Road & Track (USA)
Whence It Came
The evolution of the Raptor.
A. First Generation: 2010–14
Instead of introducing a third generation of the F-150 Lightning, Ford took a hard left turn off-road with the desert-running F-150 Raptor. In-house performance tuner SVT threw extensive upgrades at the F-150: a seven-inchwider track, flared bodywork, unique front control arms, Fox shocks, 35-inch Bfgoodrich tires. Two extra inches of ride height helped the Baja-bashing pickup achieve 11.2 inches of front and 12.1 inches of rear suspension travel. Initial examples were hampered by a 5.4liter V-8 with just 310 hp and 365 lb-ft of torque. While sufficient for off-roading, the truck, with its brawny look and three-ton curb weight, begged for more power. An optional 6.2-liter V-8 with 411 hp and 434 lb-ft arrived within the first year, and the 5.4-liter was dropped for ’11. The larger engine awoke the character of the Raptor, the first factory-built aspirational desert runner.
B. Second Generation: 2017–20
The second-gen Raptor arrived for 2017, marking the end of a three-year hiatus. Construction of the new Raptor, like all other 13thgeneration F-series trucks, was revolutionary, with extensive use of aluminum. That helped the Supercab Raptor weigh a whopping
404 pounds less than its predecessor (the new Raptor also added a Supercrew option). The diet extended to the engine bay, where a 3.5-liter Ecoboost
V-6 replaced the V-8. Blasphemy aside, the twin-turbo six-cylinder provided 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque. A new 10-speed automatic improved both on- and off-road performance, with a 0–60 time of 5.2 seconds. New Fox
3.0 shocks brought suspension travel up to 13.0 inches at the front and 13.9 inches at the rear, while an electronically locking differential expanded the truck’s talents far beyond the dunes. –lucas bell