Having pioneered the use of aluminium on its top selling F-150 at last year’s Detroit show, Ford has followed up this year by introducing a new 10-speed transmission on the high-performance version, the Raptor.

Ford said it had reengineered every part of the Raptor to make it the toughest, smartest, most capable off-roader and more efficient. Its purpose-built frame is the strongest in the line, featuring more high-strength steel than the outgoing model.

Forged from high-strength, military-grade, aluminium alloy that helps save more than 500lbof weight, the Raptor’s looks are inspired by a performance heritage in off-road racing that includes Best in the Desert, Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series and the famous Baja 1000.

The Raptor is six inches wider than the standard F-150 for improved stability off-road and also boasts its first-ever dual exhaust and new 17-inch wheels with next-generation BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 tyres.

Power comes from the second-generation 3.5-litre EcoBoost engine – producing more power and greater efficiency than the current 6.2-litre V8 – which is rated at 411hp and 434lb ft of torque. The high-output engine is exclusive to the Raptor in the F-150 line and is paired with that 10-speed transmission.

A new, four wheel drive, torque on demand transfer case, with an advanced, easier to use version of off-road mode driver assist technology, further improves the Raptor’s off road performance. The transfer case, which manages power distribution between the front and rear wheels, combines the attributes of clutch driven, on demand all wheel drive with durable, mechanical locking four-wheel drive.

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Ford product development chief Raj Nair said: “When we created the first Raptor, we set out to prove vehicle performance isn’t just measured on the street or at the track – off road can be even more fun.”

The new Raptor will be built at Dearborn truck plant in Michigan and goes on sale in autumn 2016 as a 2017 model.