F150 Performance Parts and Accessories Raptor Review

The new 2010 F-150 Raptor, born in Baja and designed by the Ford Truck Special Vehicle Team (SVT) is built from the ground up. Another truck from Ford that's "Built Ford Tough" and really stands up to it's name, the Raptor is ready to tackle the untamed terrain of off road running.

On November 25, 2008 the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor R race truck survived the grueling 41'st Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, finishing the race in 25:28:10, which is rendered in a third-in-class finish.

As any off roader will tell you the key to an off road vehicle is it's chassis, it's suspension and it's shocks. With the Raptor's flamboyant, seven-foot-wide body work plastered with digital mud, an industry first, long travel suspension, it's one truck that's sure to draw a lot of attention on or off the road.

A track widened seven inches over a normal F-150, with re-inferred underpinnings suspended by unique front coil springs and rear leaf springs, are what gives the raptor it's impressive front / rear suspension articulation of 11.2 and 12.1 inches respectively. The SVT stampings on the aluminum control arms are another cool feature. But the real magic lies in the massive, three stage internal by-pass shocks from Fox Racing. On the highway, the Raptor feels much like the softer-sprung, four wheeled drive F-150 on which it's based, with the shocks keeping the body from floating about during transitions.

At each corner are beefed up disc brakes (13.8 in front, 13.7 in the rear) surrounded by 17-inch alloy wheels and SVT specific 35-inch BF Goodrich all-terrain tires. Differentials with 4.10: 1 gears turn the hefty rolling stock, and the rear axel sports an electronic locker that can spool both wheels together for maximum traction. The two stage electronic stability control system also has a special off-road-mode that raises the threshold for yaw and anti lock brake intervention, sharpens the throttle response, re-maps the six speed automatic to hold gears longer, and allows the locking differential to stay activated up to the vehicles top speed. A hill decent control system helps to limit speed while crawling down steep hills.

The Raptors most surprising feature is that it performances much like a regular F-150 on the highway. Braking performance is respectable and the extra cushion in the suspension makes for a compliant ride with less of the rear axel hop common with unloaded pick-ups.

The most standard F-150 cab has nicely bolstered sport seats and a contoured steering wheel to keep you supported and comfortable while driving. Other Touches include white faced SVT gauges and console mounted controls for the off road electronics and auxiliary power switches. There are other cool details too, including skid plates, heat extractors on the hood and fenders, hydroformed bumpers and LED marker lights in the grille and on the flared wheel arches. Available colors will be limited to orange, black, blue or white.

If you are really into power and speed you may want to wait until early next year when a new Boss 6.2 liter V-8 will be available, packing around 400 horsepower.

Ford says it's Dearborn truck plant will be able to turn out up to 5000 or so Raptors annually and that there will be plenty of performance accessories available in the near future.

SPECIFICATIONS

Vehicle type: Front engine, 4-wheel drive, 5 passenger 2 + 2-door truck

Engine type: SOHC 24-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, port fuel injection

Displacement: 330 cu in, 5400 cc

Power (SAE net): 310 bph @ 5000 rpm

Torque (SAE net): 365 lb-ft @ 3500 rpm

Transmission: 6 speed automatic