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Motoring: Sink your teeth into the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor

Nauman Farooq | Interrobang | Sports | November 9th, 2009

When it comes to vehicle names, there have been some duds, and there have been some studs. For instance, I, personally, wouldn't drive around in a Chevrolet Aveo, because, in my view, the name is better suited to a bar of soap, than a vehicle. On the other side of things though, the Dodge Nitro is a very cool name. I can't think of any kid who wouldn't want to brag to their friends that their parents owned a vehicle with said moniker.

The best name for a vehicle ever, however, undoubtedly comes from Ford, and takes its dubbing from a carnivorous dinosaur whose speed and agility made it a very potent killer. Of course I'm referring to Ford's new F-150 series known as the Raptor. Built with the same speed and agility in mind as the dinosaur, this truck loves running on dirt paths.

Ford F-150 SVT Raptor

With one simple glance, you can see what I mean — the F-150 Raptor looks like it could be driven directly off of the display floor, and entered straight into a Baja rally. Indeed, this is the entire point of this vehicle: while it's a showroom-ready truck, it's also ready to be entered into any competitive off-road event; hence, its nearly 12-inches of ground clearance, 35-inch tall tires, and FOX Racing suspension system, which includes a bonus off-road mode to get you through the toughest of terrains. Take it from me this Raptor is not just about show.

Starting life off as any regular F-150 pick-up, the engineers at SVT, Ford's performance division, transformed this vehicle through the following means: they lightened it up, increased its track by seven inches, and widened its body by another eight.

While its set-up then is pure desert racer, don't think as a result that they skimped out on the luxuries. With power seats, power adjustable pedals, a sunroof, a great navigational system, and truly brilliant audio, though it may have been designed to go through brush and bramble, the Raptor is also well equipped to deal with the urban jungle. Not that it is an easy task to drive through a city center in this beast.

Given its width, its beautifully-weighted power-steering does help a lot, when it comes to maneuvering. However, thanks to its big, knobby tires, the Raptor lacks in terms of steering feel, but this is nothing too major.

What is major about this truck is its fuel consumption! Thanks to its 5.4-litre V8, that produces 320hp and an associated 390 lb/ft of torque, not to mention its nearly three tonnes of weight, this animal of a car is very thirsty. I averaged an appalling 21.9-litres/100km, but, in all fairness, no one can expect a Raptor to act in line with a Prius. However, Ford says that thanks to its six-speed automatic gearbox, it can achieve as little as 10.2-litres/100km, on the highway.

Personally, I think this is the most awesome truck ever produced, not just from a looks or gadget point of view, but as a whole, and honestly, its fuel consumption is a non-issue. Plus, with the bargain price of only $48,299, you can think of the Raptor as a cheap Canadian winter supercar.

So, if I could devise my own dream car garage for the future, I'd have a Spyker Aileron as my exotic sports car, a VW Passat CC for practical purposes, and a Ford Raptor as my winter and all-terrain monster. Here's hoping that one day this dream will come true!
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