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2010 Ford Raptor

2010 Ford Raptor

2010 Ford Raptor

Click here [1] to listen to the 2010 Ford Raptor review.

Every now and then, even for a forty three year-old, something different comes along. Something you can’t quantify with reasonable logic. Much like a boneless Pilgrim’s Pride chicken, the all-new Ford Raptor boggles the mind. It is the most efficient off-road factory racer ever built. It may redefine what we think of the ½ ton pick-up forever.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not some off-road savant who can recite the highly complicated mathematical equations that off-roading requires to succeed. I’m just a guy who loves driving trucks through pastures. The faster I can go the more I like it. Sounds very country I know. But growing up in East Texas I got to drive fast on dirt roads for most of my adolescent life. I think the vehicle of choice was my grandfather’s 1970 something Chevy Luv. That’s right, I said it, a Chevrolet Luv completely decked out with a bench seat, four on the floor and throwing, I don’t know maybe forty horsepower to the rear wheels. I carved the Ark-La-Tex up in that truck. The rice fields were particularly enjoyable.
Imagine if my grandfather’s truck would have been a Ford Raptor. I coulda been a contenda.

Of all of the vehicles I’ve reviewed over the years none has been more unique than the Raptor. It’s a truck that drives like a car and runs like a Baja racer. The raptor has been selling like crazy in the desert west where there is ample territory to showcase the amazing ability of the truck. A very stock, slightly modified version of the Raptor was entered in the 2008 Baja 1000 and placed third in its class in its very first race. Think about that, something that you can purchase at the Ford house and drive on the street can race at speeds over a hundred miles an hour across the desert. Have you driven a Ford lately? Seriously?

Okay, here are the specs. The Raptor’s base price is $38,995. It is based on a Ford F-150 Super Cab with a 5.5-foot bed. Under the hood (for now) is a 5.4 liter V8 that delivers 320HP and 390 lb-ft of torque. The six-speed automatic transmission assures the motor will always be in the proper power curve. The differentials are conventional F-150. But the Raptor has an electronic locking rear differential and carries 4.10:1 gearing, enough to move the massive 315/70R17 (35 inch) BF Goodrich All-Terrain tires and to get the truck out of the hole quickly. In the future the Raptor will be even faster with the all-new 6.2 liter motor expected to bring a hundred extra horses on board.

Like any good off-road truck the Raptor is all about the suspension. Ford’s SVT team, the ones that brought us the 03 SVT Cobra and the never forgettable Ford Lightning, made sure the Raptor could handle anything standing in its way. Most notable to the naked eye is the wider stance of the Raptor. Ford widened the F-150 stance by 7-inches. There are special upper and lower control arms. The lower control arms are actual mini skid plates designed to deflect any rocks or debris from corrupting your control. There is over 11-inches of travel up front and well over thirteen- inches in the rear. At each corner there are Fox Racing shocks and micro-cellular urethane bump stops to smooth out the most punishing terrain. And maybe the most impressive of all, maximum electronics allow the Raptor’s suspension to be tuned on the fly. In full off-road mode there is no ABS or traction control. I love things with no control.

I wasn’t sent to an exotic location to test drive the Raptor. Well, it’s not like I write for Motor Trend or the Roger Gray blog. I’m just a grunt…who tested this truck in the brutal, urban wasteland known as Dallas Texas. More potholes and ridiculous dips than a Yes concert . It was a great place to test the truck on “paved Pastures”. As you would expect I can only relay small parts of the story but suffice to say the Raptor performed… well, very well.

I think I could rule the rice fields for decades. Hats off to Ford. I have a friend who is a died in the wool Mopar guy. When he was riding in the 2010 Raptor he said “You know I’m not a Ford guy but, if I was I think now is the best time in history to be one”. Well said.

Visit Ford’s website to see more on the most original truck built in years. The Ford Raptor.

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