Ford F150 Svt Raptor

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Engine/Trans: 6.2-litre V8 petrol Trans: six-speed automatic with

SelectShift manual mode, electronic diff, switchable 4WD.

Power: 405bhp @ 5500rpm

Torque: 434lb.ft. @4500rpm

0-60mph: 7.5-seconds (est) Price: 541,995


Quick then?

Hell yeah. Having climbed straight from a low-slung 426bhp new Camaro SS (also a 6.2-litre, only with a rival bowtie badge) up into the Raptor's cab, it was the pick-up that not only felt faster, but more exciting. It even sounded more raw.

Road holding is pretty good for a truck. Thanks to special Fox Racing shocks it offers a soft, but compliant ride. With a heavier engine, the damping had to be recalibrated, and it shows. The specially developed BF Goodrich LT31S/70R17 BSW A/T tyres were born and bred for all terrain punishment. On the road they feel...well... wooden, judging by how little they wore during e-diff assisted rolling burnouts, probably mahogany...

What about off-road?

Hard as we tried, there weren't many dunes, dirt tracks or gorse bushes to leap over in Detroit. All the Ford ads show the Raptor getting serious air - which is where the purpose-built bright blue Fox Racing shocks come in.

The internal bypass front shocks provide 11.2-inch of suspension travel, while the rears are outboard mounted and feature a piggyback reservoir (so they don't prolapse during Dukes of Hazzard spec canyon leaps) to give 12.1-inches of movement.

What other Raptor-only tricks does it boast?

Cast aluminium front lower control arms, bespoke front grille, closed loop tow hooks, Ford SVT 16-inch alloy rims and sump scuff plate.

Does it only come in orange?

No. You can choose between Molten Orange, Ingot Silver, Tuxedo Black, Blue Flame or Oxford White. The (thankfully) optional Nineties 'splatter' graphics only detract from the Raptor's race-bred credentials. Oh, and go easy on the optional colour-coded leather interior accents. With toggle switches the size of fingers, the cabin looks Duplo enough without a primary colour explosion. *

It was the pick-up that not only felt faster, but more exciting. It even sounded more raw...

Everywhere we drove the Raptor in America it caused a stir. Big men yearned for it. Unsurprisingly Ford Europe won't officially sell them, so would-be Raptor hunters will have to source theirs through specialist importers.

Niche, a bit pointless in the UK and bloody difficult to enter/exit the towering cab (even with 34-inch legs) but, most importantly, brimming with no-holes-barred US-of-A charisma. This really is to truck folk what the GT3 is to the 911 world.

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