Ford Motor Company’s Special Vehicle Team, the source for all things Shelby and Cobra and birthplace of the Ford GT, has just introduced the F-150 Raptor, its first pickup truck project since the last Lightning hot-rod pickup six years ago.
It’s a “pre-runner” in slang since it can be driven on road or off road at high speeds and can be used to scout race courses before the race.
The Raptor is aimed directly at those who want a seriously fast four-wheel-drive off-road piece, a truck with enormous capabilities that the average guy couldn’t duplicate with aftermarket parts at this price, a truck like those used by professional racing teams to pre-run races such as the Baja 1000.
Of course, with a 310 horsepower, 365 foot-pound, 5.4-liter 3-valve V-8, it’s no slouch from stoplight to stoplight, either (Ford says it will do 0-60 mph in 8.4 seconds, top out at 100 mph, and pull 0.86g on a 300-foot skid pad). The engine can run on 87-octane gasoline or E85 ethanol (320 horsepower and 390 foot-pounds on ethanol). If you are interested in fuel economy, this isn’t your piece.
It’s rated to carry a 1000-pound payload and haul 6000 pounds behind it, and comes with four- and seven-pin trailer hookups. Later in the year, the Raptor will offer a new 6.2-liter V-8 engine making 400 horsepower and 400 foot-pounds of torque.
Raptor’s four-wheel-drive system includes electronically selectable 2 High, 4 High, and a 4 Low range that can be used all the way up to 100 mph instead of cutting out at 20 mph, plus an electronic locking differential in the rear and two sets of 4.10:1 axle gears. The disc brakes are gigantic, 13.8 inches front, 13.7 inches rear, and need to be for this heavy setup.