Rapture on wheels!
Certain cars and trucks, at the mere sight of them, tell stories, much like humans. Yet unlike humans, a car's cover can often be judged correctly.
A tall, dark and handsome man may turn out to be lousy in bed whereas a sculpted, low to the ground, growling and snarling Porsche 911 Turbo S will mess with your sense of equilibrium and make you question the laws of gravity.
There are numerous cars that send loud and clear messages and the same can be said about trucks. A Ram 2500 Laramie Longhorn 4x4 with a Cummins Diesel is clearly a workhorse. A Cadillac Escalade is about hard pimpin'. A 2012 Ford F-150 Raptor SVT sends perhaps the loudest and clearest message in the truck business: I'm the boss of you.
W I D E
Everything about the Raptor is on a different scale. The flared wheel arches are the biggest giveaway that the SVT-tuned F-150 is purpose-built. The Corolla-length-wide FORD script on the front grille is not a decorative feature either.
The 35-inch BF Goodrich All Terrain tires (LT315/70R17 BSW A/T) are not for show, nor are the FOX Racing shocks looming behind the Raptor's unique 17" wheels. In fact, the only decorative aspect of this truck is the $2,400 worth of graphics which, on this thing, fit.
As I've said, the Raptor is a purpose-built machine that can do nothing less than get passers-by to stare. Skid plates, twin rear side tailpipes and a ride height creeping into Freightliner territory, the 2012 Ford Raptor is as badass and dedicated to its business as any.
I guess I'm trying to dispel the fact that the Raptor is not a pretending poser-mobile, a type of vehicle that is becoming quite popular. You CAN take this vehicle off the beaten path and beat the path into submission.
The cabin receives a fair number of minor upgrades. The most obvious are the SVT tagged gauges, some branded auxiliary switches and, in the case of our tester, some specific blue moon vinyl and plastic accents.
With the navigation system, the Raptor features a front-mounted camera that displays the goings-on ahead of the truck's massive hood. The image is projected on the 4.2" screen, perfect for negotiating tight off-road courses or a shopping mall parking lot...
As with the regular F-150, the seats are large and comfortable and, in the case of the SuperCrew, rear passengers are treated to limo-like room. This is manifestly not the reason why you're reading this review. Let's get on with it.
The 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor is capable, very capable. In fact, we set out to find out if the Raptor was all show and no go but we quickly realized that it is nothing short of unstoppable.
All Raptors are powered by a 6.2L V8, the same found in the Harley-Davidson edition. When it launched in 2010, the truck was motivated by a 5.4L V8 and although it performed well, it could not cut the mustard as the most badass F-150's V8. At 411 hp and 434 lb-ft of torque, the 6.2L's massive power gets all 6,200+ lbs (2,820 kg) going with a bellowed roar to make a Ford Mustang GT look over its shoulder.
It's not that the 2012 Raptor is fast, it's just that it seems impossible that such a large mastodon of a behemoth can move so quickly about town and better yet, in the rough untamed stuff.
As the ultimate test, we set our sights on Mecaglisse, a veritable playground for all things motorized. Here we discovered that the Raptor can fly, swim and climb mountains. Check out our Ford F-150 SVT Raptor video; as we said, it is virtually unstoppable. We also found out that it can drift as well as be driven normally on highways.
SVT Raptor: The Conqueror
What makes the 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor such a menace on any surface is the combination of its 4x4 system with a trick Torsen front differential capable of pulling as much as the rear diff pushes, huge tires and, most of all, its crazy suspension.
The latter consists of independent coil-on-shock, double-wishbone FOX Racing Shox on aluminum and forged-steel arms. The rear is all about the live axle with leafs, Hotchkiss-type setup also with FOX Racing Shox.
By the way, FOX shox also equip the Local Motors Rally Fighter I recently tested. These shocks provide a perfect blend of control, comfort and confidence. You can clearly see how the truck is unruffled by the jumps and drifting in the video. Factor in 11.2" and 12.1" of suspension travel, front and rear, and you have the perfect all-terrain conquering vehicle.
It's simple: this is what the Raptor was designed to do.
With great power comes the need for great big brakes. Measuring nearly 14 inches front and back, the massive ventilated discs are seemingly indestructible. The amount of brake boost makes the pedal heavy but response and performance are excellent. Steering has little feedback but precision is surprising given the huge knobby tires.
At the mere sight of the 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor, you can correctly guess that the thing sucks on gas like the Jersey Shore downs bottles of Vodka. My returned average was of 19.5L/100 km. In off-road conditions, that number can easily jump by 25%.
The Rapture comes...
...at a price. Other than needing a mortgage to keep the gas tank full, the $55,999 starting price is not in everyone's reach. Our tester wrung in at a whopping $64,749, which is a deal in fact as building your own uber-capable-off-road-baja-ninja-super-truck would cost considerably more. And don't forget that the Raptor carries a full warranty.
The Raptor is simply awesome, not for the faint of heart or wallet. When Armageddon comes, if you own one of these, your only worry will be filling up with fuel. As options, if the Raptor isn't your cup of tea, you may want to consider the Ram PowerWagon or a Chevy Silverado HD, but neither will cover ground with the same efficiency and admiring glares.
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