Ford’s Special Vehicle Team, is further building on its solid foundation of the new F-150 to deliver the all-new 2010 F-150 SVT Raptor, a purpose-built, high-performance off-road truck versatile enough to take on the most challenging desert adventures as well as the everyday commute.
“Ford trucks have been a mainstay on the off-road racing scene for more that 20 years because of our long history of capability and durability,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president for Global Product Development. “With the F-150 SVT Raptor, we are delivering a true off-road performance truck with the proven ‘Built Ford Tough’ capability and durability that is at the core of every F-150 and the best in performance thanks to the team at SVT.”
“Like its fighter jet and dinosaur namesakes, the F-150 SVT Raptor is tough, fast, aggressive, and built with the off-road enthusiast in mind,” he added.
Ford and off-road racing
Desert off-road racing is something Ford knows and does well, with eight championships in nine divisions in the 2007 “Best In The Desert” series and four more titles in CORR (Championship Off Road Racing). Ford has also shown its dominance at the Baja 1000 race – 12 Ford-powered vehicles have won the overall title for four-wheel vehicles, the most of any engine manufacturer.
With interest in off-road performance growing at a steady rate, the F-150 SVT Raptor was built to fulfill the desires of that highly demanding market. The high-performance off-road truck market is one that’s largely untapped, allowing the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor to set the bar for this type of vehicle.
Noticeable differences between the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor and conventional F-150 include a distinctive grille that has the Ford name carved into it; front bumper, vented hood, front fascia and fenders, functional hood extractors, fender extractors with ‘SVT’ bored out, as well as visible FOX Racing Shox, the only internal bypass shocks available on a street truck.
Another key difference between the F-150 SVT Raptor and the base F-150 is it is more than seven inches wider. Ford designers took advantage of this difference and highlighted it with distinctive marker lamps. When turned off, the marker lamps are well-integrated into the F-150 SVT Raptor’s front end, as opposed to on top of the cab.
Inside, the steering wheel is wrapped in black leather and features a molten-orange leather strip that serves as a centering sight line – which is especially useful in extreme driving maneuvers that can often cause the driver to lose perspective of the steering wheel’s center point.
Take off and landing
Building a high-performance off-road truck is not about the horsepower – it’s about the suspension. The F-150 SVT Raptor doesn’t disappoint, with 13.4 inches of usable travel in the rear suspension and 11.2 in the front.
A tough truck needs tough tires, and a BF Goodrich All-Terrain TA/KO 315/70-17 tire does the job.
To help improve the tire in a variety of conditions, the compound of the tread was altered. Engineers made the rubber softer for better performance on and off-road and for precise and predictable steering in a variety of conditions while the interior of the tire was modified to improve lateral firmness.
The tall sidewall on the 35-inch tire can handle rocks and irregular surfaces commonly experienced in an off-road environment. A 17-inch cast aluminum wheel is designed to absorb the impact of objects the truck could encounter in some of the most extreme environments.
AdvanceTrac® with RSC® (Roll Stability ControlTM) predicts the vehicle’s path using a sensor to detect and measure oversteer and yaw by monitoring the vehicle’s speed, throttle position and steering wheel angle.
- Trailer Sway Control works in conjunction with AdvanceTrac with RSC and can determine from the yaw motion of the truck if the trailer is swaying and take measures – such as applying precise braking or reduced engine torque – to bring both vehicle and trailer under control.
- Integrated Trailer Brake Controller is factory-installed and allows direct operation of the trailer’s electronic brakes by squeezing the control module on the instrument panel with more confidence than the typical aftermarket system.
- Electronic Locking Differential uses a true mechanical connection to lock the left and right axle shafts together so both turn at the same speed with the same amount of torque. This switch-controlled feature maximizes traction capability at the wheel with grip, without having to stop the truck.
- Hill Descent Control on the F-150 SVT Raptor is Ford’s first application of the technology. Utilizing ABS, the driver can control hill descent without applying the brakes. The speed is set for the truck to descend the hill by pushing a button and allows for the driver to concentrate on driving, rather than on how to modulate the brakes on a steep decline.
- Off-Road Mode engages a third throttle map and a third shift schedule for improved off-road performance. Third throttle map alters the throttle by changing the driver demand table so it is better suited to high and low-speed off-road driving conditions. A third shift schedule is a unique strategy for the off-road environment that holds the transmission in each gear for a longer period of time, allowing better engine throttle modulation to control the vehicle.
- Auxiliary Switch Board on the center console makes aftermarket customization easier, with four prewired switches attached to the power distribution box for electrical accessories. Also located on the auxiliary switch board are two switches for improved off-road performance – Hill Descent Control and Off-Road Mode.
The F-150 SVT Raptor will be built along side the new F-150 at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant at the historic Rouge Center in Dearborn, Mich.