The 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor is a coveted machine by offroad enthusiasts and power junkies. I got a Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride in one of the fierce dinosaurs this week at the Ford Go Further event in Dearborn Michigan. Outfitted in a helmet and safety baklava, I sat next to a professional driver who showed me a few things the Raptor was capable of.
The first part of the course took us through a nasty set of whoops before ascending a hill where the truck’s rear axle was tested to great measures. I was highly impressed by the Raptor’s suspension. It’s long-travel Fox Racing suspension paired with aluminum 17-inchers with 35-inch BF Goodriches. The suspension was particularly handy during the portion of the course where the driver launched the truck off a small cliff for a little air.
Then there was the Raptor’s large LCD screen that worked harmoniously with the grill-mounted camera. This is for when the Raptor is climbing a hill and the driver can’t see things on the other side, like a cliff of doom. I also got a taste of the Raptor’s Hill Descent Control, which governed the acceleration and braking while the driver simply steered down a seemingly vertical hill.
The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor blazed through the high-speed portions of the course, courtesy of its big-bore 6.2L SOHC V8 rated at 411 horsepower and 434 lb.-ft. of torque. I loved the chug of the mighty V8, but if you’re driving in a city, expect 11MPG while the highway will see 16MPG. The Raptor starts at around $42,ooo as well, so it’s for the most discerning offroaders and truck enthusiasts.