Mud Romper: 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor
There comes a time in every one’s life when we reach that critical age of disappear and loss of fulfillment. Some of us resort to the youth to feel young again while others search for an alternative, flashier lifestyle. Both are equally expensive, so why just limit ourselves to one or the other – we want it all! It may take 5 seconds to 60 mph, but all it took was the first 1.5 seconds before we were hooked on the all new Ford F-150 Raptor.
Timing of the Raptor is a like showing up a little too late to its own party. While the F-150 was launched in 2015 for its 13th generation, a new updated version has been released for 2018 with new styling cues and a PowerStroke Diesel engine. In the case of the ludicrous Raptor, its timing has been a bit pre-mature being launched for 2017, with no official plans to incorporate Ford’s latest facial treatment. Non-the-less, it couldn’t have come soon enough.
It’s comes as no surprise the Raptor is as intimating as your first girlfriends father holding a twin barrel shotgun rifle. Based on the current F-150’s aluminum chassis, the Raptor grows out an extra 6.4 inches with badass hefty off-road tires, steel skid plates, and a name plastered on the side to remind people they got out the way for a reason. Unlike the previous generation Raptor, which ended its career in 2014, the new Raptor gets a whole new meaning of performance. With the elimination of the supercharged V-8, Ford went in the direction of their EcoBoost with a new twin-turbo V-6 producing a wicked 450 horsepower and over 500lb-ft torque through an extraordinary 10-speed automatic transmission. 10-gears, we’ll admit, is too many; however, Ford has engineered this transmission nearly to perfection with crisp, quick responsiveness – it’s only drawback lies behind the steering wheel paddle shifters that can make downshifting through all 10 gears very annoying.
Starting at $49,265, the Raptor is quite cheap when we think about it – all this truck, in all it’s glory with LED headlights, leather interior, and over achieving can do ego. Our sampler, in a SuperCab form came in around $64,420 after a fair amount of options, a price that seems a little more appropriate for this engineering icon.
With an extra 2-inches of ground clearance over the previous generation, the new Fox dampers are an impressive example of what this machine is capable of. Choosing between Normal, Sport, Weather, Mud & Sand, Baja and Rock Crawl – the Raptor has everything it needs to be a weekend warrior. On our back desert roads, the Raptor maintained a supple, supreme ride quality only found in high-end luxury cars. At speeds over 50 mph on a dirt road, it was nothing to eat up the bumps. While we didn’t do anything too extreme with our $65-grand Raptor, as we, after-all, did have to return it the way we received it, it does come with a locking rear differential.
Driving the Raptor can be overwhelming at first. Its size and loose steering don’t provide a lot of confidence as to where we found ourselves in the road. Even with Sport Mode engaged that firms up the electric steering, didn’t provide a rewarding feeling either, though we didn’t expect it to. The Raptor is fairly easy to handle and maneuver – the steering is light and nimble for easy mobility and makes for parking a breeze – especially with the all-around view camera. Fuel economy is not going to be in your sights, although, if considering one these – and seeing how we merely averaged 13 miles to the gallon over the EPA’s rated 16 mpg combined rating, fuel economy isn’t in your forte.
It’s difficult to complain about something that we unquestionably worship – not just from an appearance aspect but from an engineering perspective. But it is disappointing to find, that after spending nearly 70-grand on a truck that is just supposed to uphold this insane mentality, we did expect to see a little more flair than the standard F-150 interior. Outside of some leather embossed seats and a small racing strip in the center of the steering wheel, it would have been nice to see the designers at Ford to have a little bit of fun. Seeing as we have always found the interior of the F-150 very appealing, there was no shortage of that here with carbon fiber trim, leather seats, and an 8-inch touch screen display that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Bystanders admiring the Raptors aggressive demeanor didn’t care too much for the SuperCrew Cab’s design – which is strange, because we rather liked the proportions it gave to the Raptor’s stance. Despite the four-door containing enough room to fit the entire NFL, costing an extra $2985, the SuperCrew Cab was plenty comfortable for those traveling a short journey. The rear doors even open up extremely wide allocating plentiful room to get in and out of the cabin and the rear seats can fold up revealing extra storage space.
Since the Raptor doesn’t have any direct competitors – closes being the RAM Rebel and Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 – it puts the Raptor in a special place. Which is a good thing, our mid-life crisis is coming up soon and we want to attract all the wrong attention.
|2017 Ford F-150 Raptor||$48,325|
|As Tested (including Options & Destination):||$64,420|
|3.5-liter Twin Turbo V-6 – 450-Horsepower, 10-Speed Automatic Transmission – 0-60MPH: ±5.0 seconds|
|EPA MPG: 15/18/16 (City/Highway/Combined) – SSB Average: 13 MPG’s – Fuel Range: ±350 Miles|
I can’t believe there have been 13 generations of Ford F-150. And I think it continues to be one of the best selling (if not THE best selling) vehicles on the market. The Raptor was a vicious beast. It showed up dripping victoriously in mud to a car wash party and turned 20 heads. Everyone in unison said, “We aren’t washing that.”
I know! The F-150 has been around the block several times. I should have made everyone wash it! Make Manny’s job a little easier.
I also really like the SuperCrew Cab design, it just makes the proportions work on the truck. It’s not long been announced that we’re due to get a Raptor version (the Ranger Raptor) here in New Zealand soon – I just hope it’s as good as the F-150 version, as it looked like a real hoot to drive. Looks like you had fun during the time you had it!
Gasp – I wonder if we’ll get the Ranger Raptor. That looks epic. The Raptor is such a hoot to drive and to feel overly confident off-roading in it – it feels like it can never get stuck.