By on November 20, 2009

Raptor at rest

It would be difficult to conceive of a vehicle better-suited to demonstrating TTAC’s diversity of automotive reviewers than the massive and massively outrageous Ford Raptor. Robert Farago would have eviscerated it with a zero-star diatribe on the inadvisability of building three-ton boutique trucks with borrowed funds. Sajeev Mehta would rhapsodize about the graphics but demonize the chunky controls. Daniel Stern might be have complained about the lighting system. As fate would have it, however, I’m the fellow who got the Raptor to review. So I took it mudding.

DSC_0513In many ways, the big-bird Ford is merely the donor F-150 writ large, both in excellence and shortcomings. From the aero-look 1997 model onward, Ford has provided the best full-sized truck money can buy and equipped it with the worst engines in the class. The Raptor does nothing to change this situation. In terms of build quality, on-board electronics, comfort, and equipment it’s simply better than the rest, but the 5.4-liter “Triton” engine is as miserably inadequate as ever. The 6.2-liter “Boss” V-8 is supposedly arriving any moment now, but until then pickup buyers who demand first-class thrust will need to look in the direction of a HEMI-powered Dodge or Sierra Denali. Not that anything short of a JATO rocket would make the Raptor genuinely quick. It’s a massive vehicle, drawn to an outsized scale and then further widened with bespoke bodywork and suspension components. Compared to the 1995 F-150 XL regular-cab I drove as a demonstrator in my auto sales days, the Raptor might as well be from a different class of truck, or possibly a different planet entirely.

The press-preview journalists got to drive the Raptor up and down a variety of sand dunes and pre-arranged “whoops,” but I had to settle for driving up a tall residential curb at steadily increasing rates of speed. I finally lost courage at the 50-mph mark, not because there was a problem with the SVT’s ability to absorb the curb, but because the children playing in the adjacent yard were becoming more and more difficult to miss without tipping the truck up onto two wheels. (I’m just kidding. Save your comments.) Suffice it to say that this would be an outstanding vehicle for bank robbers, drive-by artists, or anyone else who might find themselves bounding across urban terrain at full tilt. Nothing else can touch it under these circumstances.DSC_0425

As a relative novice to the world of off-roading, I felt singularly inadequate to review the Raptor’s broken-field prowess. To find out whether or not the big Ford was a faker, I obtained the assistance of my colleague Sid Noblitt, who recently followed the “Paris-Dakar” rally on a single-cylinder motorcycle. Sid and I went to his personal 160-acre playground to try a variety of stream crossings and plowed-field mischief. It had rained for nearly a week, ensuring that the ground literally swallowed the Raptor’s tires down to the axle whenever we came to a halt for more than a moment or two. Still, it was relatively easy for me to climb mud-slathered hills at full speed and to reach near-freeway speeds across ruts that would pitch a motocrosser over the bars. A few times I got stuck and Sid literally pushed the Raptor out of trouble with his bare hands. No idea how he did it, given that he weighs about a thirtieth of what this monster truck does.
DSC_0380Perched six feet off the ground in the Raptor’s aesthetically-questionable, two-tone cockpit, I felt hilariously removed from all the differential-locking and traction-controlling going on beneath me. The 1997 F-150 benchmarked the contemporaneous Crown Victoria for NVH; this one probably matches a Lexus ES350, at least until wind noise comes into play. There’s a full SYNC and navigation system to amuse the itinerant off-roader; it’s possible to check movie listings and recent sports results while spinning all four wheels up and over fallen trees. I returned the truck to Ford with mud on the friggin’ roof; at 6′2″ I still couldn’t figure out a way to wash it adequately without resorting to a stepladder.

How, then, shall we rate this Raptor? Against the competition, it’s a five-star truck, primarily because it has no effective competition short of a Pinzgauer. Measured on the social-responsibility scale, it’s a terrible affront to humanity and should immediately be erased from history in the Orwellian fashion so beloved of America’s self-appointed intellectual elite. As a toy, it’s capital fun and worth every penny. Perhaps the best method by which to measure this rather unique product is against the Platonic ideal of a factory off-road-special half-ton truck. By that scale, only the weedy engine prevents it from being as good as one can imagine such an object. We’ll deduct one star for lack of poke and call the SVT F-150 what it is: the best-ever entry in its lonely, but fascinating, category.

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105 Comments on “Review: Ford SVT Raptor...”


  • avatar
    John Horner

    Great review! I’ll never buy that truck, but I sure enjoyed reading the review. Thank you!

  • avatar
    TexasAg03

    I love the review and love the truck more.  I want one and I’m currently formulating a plan which will allow me to purchase a Raptor AND keep my wife.
    Also, I think this is the perfect truck for Border Patrol and law enforcement agencies in West Texas, Arizona, and parts of California (with the 6.2L engine, of course).

  • avatar

    I don’t like trucks, but I want the Raptor for some reason.  It’s badass.

  • avatar
    qfrog

    I’m getting the message that this thing needs the sort of motivational boost that comes with well, boost.

  • avatar
    Ken Elias

    The Raptor is a brilliant piece – the ultimate “truck toy” for boys – and speaks to the daringness of Ford to put it out there as an extension of the F-150 brand.

  • avatar
    CyCarConsulting

    It’s starting to look like a Ridgeline now. Oh, it doesn’t say Ford big enough in the grille.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    So Jack, everybody praises the driving of this truck.
    However, you call the engine   “as miserably inadequate as ever”
    I read this article in Business.
    Is this the engine you are expecting to change this image?
    I thought it was a good story and Ford might be trying harder.

    http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/09_43/b4152000630377.htm

     

  • avatar

    Why would anyone interested in this truck not wait for the upcoming 6.2-liter V8?

    On a different topic, does this truck have anything resembling handling on pavement? Or is that so entirely not the point?

    I was surprised to not see lights atop the cab, given the Raptor’s extreme width. Apparently Ford circumvented that legal requirement by placing LEDs above the grille and at each corner.
    On the reliability front, TrueDelta will have stats for the 2009 F-150 in our update next week. Ford has problem-free launches more often than not these days, and the new F-150 won’t harm it’s growing reputation.

    http://www.truedelta.com/car-reliability.php

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      “On a different topic, does this truck have anything resembling handling on pavement? Or is that so entirely not the point?”
       
      No, it does not.  It also can haul no more than about 900 pounds in the bed and can tow no more than 6000 pounds.  So, for people needing a *real* truck, they need to look elseware…
       
       

    • 0 avatar
      nikita

      “I was surprised to not see lights atop the cab, given the Raptor’s extreme width. Apparently Ford circumvented that legal requirement by placing LEDs above the grille and at each corner.”
      Its single rear wheel so it is (barely) under 80″ wide not counting mirrors, per DOT regs.

    • 0 avatar
      Sutures

      “I was surprised to not see lights atop the cab, given the Raptor’s extreme width. Apparently Ford circumvented that legal requirement by placing LEDs above the grille and at each corner.”
      Disclaimer follows: My information is second-hand (and possibly second-hand second hand…)
      A friend of mine from Ford told me that they were pleasantly surprised that all CURRENT D.O.T regulations for clearance lights only specified the numbers of lights and locations cross-car.  There was no regulation that requires the lights on top of the vehicle or specifies how high the lights must be.

    • 0 avatar
      TomH

      The Raptor is targeted at off-roading.  If you want to haul/tow “stuff” there are other F-150s to do that.

    • 0 avatar
      TomH

      Scrolling down, I realize that your comments are deep into the realm of Chevy-Good/Ford-Bad.
      Have a good life.

  • avatar
    NickR

    There is a list of vehicles I’d buy, just for the hell of it (and for occasional fun) if I had a fortune. This is one of them. Taking this cross-country (literally) on the occasional weekend? I’d have a frikkin’ blast and so would my friends. I am an environmentalist generally, but I’d generously give myself a pass on this one!

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    Anybody can slap a few shiny shocks on a truck and some fender flares.  This truck is really nothing more than a “ZR2″ F-150.
    For the money, anyone could buy a truck, add a (better) off road kit and have a more competent truck.
    And when the 6.2 comes out, it will be an (outargeous) $3000 option…and will drink gas faster than you can put it in the tank.  In contrast, GM’s 6.2 V8…which is being expanded to more 1500 models for 2010…costs is a much more reasonable 1K option…and will be more efficient.
     
     

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      A supercab FX4 (which is above any beyond a Chevy Z71 package) goes for a base price of around $35K, the Raptor has everything the FX4 has plus more starting at around $38K.
       
      The Raptor has a 7″ increased track, true 35″ off road tires, Fox Racing Shox that retail for close to $1000 a piece, hill descent control, factor pre-wired accessory switches for winches and the like, an OEM programmed off-road mode, and a bunch of other improvements on top of the already very capable FX4′s fully locking rear differential and skid plates.

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      And my Z71 can still out haul it and out tow it.  And for 99% of people, the off-road capability of my Z71 is more than they’ll ever need.
       
      Ford has made some really questionable decisions in the recent past…but this truck takes the cake.   No auto maker that has taken government money and is on the verge…or has been through C11 bankruptcy should be wasting time and energy on a low-volume gimmicky truck like this.
       
      And nothing about the FX4 package is anything to cheerleade about over the Z71.

      • 0 avatar
        AnUnidentifiedMale

        Oh yeah. This was just a terrible decision for Ford. They’ve really lost money on these things. And the owners of Raptors have been completely disappointed. /sarcasm

    • 0 avatar
      PennSt8

      So I take it you have had some seat time in this truck to substantiate “This truck is really nothing more than a “ZR2″ F-150″? On top of that I highly doubt your Z71 would handle anything remotely close to what the Raptor is capable of.
      And one other thing, where did Ford make claims that this truck was all about towing and payload capacity? If that’s your concern, then I’m sure they will gladly sell you an XL.

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      “On top of that I highly doubt your Z71 would handle anything remotely close to what the Raptor is capable of.”
      I know it’s not.  I never said my Z71 could handle what the Raptor does.
      “And one other thing, where did Ford make claims that this truck was all about towing and payload capacity?”
       
      IT’S A TRUCK……that’s what trucks are for.  It’s like getting a supercar that is not fast and handles like a bus.
       

    • 0 avatar
      PennSt8

      “IT’S A TRUCK……that’s what trucks are for.  It’s like getting a supercar that is not fast and handles like a bus.”
      It’s a niche truck with limited availability. Not all trucks are intended to haul and tow. How you even came up with the supercar analogy is beyond me.

    • 0 avatar
      whipsaw

      Sorry to interrupt the Chevy commercial, but correction needed.   I drove the Raptor and it holds the road very well – partly due to widening of the rear track.   Driving experience for a vehicle of this size was surprisingly good.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      In a recent study, Ford found out that over 80% of people, when they tow, tow less than 4500 lbs.  As far as payload capacity goes, the Raptor is rated for a little over 1000lbs, and that makes for a lot of stuff, as long as you aren’t carrying bedloads of rock chips or something else ridiculously dense.
       
      Also, as has been stated by others, if you need the max payload or towing capabilities, there are plenty of F150s available that are rated above any of the competitors for those jobs.  Yes, the engine has a little less power, and it might take it longer to get up to speed vs the Chevy or Toyota, but the frame, which is the most important part of the truck, is built to handle loads of that size, and will stand up to years of abuse unlike the Toyota whose bed nearly separates from the truck on a simple mogul run.  Also, with standard class leading trailer sway control the Ford will make sure your load stays squarely behind the truck, unlike the options from Chevy or Dodge.
       
      There is a reason the F150 has been the best selling truck on the market for decades – it does what real truck buyers want, does it better than the competition, and does it for longer.  There are more Ford trucks with over 100K miles on the road than any other make, and the Raptor is another great chapter in that legacy.

    • 0 avatar
      guyincognito

      “Anybody can slap a few shiny shocks on a truck and some fender flares.  This truck is really nothing more than a “ZR2″ F-150.”
      As someone with intimate knowledge of the P2 platform, I can say that it is not as easy as you think to add a few shiny shocks and some fender flares. When, Ford racing jacked up the P221, it caused bizarre steering kickback. No adjustment to the geometry seemed to help.
      Also, unlike aftermarket tuners, any vehicle Ford makes must meet federal safety regulations and consumer reliability expectations.
      Ford utilizes extreme durability testing to meet these requirements. Every F series must endure 150K miles worth of abuse on a grueling durability test track.  No failure on this test route is allowed to escape without proven design updates. I believe that it drives severe overdesign into the vehicle, but that is what makes a Ford truck a Ford truck. Designing a truck for that environment is hard enough with a widened track width and undoubtedly more weight. Adding off road capability to that boggles my mind.
      It is a shame that the Boss, or whatever they’re calling it, engine wasn’t part of this package, and the expense of it in any configuration is Lutzesk in its business case. Still, I think that as a marketing tool it is a smart move and I’m glad they made it.
       

    • 0 avatar
      raptorboy

      Hey Dude……you are clearly a Chevy guy and that’s cool. I have had them all and know that there are good and bad in every product line.  But outside of a 5.4 Triton that could use a Supercharger, this truck blows away anything on the market right now (although the ZR2 looks good!). 

      My last 2 trucks have been Silverados and have been electronic nightmares that GM technicians could never seem to resolve. My recent 2006 ZR1 only had 64K on it and also had a shimmy in the front end between 55-70mph, that again. GM techs could/would not fix and said it was normal (a friend of mine has the same issue with his 07 ZR1).

      Enough said and no more GM dissing. But I and many other friends are done with their inferior lack of commitment to their product line(s).  I grew up a Chevy truck guy and never thought I would drive or buy a Ford truck.  I am glad you have had good luck as I wish nobody ill-will with their purchase. NOR SHOULD YOU.

      If I wanted a truck that provided extra pulling power I would not have bought the Raptor. But we all know (except you) that is NOT what it was made for.  I have spent alot of time testing the other products out there for all around fun,  and I can tell you that NOTHING compares to the technology that this Raptor has in it. This is pure adrenaline rush so until you actually get in and drive one……don’t be jealous, BE RESPECTFUL

  • avatar
    rpiotr01

    Great review, and thanks for actually taking it off-road!
    No one should confuse it with a vehicle you’d drive to and from work with every day, but as a weekend toy for those who will use it, looks pretty awesome.

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    Looks like Ford is playing to its strengths, the foremost of which is the F-150.   The Raptor should bring customers on the lot, whether they’re shopping for a suitable substitute for a Hummer or not. 

  • avatar
    Detroit-Iron

    What is it supposed to be?  Is it like the TRD package or just a bunch of graphics?

  • avatar
    holydonut

    I’m so glad you actually tested a product as intended instead of lambasting it for features and qualities that it was never aimed at providing.  Reading about a truck where the reviewer has a complaint about understeer is like reading a review of a strip club that has a complaint of poor lighting.  And then I’m sure some reviewer would have trouble at the McDonald’s drive through and curse the poor Ford engineering foresight of daily use requirements.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    We’ve had a lot of customers coming by and asking about the Raptor, but Ford hasn’t seen fit to grace us with one yet, so I can’t speak from personal experience quite yet on this truck.
     
    I will say that from all the reviews I’ve read it looks like it would be a ton of fun for the weekend warrior and outdoorsy crowd.  I’m going to be very interested in the water-fording ability of this truck, as around here it isn’t so much desert and dunes as it is swamp and marsh, but outfitted with a snorkel this could the ultimate gator/boar hunting vehicle.
     
    Finally, on the note of the 5.4 liter V8 – It isn’t a bad engine in the F150, it moved it along at a resonable pace, and can handle loads up to the trucks limits, but it doesn’t feel fast off the line like some of the competitors do.  With over 300hp and over 360 ft/lbs of torque, the 5.4 Triton can handle any job, and trucks got by with a hell of a lot horsepower for many years, and in fact, there are still plenty on the road with far less that do a lot.
     
    The upcoming 6.2 gas V8 looks great on paper, and I’m sure it will be nice to have most powerful engine bragging rights for a while,  but in the end, how fast does your pickup need to get from 0 – 60?

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Yeah, but you still have to drive a Chevy ;). 
    This truck is awesome.  Totally irresponsible, but awesome.  I’d feel guilty for every…single…mile.

  • avatar
    CommanderFish

    The Raptor does actually have a competitor, it’s the Dodge (Ram?) Power Wagon.
    It’s based off of the Ram 2500, so that means a major update is coming next MY… Did I hear comparo?

    • 0 avatar
      Sutures

      @CommanderFish:
      A comparison has already been done (quite well, actually) by Pickuptrucks.com.  Link below…
      http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2009/10/part-1-whats-the-diff-ford-f150-svt-raptor-vs-dodge-ram-power-wagon.html

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      With a 4 to 1 T-case, 4.56 gears in the axles and a factory winch, I’m not sure if the Power Wagon and the Raptor have quite the same mission. The Dodge seems more suited to low speed rock crawling type stuff than Baja racing like the Raptor.  

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    “No, it does not.  It also can haul no more than about 900 pounds in the bed and can tow no more than 6000 pounds.  So, for people needing a *real* truck, they need to look elseware”

    Not much of truck. My Tahoe is rated to pull more than 3 ton, which is needed as my biggest boat goes 4 ton. Plus I can get my family of 5 in it and two dogs. On top of all that I’m sure it has better fuel economy than the Furd. I wish I could say the Furd looks nice but I can’t even give it that. Gouge my eyes out!

  • avatar
    Adub

    Great review. Solid writing. And I can’t help but note that Baruth mirrors C&D’s take: The perfect truck for escaping the apocalypse.

    • 0 avatar
      imag

      Except for the whole, you know, fuel requirement.
      I remember when they evacuated Houston the year of Katrina.  Almost all the cars ran out of gas on the highway.  The true survivor car: the Prius.
      Not going to make me buy a Prius, but the irony is there.  Survival may just be a matter of distance…

    • 0 avatar
      srh

      A typical diesel pickup can go about 2000 miles between fillups with an auxiliary fuel tank. And with the blowout pricing of the last year, you can buy a new one for not too much more than a Prius.

  • avatar
    imag

    When I saw the Raptor v. Baruth, I knew this would be good.  And it was.  Thanks.
    I’ve been wondering whether or not the Raptor is actually much *fun* when driving offroad.  It’s capability is inarguable, but it almost sounds like it’s so good at bump absorption that you don’t get much impression of the sliding, rip snorting play…

  • avatar
    Mrb00st

    “but until then pickup buyers who demand first-class thrust will need to look in the direction of a HEMI-powered Dodge or Sierra Denali.”
     
    Umm, or a Tundra with the 381bhp/401lb-ft 5.7L V8 mated to a sophisticated 6-speed automatic.
     
     

    • 0 avatar
      zbnutcase

      Tundra? HAHA  Tundra? HAHA…Aside from the fact they are UGLY and NOT assembled in Japan( Don’t EVER buy a japanese rig not assembled in Japan) they’re a great truck-for girls. ‘nutcase

  • avatar
    detlump

    I think the PowerWagon is directed toward a different customer, the slow rock crawler type, not the Silver Lake sand dune rampaging type. I would like mine in blue or white, please, and hold the graphics package.  How much does a replacement tire cost?  This needs a couple of word balloon stickers for the rear window “Did you feel something?” “Yeah, I think it was a Prius”.  Nice to see Ford green light this, it would have been easy to kill this project.

  • avatar
    tedward

    Love the review and I too am glad you got this one. I think the Raptor does have competitors though, it’s just that it has completely surpassed them and changed expectations. I don’t think Toyota can really do TRD anymore (the closest thing I’ve seen to this from a manufacturer) without first taking this truck into account, likewise for GM and Dodge. I even think this challenges the entire concept of the Lightning and Viper Ram street trucks with a better interpretation of truck halo. The reason is that this truck focuses on the task that best represents performance trucking to the general public, and that is high speed ground pounding, not high tow ratings, low 0-60 times or cosmetic imitations. Rock crawling would work too I suppose, but Jeep kind of already owns that position.

    That said, Ford should have offered a manual transmission and engine accesory package for every version of this truck right out of the gate. It should have a supercharger fitted as well, the people who sell the Mustang should know this.

    • 0 avatar
      fincar1

      I don’t suppose that it will be

    • 0 avatar
      fincar1

      Sorry about the other fragmentary comment there. I had a complete comment written but only the first few words were saved for some reason, and the comment editor just hangs.
      I meant to say that I don’t think it’ll be long before you can buy one of these rigs with a Roush package including a supercharged engine.
      Perhaps by then the comment editor here will be working again.

  • avatar
    tedward

    One other thing.  I’ve been in a lot of trucks and a lot of them have had serious work done. I don’t think a single one of them had as optimized a suspension setup built from such high quality components (one or the other sure). It’s impressive as hell.

  • avatar
    Motorbreath

    Well, we gotta give kudos to Ford for thinking outside the box and having the creative fortitude to develop a “halo” truck, especially in the current economic state of the automotive industry.
    Anyone know if/when the the “Boss” or a lesser displacement version, might find its way under the hood of the Mustang?

  • avatar
    chuckR

    Amazing how one of the most durable and rugged trucks of all time, the Type D 40′s/50′s flat fender Power Wagons, got by on a 231 cu in six and about 120hp. Cross country with a ton in the bed – no problem.  4 x 2 gearing – 4.89 or 5.83 gearing – a farm tractor masquerading as a truck.
    Typical account in a Power Wagon 4 sale ad: took some rubber tubing and a gas can out in the field, cleaned out 20 years worth of mouse shit in the carb, hooked up the gas and fired ‘er up. Brakes are shot, though.
    Probably gets worse mileage than any modern truck, can’t get up to the speed limit, uncomfortable bolt upright driving position. Pluses, it’s old enough so, inexplicably, you are no longer considered an enemy of Gaia, it’s durable as an anvil and it’s fully depreciated. Buy in good condition, keep it that way and you’ll get your money back from another sucker buyer when you are done with it.  And I don’t believe you could spend new truck money even on one that was body off restored better than it left Dodge’s factory. Unless maybe you got one of the swivel frame ones (for extreme off road duty).
     

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    I wonder how many serious off-roaders vehicle of choice would have a wheel base as long as the Raptors  and an IFS front suspension.  Once off-road I think you talking minutes for the life span of the running boards…LMAO

    • 0 avatar
      imag

      Every time this truck is reviewed, someone says this, and I don’t get it.  This truck is not for rock crawling.  It is not advertised as a rock crawler or reviewed as one.  It is designed for high speed Baja-style running, and it’s way better at that than any Wrangler or Defender will ever be in that venue.
      On high speed stuff, a bit longer wheelbase, IFS, and width is not a bad thing.  For some of us, the fun is in going *fast* on open terrain, not going over big obstacles at walking speed.

    • 0 avatar
      zbnutcase

      Exactly…Rock crawling=BORING! Been there,done that ‘nutcase

  • avatar
    dswilly

    I can’t wait for the you tube  videos of drunks launching these off dunes and bending them in half

  • avatar
    NN

    great writing, Jack.  An utterly ridiculous vehicle…but who doesn’t think driving over a fallen tree in the woods with your buddies while checking football scores on the nav screen and sipping a cold beer doesn’t sound like a hell of a lot of fun?  Of course nearly no one will do this and we should all be driving Priii, but who cares.
     
     

  • avatar
    SupaMan

    I love the looks of this truck.
     
    I’d still love to see a comparo between the Dodge Power Wagon and the Raptor, if at all to see how differently they tackle various terrain.

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      Ask and you shall receive:
       
      http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2009/10/part-1-whats-the-diff-ford-f150-svt-raptor-vs-dodge-ram-power-wagon.html
      -I’d take the Ram…much better “truck” than the JC Whitney special.

    • 0 avatar
      raptorboy

      If you read Mr. ZR1 Silvy’s link to the comparison you’ll read the difference. right now the edge is to the Raptor, but the competition will do their best to catch up. They are all good products, it all comes down to preference.

  • avatar
    tedward

    Z71_Silvy
    “And my Z71 can still out haul it and out tow it.  And for 99% of people, the off-road capability of my Z71 is more than they’ll ever need.”

    There’s no doubting that your Chevy can out tow and haul this truck. On the flip side, if you ran your truck over a high speed off road track it would literally fall apart and cause serious spinal injury. The Raptor would obviously do just fine. The 2 vehicles simply aren’t designed to do the off-road thing in the same manner.

    The Ford is a genuine halo vehicle, while the Z71 package, much like the TRD equivalent, is a utility truck with slightly (in the context of off road potential) improved capabilities. These are certainly the best version of a regular truck you can buy, but the Ford is not a regular truck at all. Carwise, I’d say the Z71/TRD pack is the equivalent of the new SHO, while the Ford is a purpose built Corvette.

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      And what are people going to be doing more of?  Towing/hauling or driving over some sand.
       
      Ford should have focused their efforts on something that would actually be useful to actual consumers.  Up north and out ast, these trucks are useless…unless there are some big speed bumps at the local McDoanlds.
       
       

    • 0 avatar
      srh

      If you’re looking for something useful for towing and hauling, Ford has a full line of pickups that are perfectly suited for that.
      This isn’t one of them. But this is a lot more suited for off-roading, which a lot of people also enjoy doing.

    • 0 avatar
      zbnutcase

      Z71 holds NO candle to this truck. If I had a single dollar for every GM truck ball-joint I have replaced in the last 12yrs, Obama could have sold that joke of a company to ME! ‘nutcase  P.S. Chevy Truck=oxymoron

  • avatar
    frostback

    This is a very cool truck! Kudos to Ford for making it happen. It is however nothing like a Pinzgauer.  Comparing the two really is laughable. Pinzgauers rule!

  • avatar

    “And what are people going to be doing more of?  Towing/hauling or driving over some sand.
    Ford should have focused their efforts on something that would actually be useful to actual consumers.”
    The thing is, people buy for what they want to be able to do, not what they actually do. It’s why the Jeep Wrangler sells so well.
    And, for the record, I own a Wrangler and drool over the Raptor. But I also wheel it.

  • avatar
    Durwood

    “No, it does not.  It also can haul no more than about 900 pounds in the bed and can tow no more than 6000 pounds.  So, for people needing a *real* truck, they need to look elseware”
    I guess the truck will only be good for 95% of the people who buy it
    “And what are people going to be doing more of?  Towing/hauling or driving over some sand.”

    Seeing how it is such a specialized truck we’ll let u figure that one out genious.

  • avatar
    Via Nocturna

    Coming soon to a tree near you. Hope the airbags in that thing are up to snuff.

  • avatar
    Durwood

    Ande if u want a truck to haul and carry stuff then get a normal ford truck which will out haul anything in its class.

  • avatar

    As always…great review, Jack.  As long as production stays limited, they’ll have no problem selling every last one of these. Even the ones with the 5.4L.
    FWIW, I’d slam the lame graphics,  RF would write another DW for Ford’s latest Halo vehicle not getting the good engine from the git-go, and DS will go ape over the grille mounted clearance lights.

  • avatar
    James2

    Z71_Silvy,

    Your call sign is awfully similar to P71′s.  Brothers, perhaps?  Your hatred of Ford is similar, as well.  Think of the Raptor how you like, you don’t have to buy one.

    • 0 avatar
      Ion

      it IS P71 he’s the only person to refer to the Raptor as a ZR2 and JC Whitney Special,

      all of his old comments are gone so I’m assuming he got ban-hammered and reregistered

  • avatar
    Spitfire

    Great truck…and thank god someone actually took it into the mud and got the thing sideways for awhile!
    This truck was designed for baja dunes, in your face looks, weekend warrior types not rock crawler(not a truck out there is), serious boat towing (Ford and every other truck maker has something for you if thats what you need) or drag racing(seriously?).
    Comparing it to a Z71 is just goofy. And no this isn’t like just slapping on an expensive lift kit. Every lift kit you get in the aftermarket requires a lot from the owner to even briefly approach OEM ride quality and the like. I’d take this truck if gas mpg was in the low to mid 20s and i had 40k sitting around! Oh and the graphics can be easily removed…
     
    Three cheers for a hell of a truck and review!

    • 0 avatar
      Z71_Silvy

      I NEVER compared it’s capability to my Z71.  That would be silly.
       
      And it is just a lift kit, some fender flares and some fancy shocks.  Like I said, you could buy any 1/2 ton + a lift kit and have a more capable truck…all for less money.  And you wouldn’t sacrificing towing/hauling either…or looks.

    • 0 avatar
      PennSt8

      “And it is just a lift kit, some fender flares and some fancy shocks.  Like I said, you could buy any 1/2 ton + a lift kit and have a more capable truck…all for less money.  And you wouldn’t sacrificing towing/hauling either…or looks.”
      I suppose if I repeated 2+2=5 enough, I’d believe it to.
      Seriously, it’s going to take more than a lift kit to even remotely duplicate what Ford has done here. I strongly suggest you read through this article:
      http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2008/11/the-raptor-has.html

    • 0 avatar
      srh

      “I NEVER compared it’s capability to my Z71.  That would be silly.”
      Yes you did, right here. And yes, it was silly.
      “And my Z71 can still out haul it and out tow it.  And for 99% of people, the off-road capability of my Z71 is more than they’ll ever need.

      And nothing about the FX4 package is anything to cheerleade about over the Z71.”
      I’ve owned an F-150, F-350, and currently have a Chevy 2500HD. And I’ll admit that this truck looks pretty kick-ass. I wouldn’t buy one, but I’ll lust after it just like I just after the Ford GT.

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      “This truck was designed for baja dunes, in your face looks, weekend warrior types not rock crawler(not a truck out there is), serious boat towing (Ford and every other truck maker has something for you if thats what you need) or drag racing(seriously?).”

      Uh, no. Although capable for that kind of use, the Raptore is a ‘halo’ vehicle of sorts, designed primarily to get people into Ford showrooms so they can be sold something else. The key to the success of these types of vehicles is that even though their highly specialized, whether they still have the capacity to be driven on a daily basis without too much pain.

      On that front, I’d say the Raptore is probably going to be a success, as someone else mentioned, a sort of latter-day Hummer. It’s not for most people, but there are probably enough that would be willing to live with the compromises for Ford to get there investment back. It would certainly be a better driver for anything resembling everyday use than the Ford GT (as good a ‘supercar’ it might have been otherwise).

  • avatar
    Spitfire

    If Chevy, Ram, Nissan or Toyota made something similarly specialized and over the top badass I’d be giving them props too…
    Its risky to built these but Sajeev said keep them limited and hence demand adequate and you’ve gt a winner

  • avatar
    stuki

                This is one of the few trucks I’m aware of where the mirrors, when folded, are not its widest points. Those Arctic Truck Toyota conversions they (at least used to) sell on Iceland are the only other ones I’m aware of.
     
                The total max load rating of 1000lbs is pretty extreme for a full size pickup. More than 4 average sized Texans in the cab, and you’d have to start putting helium balloons in the box. From what I understand the tires, if driven on and inflated for reasonably smooth pavement, or reasonable (normal truck) speed on rough stuff, can handle lots more. And the shocks have some adjustability, so one might be able to prevent excessive squat (which would be the big issue with overloading the bed on this long travel, supple suspension) even if going a bit over recommended load. Just please, make sure, before following me with the lights on at night :) Worst case, adding some helper springs to the rear spring packet would make it more usable for actual hauling, but obviously at the cost of overland speed. Underneath, except for suspension and tires optimized for going fast at race weight, it’s still an F150. If the Baja organizers created a class for trucks with 1500lbs of dead weight in the bed, wonder if Ford would do a Super duty version of this thing :)
     
                Back when I used to do stints in Irving, TX, I was always amused to see how people in lifted trucks would “beat” traffic by driving alongside the freeway. For situations like that, this could be considered the ultimate solo commuter vehicle. For many other “active lifestyle” scenarios, it may well be the ultimate vehicle, as well. Unless people are actual off road enthusiasts who seek out rock strewn goat trails on purpose, most climbing / mtb’ing / surfing / kayaking / hunting / hang gliding destinations a regular car won’t get to can be reached by this thing, at much higher speeds than what a Jeep, land Cruiser or Power Wagon could hope to manage. Being able to drive at normal speeds on severely rutted roads is much more useful to many, than being able to crawl along in 4lo at 2mph in some rock garden, as it actually lets you get somewhere in useful time. There’s a popular hang gliding spot outside LA that this thing could easily reach, but where more traditional 4 wheelers take so long to get there, the trip itself ends up being a bit of a chore. Triple the speed, and many could go there more often. Not to mention running along Humboldt County logging trails with lightweight, high value cargo in the back :)
     
                Anyway, nice review. And, probably irrelevant, but couldn’t you clean mud off the roof by standing in the bed?

  • avatar
    tuckerdawg

    Ugh this thing is Ghastly, I can hear the people snickering about it being a set car on Jurrasic Park Already….

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      I was twelve when Jurassic park came out, saw it in the theater opening week, and was obsessed for quite a while.  In fact, the name ‘Raptor’ might intentionally play into the Jurassic park image.  Those of us who were beginning our adolescence when Jurassic park lit up the big screen are beginning to enter the period of our lives where we have good jobs and the ability to buy something like this.  Something that brings to mind outrunning a T-Rex whilst driving through the middle of the jungle is pretty bad-ass in my opinion.

    • 0 avatar
      tuckerdawg

      speak for yourself, I am right in the demographic you speak of and I don’t really care for this truck, even if I could afford it which I cannot.

  • avatar
    Durwood

    “suppose if I repeated 2+2=5 enough, I’d believe it to.
    Seriously, it’s going to take more than a lift kit to even remotely duplicate what Ford has done here. I strongly suggest you read through this article:”
    http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2008/11/the-raptor-has.html

    pPay no attention to silvy because he thinks that just because all trucks have four wheels then they are all the same,  lol There are like 10 other variations of ford trucks if u want to tow and haul stuff, Buy one of them. Please build this exact same truck for less with the quality parts it has and then run ur mouth on here silvy.

  • avatar
    KnightRT

    I love this truck, and I love that Ford was willing to build it. It’s inferior to the regular model for all manner of truckish things, but I lust for one just as I once lusted for the original Viper. To be wonderful at something, even if not a conventional benchmark, is an achievement to which too few companies aspire.

  • avatar
    CarPerson

    One graced the Seattle Auto Show last week. Didn’t get to see inside cab as the line was too long.  Every 14-18 year old babe wanted their picture taken behind the wheel.

    Took a half-rack of Coors Long-Necks to drown the sorrows seeing that. What happened to REAL men???

  • avatar
    ajla

    I liked the SVT Lightning more.

    • 0 avatar

      Amen to that.

    • 0 avatar
      guyincognito

      Seriously? I’m no truck guy, but I still think this vehicle is more in line with the F-150′s mission than a Lightning. Why diminish the advantages of a body on frame truck while trying to overcome the disadvantages of said same?

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      @guyincognito:
       
      Well, my reasons are that the old Lightning and Raptor have similar towing and payload numbers, so as “trucks” it’s pretty equal.
       
      Also, personally, I’d rather be blasting down a drag strip in a side-exhaust, supercharged V8 Lightning, instead of in a Raptor plowing through a mud pit.  Obviously YMMV.

  • avatar
    mitch_4

    Thank You Durwood! Silvy is a buzz kill, enough with the “Yeah well my truck” bull. This truck is exciting, this truck is built for fun, this truck is not a conventional working man’s rig. It’s built for a niche purpose. It has a focus and does it incredibly well – regardless of any engine short comings which I don’t find to be substantial by any means. When it comes to trucks the Ford engineers”get it”.  I applaud Ford!
    Great review, thanks for the fun POV Baruth.

  • avatar
    Loser

    And when the 6.2 comes out, it will be an (outargeous) $3000 option…and will drink gas faster than you can put it in the tank.  In contrast, GM’s 6.2 V8…which is being expanded to more 1500 models for 2010…costs is a much more reasonable 1K option…and will be more efficient.

    P71, do you have a link to the figures on the expected MPG and price for the Ford 6.2 or did you make this all up?

  • avatar
    reclusive_in_nature

    So the vehicle company that isn’t castrating itself to meet CAFE regs is the one domestic company that hasn’t gone tits up. What a shock.

  • avatar
    newcarscostalot

    It looks nice. I would like to see a head to head comparison against this vehicle and other trucks under contolled conditions to see how it stacks up.

  • avatar
    ctoan

    I hate it less than a Hummer, I’ll say that much.  At least it’s designed for fun.  People don’t have enough fun.

  • avatar
    dieselone

    I read somewhere production is only going to be a few thousand, so it’s not like a lot will be sold.  This would be a great truck to own if I lived in the southwest, regardless it’s an impressive truck.
    As for the 5.4, it’s a fine engine for what it is.  No it doesn’t put out the numbers of some of the competition and Ford has probably used the 5.4 as the top engine in the f150 for to long but it’s not that big of a deal.  How many GM 1/2 tons are sold with the 6.0 or 6.2?  Very few, the 5.3 is the bread and butter engine in the vast majority GM 1/2 tons sold.  The 5.4 stacks up very well against the 5.3.  More torque at lower rpm.
    I had a 5.3 powered Suburban with 3.73 gears and it sucked for towing anymore than 5,000lbs up anything steeper than a mole hill.  After a trans failure and many other problems, I replaced it with an Expedition.  The extra torque is very noticeable.  No more listening to the 5.3 scream at 4000+ rpm for power, I rarely have to rev the 5.4 past 3000 rpm for pulling power.  Towing our 6000lb travel trailer or our 5000lb boat is better with the 5.4 vs GM’s 5.3.
     

  • avatar
    dieselone

    Where did Silvy get only $1k upgrade to 6.2?  That’s after you’ve paid $4k plus to get the LTZ package, as it’s not available on a LT or lower trim package.  If you go with the LT, you have to pay $1800 (or $3k for max tow package which is only way to get 3.73 gears) to upgrade to the 6.0, which only has 10 more ft-lbs of torque than Ford’s 5.4, but it comes at 600 rpm higher.

  • avatar
    adongood

    Could you use the word “literally” just one more time inappropriately
     so I can literally get sick!

  • avatar
    f250fx4

    So everyone seems to poke fun at the Raptor, but has everyone forgot that GM and Toyota started this craze! The Tacoma prerunner, 2wd Tundra with TRD off road package and 2wd Z-71′s in both Serria and Colorado’s. What was the point in a 2wd that looks like a 4wd? Baja racing! Well Ford basically said if your going to do it do it right, bring the Raptor. They are making 50 Raptor’s that are not street legal strictly for off-road for around 100k. Now the 5.4l, that is one tried and proven motor. They put them in F-350′s and down. Maybe you need to look at what calling the Raptor was answering and comment on the others. Pretty boys who want a 4wd and will never use it and don’t know how, that’s why they drive Z-71′s and those TOY’s called prerunners. Compare it for what it is. The answer for the calling nobody thought would go this far. A true off road Baja truck!

  • avatar
    guitarvenue

    Impractical!  The truck is overpriced!  5.4 Triton V8 is old news!   Go to ebay and you will find that the truck is in abundance and not moving. Bids are molasses slow……  40 + thousand and you get a cartoonish character for all the American Popular Culture Vultures. Ford alienated the Lightning crowd years ago after the last run of 2004 L’s with nothing to buy as a successor. This Raptor needs to run low to the ground to aid in MPG not up in the air pushing the CD down the drain. This truck is simply a joke. Go buy a Dodge Ram HEMI R/T that is again available in 2010 for 10-15 thousand less dollars and will run in 4 cylinder MDS mode with 4:10 gears, STALL CONVERTER/OEM and run the 1/4 miles in less than 14.0 seconds. I owned the 2000 L and own a 2009 R/T. Ford is offbased and not in tune with todays needs. SVT is now for the upper income brackets. What a sham, shame FORD!

  • avatar
    Big blue

    Dear Z71-sILVY guy.
    For one thing Ford never took any bail out money. Research facts before you comment on things you dont know about. G.M. took bail out money twice and still went bankrupt. If their vehicles were as tough as you claim theme to be, why has F-150 been number one selling truck for 33 years, not to mention that Ford Superduty out sold Chevrolet and Dodge combined just in diesel models alone. More or likely next time you see a police car, ambulance, wrecker or some type of service truck, please note type of vehicle. FORD. Please reply, have numerous built Ford tough stories to tell that I have personally lived. If you don’t believe come ride with me and see. I am not saying that your vehicle is not a good piece, but when duty really calls, and lives depend on that, it just has to work. FORD

  • avatar
    survivor

    Just bought a 6.2 Raptor. I’ve owned many Fords including F150, Gt, etc. Also owned chevy, dodge,etc. When I raced motorcycles(20+years of road and off-road racing), I met many like P71. They’d come in to my pit and spout off how great they and their bike are…I’d just let ‘em talk. Then after the first time I blew by them, then never came by again.LOL! This truck is AWESOME! Not some bolt-on special(which is what one of my close friends who can’t ride,drive,ski or pedal worth a damn called it)! The 6.2 is plenty and if you need more, I’m sure you could get it…you don’t. I was driving like an idiot last night and you can predictably slide this truck on the throttle without the “truck-hop” that I’d get on my old 150. Yes, at 48 I’m still too immature to ride my GSXR1000 on the street, and I had to sell my GT ’cause it was totally impractical on the street along with other reasons. This truck is also a good daily driver…a bit wide for a “compact” parking spot. But, at the ranch, in the dirt it’s a dream. All I can say to those(like my friend or P71) who poo-poo it….bring it on! Look me up, bring your what ever to our ranch and we’ll time each other on the same track. I’ll bet you all the post race beer we can drink, the 6.2 Raptor comes out on top! By a huge margin! You’d need to spend alot more $ to convert a stock truck to beat this thing..but then it would suck for every day street driving. I didn’t think I would like this 6.2 Raptor as much as I actually do. After I drive it hard, I say to my self,”Holy Crap, this thing is insane!” Now I’m considering getting into off-road racing. Now I need the $100K illegal version!


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