Thought Chevy’s Lumina was a bakkie with attitude? Check out the F-150 SVT Raptor, powered by a very unruly 302kW V8.
Last year, when Ford showed off its Raptor off-road recreational racing bakkie, the stock 5.4l V8 (worth around 230kW) was always going to be only a stopgap.
At the time Ford promised a 6.2l V8 would be in the works, yet it would not be lulled into spilling the exact power figures.
It may only sport a 500kg payload capacity, but with 302kW available, who cares?
Powered by a proper V8
With the SEMA show now in full swing, all the delectable technical details concerning the Raptor 6.2l V8 have come to bear.
Raptor's new 6.2l V8 engine option finally produces numbers worthy of repeating in manly company.
Power peaks at 5 500r/min to a value of 302kW, whilst 588Nm factors in at an engine speed of 4 500r/min. Those outputs should ensure 0-100km/h sprint capability in the very low six-second bracket.
The Raptor’s appeal is not in embarrassing hot hatch owners at the traffic lights though. Instead, its redoubtable off-road capability fused with high-output V8 power turn it into the ultimate weekend trail raiding toy. Racing legal road bandit...
If the stock Raptor 6.2l V8 isn’t quite radical enough for your off-road recreational requirements, Ford’s SVT team are preparing special turn-key racing versions.
These FR Raptor XT bakkies aren’t road legal, although if you live Stateside your local dealer will be where you collect them after putting down $100 000.
Aimed at a very niche market (off-road racing enthusiasts who own really large weekend getaway properties) the FR Raptor XT features a range of upgrades compared to the road-legal versions.More power, tougher dampers
The Fox Racing Shox dampers fulfil a crucial role within the Raptor's crushing high-speed off-road ability.
With their unique internal bypass damper system (which increases damper bound/rebound resistance as the extremities of damper travel), the independently suspended Raptor has low exposure to bottoming out over extreme terrain at speed.
Known primarily for its motorcross dampers, Bob Fox's team has done a neat job of keeping the Raptor's wheel travel optimsed.
Wheel travel is hugely impressive too, with the stock Raptor sporting front and rear wheel travel numbers of 292- and 330mm respectively. FR Rapor XT stretches those wheel travel statistics to 381mm fore and 457mm aft.
Ford’s turn-key competition bakkie features front and rear electronically actuated differential locks.
Although the four-link rear suspension shadows the stock Raptor, FR XT adds a universal-ball joint to the double wishbone front wheel attachments.
Due to its bandit licensing status (not being road-legal) the breathing and gas exchange regime has been freed up considerably and Ford promises around 370kW for Raptors in FR XT trim.
A Chromoly rollcage and extensive underbody skid plate protection further shores up off-road ability whilst tubular front and rear bumpers should wear well in harsh, ding-prone environments.
Cabin is bakkie simplicity. Six-speed automatic transmission should make the Raptor a doodle in traffic.
Perhaps the FR Raptor XT’s most endearing characteristics is the list of amenities its carry-over road-legal cabin brings into the equation.
Despite the rollcage and five-point harness bucket seats all the standard Raptor comfort and convenience features are still there in the FR XT – which means you’ll be racing around your mate’s farm at breakneck speed in air-conditioned comfort…
The Raptor SVT project has seen 3 000 orders for the 5.4l version taken, with 700 units delivered to customers. Orders for the 6.2l start this December.
Only a very limited production run – 50 units – of the FR Raptor XT will be built to order.
If you're keen on owning a daily driver that doubles as a weekend competition off-road racing tool, or just love messing up your brother-in-law's quad track on a Sunday afternoon, these Raptors are the ticket...