Ford is Taking the F-150 SVT Raptor Racing in the Desert
Sort of like “Mad Max: Fury Road,” The Ford F-150 Raptor is a miracle just in its existence. In a world where focus groups lead the way on homogeneous designs, such an insane vehicle from the factory is an incredible feat. But the followup act could be more impressive…and challenging. The move to an aluminum body and V6 engine might have some critics squawking about it losing that insane ruggedness that allowed it to drive over long stretches of desert at incredible speeds. RELATED: Ford Raptor Gets Even Better for 2017
We’ve seen the power of Ford’s EcoBoost V6. On the new Raptor, it is set to make 450 hp and 45 lb-ft of torque, and Ford claims that the fully boxed frame (which is the backbone of the truck) actually has more high-strength steel than the outgoing model. And to prove just how strong the new Raptor is, they are taking it racing.
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More specifically, they will be running in the 2016 Best in the Desert race series, under the “Factory Stock” classification. Stock is a funny notion with the particular Raptor they will be fielding, because the race truck will feature unique external-bypass front and rear Fox shock absorbers and bigger springs that allow a greater ground clearance. The Raptor will run probably run unopposed in its class, and being the factory making the truck, can spec-up the truck accordingly.
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Other items installed are for obvious safety reasons, and include a roll cage, race seat with five-point harness, and an assortment of LED light bars. But the rest–including the drivetrain–has to be stock. Luckily the V6 makes more than enough power, and is sent through an 8-speed automatic transmission to the Raptor’s advanced four-wheel drive system. It features a terrain m management system that features, Normal, Weather (rain/snow), Mud/Sand, Rock, as well as two other interesting drive modes. “Street” is for high-performance, on-road driving, while “Baja” mode is designed for high-speed desert driving.
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The first race is the Parker 425, Feb 4-7. It will be followed by the famous Mint 400 (March 10-14), the Laughlin Desert Classic (May 5), the Vegas to Reno (Aug. 17-20), the Bluewater Challenge (Sept. 10-Oct. 6), and finishing with the Pahrump Nugget 250 (Dec. 1-4).