Ford F150 Raptor

What you are seeing right now is basically a Ford GT, but for the desert - a pickup truck designed to destroy any terrain. What Ford has done is take a normal F150 and dial it up all the way to 11, with massive Baja style fender flares, 6 inches of extra width, FOX Racing Shox and a detuned version of the 3.5-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 that you can find in the latest Ford GT Supercar. What this is in essence, is a road-legal trophy truck with a drive mode named “Baja”, which should tell you all you need to know.

Let’s start with the boring bits.. Despite its racy Baja intentions, the Raptor is still an F150 at heart, which means its got loads of interior space. Available as either an extended or crew-cab body (we drove the latter and that’s what you really want), with loads of space for head and leg room. But regardless of which variant style you choose, you get a 5ft 6-inch load bed as standard which can haul over 500kgs without much fuss. The interior is naturally adorned with loads of stuff but inside the Raptor, you get super-supportive, comfy, extra-bolstered sports seats with Raptor stitching, SYNC 3 connectivity, an 8-inch touch screen and a specialized steering wheel with paddle shifters. All-in-all, it’s safe to say that what you see on the outside is exactly what you get on the inside in terms of wow factor.

So what’s it like on the move? Well, the F150 Raptor is designed with off-road, high-speed racing in mind. That’s exactly the reason why Ford has opted for the specially designed BF Goodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires and FOX Racing Shox suspension which feature internal bypass dampers and up to 14-inches of travel to make sure that you get over just about anything...at high speed! Off-road, it’s as epic as you can imagine and as close to driving a trophy truck without actually racing a genuine one. Personally to me, the Raptor sucks in any or should I say all imperfections to cover un-traversable ground as if it was on smooth, freshly built tarmac. However on-road, the tires lack grip (which makes power-sliding a truck super easy) and the suspension isn’t exactly well suited but still surprisingly comfortable. The F150 Raptor may be purpose-built, but it can still daily like the rest of them.

To save polar bears and in search for efficiency, Ford has ditched the mighty ‘merican V8 of the old and instead replaced it with there 3.5-liter EcoBoost v6 engine. but don’t let that make you think this is some slow cow, because this new engine generates 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque - more than what the previous V8 engine could muster. It’s attached to a 4x4 drive system by means of a 10-speed automatic transmission with drive modes that handle anything from rock crawling to towing, comfort, sport and my favourite - BAJA Mode. Regardless of all this, the Raptor can still haul 3500kgs in tow capacity.

In terms of equipment, this bad boy comes packed with a lot of good stuff. Lockable rear differential, hill descent control, cruise control, heated leather seats, a 360-degree camera and a Bang & Olufsen 10-speaker sound system. Along with all that you also get improved safety with the addition of lane keep assist, lane departure warning, auto high beams and adaptive cruise control with a collision mitigation system.

I used to believe that in order to tackle off-road terrain would mean to compromise on performance. But the F150 Raptor’s phenomenal off-road and usable daily capabilities destroyed any doubts I had. The F150 simply laughs at
that notion.

Categories: Cars TEST DRIVE

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