For those of you who love getting off the beaten track, here's US Ford's latest iteration of the iconic F-150. The F-150 SVT Raptor might look a little on the flashy side (even over-done), but with 240kWs and 530Nms of mud-slinging action under the right foot, a day or two in the bush will take care of that.
This is no ordinary F-150; there's more to it than that graphics package. The new grille and functional hood and quarter panel vents are bolted to a new body that's a full seven-inches wider. Forget the eye-candy though, it's what's underneath that really takes our fancy.
Completely redesigned front suspension includes new upper and lower control arms, upgraded tie rods, new half-shaft joints and heavy duty suspension from Fox Racing. All up this equates to almost 30cms of suspension travel up front and over 35cms of travel in the rear, not bad for a factory setup. The 17-inch rims come fitted with 315/70 BF Goodrich All-Terrain rubber as standard, making a fine compromise between off-road capability and on-road performance.
Ford's Triton 5.4L V8 provides motivation for now while a 6.2L unit is slated for release at a later date. The F-150 will include a raft of mechanical and technological features to improve it's capabilities in many situations and will include Trailer Sway Control, an Integrated Trailer Brake Controller, Electronic Locking Differential, and Hill Descent Control. A full off-road mode will also be available which disables all traction and stability programs and heavily relaxes the ABS to allow maximum control.
It might not be everyone's cup of tea but the F-150 looks the goods and, on paper at least, has the off-road machismo to match. While the US car market has hit the wall, Ford's F-series has held up better than its competitors there. So, what's the verdict boys and girls, would any of you serious off-road enthusiasts give the F-150 SVT Raptor a look in? We'd be more than happy to give it a thrash around the bush in the name of durability testing...