock wheels hold the edge of the tire to the wheel in between two separate surfaces in order to keep traction. This keeps the tire from coming off the rim if tire pressure is low. Ford has afforded Raptor customers the ability to unbolt the outer decorative ring, take the tire off from its’ factory setting and then remount the tire in a lockable position with a beadlock kit available from Ford Racing. This is a first for a wheel to be able to have standard and beadlock-mounting capabilities. This has never been available on a factory-fresh truck before, and Ford has even filed a patent for this system.
High-intensity discharge headlights are also available for the first time on the 2013 Ford Raptor and provide a brighter path ahead when driving a night. A 4.2-inch LCD screen, which is also new for 2013, includes a setup gauge, trip computer, and a fuel economy gauge. Other features on the 2013 Raptor include SYNC which can be upgraded to MyFord Touch, which comes with an 8-inch touch screen positioned in the Raptor’s center-stack. Also available is a voice-activated navigation system which uses the 8-inch display screen and has SD-card capabilities for maps, points of interest, and general storage. If chosen, the Raptor employs a truck-specific version of MyFord Touch which comes with more control buttons and other rotating knobs for those who wear gloves while on the job.
The usual array of standard features make a return for the 2013 year including a rear view camera, leather and cloth-trimmed seats which feature bolsters designed to hold occupants in their seat no matter the terrain, a Raptor-specific center-stack and door trim, and a leather-trimmed steering wheel with integrated thumb pads. All-terrain tires, FOX Racing Shox dampers, skid plates, and Hill Descent Control all come standard as well. A Torsen limited-slip differential, found on the four-wheel drive system, makes its return to the Raptor for 2013 to give the over-sized truck the necessary traction it needs. The Torsen limited-slip differential adds traction to either the front or rear wheels when needed. If the front set loses traction, the Torsen limited-slip differential summons torque to force traction back and the same is true for the rear set. Steering also gets some help when this system is enacted to provide better control over demanding surfaces.
Like those before it, the 2013 Ford Raptor will get motivation from a 6.2-liter V-8 engine, rated at 411 horsepower and 434 lb.-ft. of torque. An electronic six-speed automatic transmission will row through the Raptor’s gears and includes a tow/haul mode and SelectShift capabilities. The four-wheel drive system uses electronic shift-on-the-fly for the transfer case too.
What say you? Are beadlock-capable wheels going to catch on in the factory-truck world? Tell us what you think about it in the comment section below.