Ford F-150 SVT Raptor set to hit the trails
The Ford F-150 is the top-selling light truck in the United States. The latest redesigned 2009 version is available in hundreds of variants in America, even while GCC dealers are still trying to offload leftovers of the previous version here. Expanding the American line-up is the all-new 2010 F-150 SVT Raptor, a purpose-built high-performance off-road truck built by Ford’s SVT performance division. As Ford teeters on the brink of bankruptcy, it is a last hurrah for SVT before quietly winding down operations.
The F-150 SVT Raptor was built to “fulfill the desires” of the American off-roading crowd. Noticeable differences between the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor and conventional F-150 include a distinctive grille that has the Ford name carved into it, front bumper, vented bonnet, front fascia and fenders, functional hood extractors, fender extractors, as well as visible FOX Racing Shox, the only internal bypass shocks available on a street truck.
Another key difference between the F-150 SVT Raptor and the base F-150 is it is more than 15 cm wider. Ford highlighted this with distinctive marker lamps. The Raptor is available in four colours, and that ‘dirty’ sticker-job is optional. Interior features are limited to two-tone upholstery.
The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor is powered by the regular F-150’s 5.4-litre Triton V8 engine, which delivers 320 hp and 528 Nm of torque. A new 6.2-litre V8 engine will be available later.
SVT used a specially-designed durability loop in the California desert to replicate the conditions of a Baja 1000 race, to test performance. The F-150 SVT Raptor offers 34 cm of useable suspension travel in the rear suspension and 28 cm in the front. The entire setup was changed to give a wider track and softer suspension move over obstacles more easily. When it has to be “launched” off the top of a dune, it is designed for a soft landing. In addition to a beefed up suspension, the F-150 SVT Raptor also boasts Fox Racing Shox, with a position-sensitive dampening internal bypass feature that allows the shock to become significantly stiffer as it travels, preventing the truck from bottoming out. Standard are BF Goodrich All-Terrain TA/KO 315/70-17 tyres on 17-inch cast-aluminium wheels.
AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control is also standard, with the option to switch to two available settings – sport mode and full off-road mode. Full off-road mode shuts off all electronic stability programs and the ABS system switches to a special off-road setting. Also in full off-road mode, the locking rear differential is allowed to stay locked at elevated speeds to mimic a spool differential found on racing trucks. Hill Descent Control is also available.
The Raptor is priced at US$ 38,995 (Dhs 143,000) in the United States. While there is very little chance that it will be offered in the UAE, the Raptor would’ve lifted Ford’s non-existent profile among the large offroading communities in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
To follow updates to the truck range in the GCC, visit the Ford F-150 buyer guide.