Desert Sports Car - Ford's New Raptor Pickup

The place for your detailed reviews and reports for guns and gear
User avatar
308Mike
Posts: 16525
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 3:47 pm

Desert Sports Car - Ford's New Raptor Pickup

Post by 308Mike » Sat Sep 12, 2009 7:49 pm

Their new pickup is a wide sucker:
Desert sports car
Ford's Raptor pickup can hold its own on ragged trails

By Mark Maynard
Union-Tribune Staff Writer

Image
Raptor is eight inches wider at the front than a standard F-150 and has a 7-inch wider track, with a unique, sheet-molded plastic front end from the windshield pillars forward. The front bumper is hydroformed steel with 4.5mm thick skid plates protecting vital parts. From the cab rearward is basically an F-150 FX4, with a full line of convenience and comfort features. -

2:00 a.m. September 12, 2009

Twenty-two miles in 25 minutes isn't a commute time worth bragging about -- but it's a brisk clip behind the wheel of a Ford Raptor on the San Felipe Wash of the Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area.

Ford was at the off-road area recently for the media debut of its V-8 powered Raptor SVT, a modified F-150 pickup. This truck has no fear of going a mile a minute -- and much faster -- over the ruts and rocks of the desert. I had some high-speed off-road runs, climbing exercises and nearly 150 miles on road in this specialty truck, whose highlight is a sophisticated, new shock absorber system by Fox Racing Shox of San Diego.

Driving 60 and 65 miles an hour on such rocky, ragged trails is unsafe and largely impossible in a public-access area, but Ford held the event on a closed course with numerous vehicle spotters and helicopter support. There were no accidents, injuries or even a blown tire in four waves of North American auto writers.

Thousands of San Diegans know the runs of Ocotillo Wells as well as their neighborhood streets. And now, so does Ford's Special Vehicle Team, which has been hiding out in our desert for the past three years developing Raptor into an ultimate prerunner. The team did much of its engineering work and trail driving at a privately owned facility near the off-road area and would travel back and forth between their Arizona proving grounds near Phoenix.

The San Diego desert has more variation in terrain than the sand in Arizona and it's similar to Baja California, where the team entered a Raptor last year in Class 8 of the Baja 1000. In near production form, it finished the race and was third in class, competing among some trucks that are, essentially, tube-frame racers with just remnants of a production vehicle appearance.

Baja race teams build prerunners similar in ability to Raptor for $500,000. The turn-key Ford model starts at $38,995 for the 5.4-liter model. A 400-horsepower, 6.2-liter V-8 goes on sale later this year for $41,995 with no additional features.

This is the first off-road truck for SVT, which has been known for its high-performance street vehicles, including the Lightning pickup. Its latest street car is the 540-horsepower, 2010 GT500 Shelby, so it is no stretch for this team of about a dozen engineers (male and female and all car enthusiasts) to put their know-how into a high-speed off-roader.

Ford calls Raptor purpose built for off-road, but road friendly. I call it a sports car for the desert, but with a 6,000-pound trailer capacity and 1,000-pound payload. Stopping power is absolute with 13.8-inch vented front discs, 13.7-inch vented rear.

Raptor is eight inches wider than a standard F-150 with a 7-inch wider track. The in-your-face front end is sheet-molded plastic from the windshield pillars forward. The front bumper is hydroformed steel with 4.5mm thick skid plates protecting vital parts. From the cab rearward is basically an F-150 FX4, with a full line of convenience and comfort features.

The wider track enhances stability. Fox Racing Shox control the ride. The company was tasked to create a shock absorber system that was comfortable on-road but also superior off-road — able to make table-top jumps without leaving parts behind.

“Fox Shox have the best hardware you can buy,” said Kerry Baldori, SVT chief functional engineer.

Raptor's ride quality seems almost soft on the road as the shocks compress and release, but dive into a corner and this truck really handles. Off-road the shocks firm up considerably when pushed, but I didn't make it so far as to hit the microcellular jounce bumpers. There are 11.2 inches of front wheel travel and 12.1 inches rear.

“The ability of the shock to go from soft to hard is what prevents it from bottoming,” said John Marking, vice president, Fox Racing Shox.

The rear-axle gearing is a fairly short 4.10 ratio, but it doesn't feel aggressive with the tall, 35-inch tires. At highway speeds, the engine is revving at a very comfortable 2,200 to 2,500 rpms. But even with a six-speed automatic transmission, fuel economy is challenged at 14 mpg city, 18 highway.

The 5.4-liter V-8 has peak horsepower of 320 at 5,200 rpm when using E85 gasoline. Power drops to 310 on 91 octane.

Climbing and crawling ability is enhanced by Hill Descent Control, which will hold speed to 2 mph. It can be raised incrementally to 15 mph.

An off-road mode recalibrates the engine throttle map for more driver control, allows some wheel slip, adjusts anti-lock braking to allow slide and prevents air bags from discharging without completely disabling them.

Ford hopes to sell about 6,000 Raptors in a full year. This may not be the ideal time to debut an 18 mpg, ultimate performance truck, but few automakers have gone after the off-road segment with a dedicated vehicle. And they aren't likely to now in this era of scrutinized budgets.

Raptor is a purpose-built truck for San Diego off-roaders.

Mark Maynard is driving in cyberspace at mark.maynard@uniontrib.com.

Download podcasts of Maynard's Garage weekly Internet radio show at signonradio.com. And click into Maynard's Garage blog site at garage.uniontrib.com/.
2019 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor

Body style: five-passenger, extended-cab, half-ton pickup with 5.5-foot bed

Engine: 5.4-liter three-valve V-8

Horsepower: 320 at 5,200 rpm on E85 fuel; 310 hp at 5,000 rpm on 91 octane

Torque: 390 foot-pounds at 3,500 rpm on E85 / 365 foot-pounds at 3,500 rpm

Transmission: Six-speed automatic overdrive with tow haul mode

EPA fuel economy estimates: 14 mpg city, 18 highway; E85 for peak power

Fuel capacity: 26 gallons

DIMENSIONS

Tow capacity: 6,000 pounds

Length/wheelbase: 220.9/133 inches

Width/height: 86.3/78.4 inches

Curb weight: 5,863 pounds

PRICING

Base: $38,995, including $975 freight charge

Where assembled: Dearborn, Mich.
Maybe it should say, Where assembled: Jihadistan, Mich.
POLITICIANS & DIAPERS NEED TO BE CHANGED OFTEN AND FOR THE SAME REASON

A person properly schooled in right and wrong is safe with any weapon. A person with no idea of good and evil is unsafe with a knitting needle, or the cap from a ballpoint pen.

I remain pessimistic given the way BATF and the anti gun crowd have become tape worms in the guts of the Republic. - toad

User avatar
Rumpshot
Posts: 3919
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:56 am

Re: Desert Sports Car - Ford's New Raptor Pickup

Post by Rumpshot » Sun Sep 13, 2009 1:48 pm

The area they were testing in is just a couple miles from my "desert" home. I have driven these trails for over 25 years and camped nearby or owned property nearby for that long. I spend Thanksgiving there each year.

My VW "tunnel buggy" will travel the San Felipe Wash at 60+ mph. What is wrong with a pickup doing the same. I have traveled it with my 2000 Xterra at close to those speeds.

Of course when I do it, there are usually lots of stops to "water" bushes and to refresh the beverages. :lol:
NRA Life Member
VFW Life Member
NMLRA Field Rep
North Central Arizona

User avatar
Combat Controller
Site Admin
Posts: 4887
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2008 12:03 am

Re: Desert Sports Car - Ford's New Raptor Pickup

Post by Combat Controller » Tue Sep 22, 2009 3:34 am

This truck may just help Ford pull out of the weeds. They need to keep it up, sell cars and trucks people actually want to buy.
Winner of the prestigious Автомат Калашникова образца 1947 года award for excellence in rural travel.

viper32cm

Re: Desert Sports Car - Ford's New Raptor Pickup

Post by viper32cm » Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:37 am

CombatController wrote:This truck may just help Ford pull out of the weeds. They need to keep it up, sell cars and trucks people actually want to buy.
Ford is probably in the best decision to do so too I'd say.

I think this is the first car I've seen where they advertise better performance with E85. The ethanol is better for high compression I know, I wonder if the engine advances or retrads timing when fueld with E85 or 91 octane, respectively.

Still E85 . . . what a crap "solution"

User avatar
mekender
Posts: 13189
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:31 pm

Re: Desert Sports Car - Ford's New Raptor Pickup

Post by mekender » Fri Nov 13, 2009 7:39 am

After having my ford in the shop every 6 months for the last 6 years, ill not buy another ford.
“I no longer need to run as a Presidential Candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democrat Party has adopted our platform.” - Norman Thomas, a six time candidate for president for the Socialist Party, 1944

merll2005
Posts: 365
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:25 am

Re: Desert Sports Car - Ford's New Raptor Pickup

Post by merll2005 » Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:47 am

viper32cm wrote:
CombatController wrote:This truck may just help Ford pull out of the weeds. They need to keep it up, sell cars and trucks people actually want to buy.
Ford is probably in the best decision to do so too I'd say.

I think this is the first car I've seen where they advertise better performance with E85. The ethanol is better for high compression I know, I wonder if the engine advances or retrads timing when fueld with E85 or 91 octane, respectively.

Still E85 . . . what a crap "solution"
IIRC E85 is something like 100 octane, so they would be pulling back the ignition timing for gas. There is also the timing/pulse width adjustments for the ethanol content. Whether E85 is a "crap solution" depends on what problem you are trying to solve. It might be cheaper* than the 100 octane pump gas some places sell even without subsidy and with the reduced fuel mileage.


*Determined by method of anal extraction

User avatar
NVGdude
Posts: 1706
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:39 am

Re: Desert Sports Car - Ford's New Raptor Pickup

Post by NVGdude » Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:27 pm

Our local dealer's can't keep them in stock. Originally each Ford dealer was supposed to only get one of these, but despite the price, they have proven to be good sellers, so Ford backed down and is allowing multiple orders per dealer. The local dealers have sold 5-6 each.

Almost every engine made for it will get better performance out of E-85 compared to gas. Usually only 10-20 HP, but hey every bit helps. And yes, a modern ignition simply advances the timing to take advantage of the varying fuel blends.

User avatar
Erik
Posts: 3425
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:36 pm

Re: Desert Sports Car - Ford's New Raptor Pickup

Post by Erik » Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:51 pm

viper32cm wrote:I think this is the first car I've seen where they advertise better performance with E85. The ethanol is better for high compression I know, I wonder if the engine advances or retrads timing when fueld with E85 or 91 octane, respectively.

Still E85 . . . what a crap "solution"
Not sure if they do it in the US, but SAAB has promoted their Biopower models for years to have something like 15 extra hp if you use E85. I have one of them, but I've never tried E85 in it, so I dont know for sure.
"Life is tough, but it's tougher if you're stupid."
John Wayne

merll2005
Posts: 365
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:25 am

Re: Desert Sports Car - Ford's New Raptor Pickup

Post by merll2005 » Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:31 pm

Erik wrote:
viper32cm wrote:I think this is the first car I've seen where they advertise better performance with E85. The ethanol is better for high compression I know, I wonder if the engine advances or retrads timing when fueld with E85 or 91 octane, respectively.

Still E85 . . . what a crap "solution"
Not sure if they do it in the US, but SAAB has promoted their Biopower models for years to have something like 15 extra hp if you use E85. I have one of them, but I've never tried E85 in it, so I dont know for sure.
I believe that is a turbocharged engine, right? The computer probably adjusts the wastegate to allow more boost when running E85 to take advantage of the higher octane in addition to the timing changes.
Last edited by merll2005 on Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Erik
Posts: 3425
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:36 pm

Re: Desert Sports Car - Ford's New Raptor Pickup

Post by Erik » Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:03 pm

Honestly, I just turn the key and drive... 8-)
But the way I understand it you're correct. The car "gives" the driver the extra horsepower, and I believe it's the computer that does the adjustment.
"Life is tough, but it's tougher if you're stupid."
John Wayne

Post Reply