2018 Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCab first drive: Dakar truck for the family
The F-Series truck is nothing short of a phenomenon. In 2017, Ford sold 896,764 units globally which, despite an automotive backdrop increasingly dominated by electrification, downsizing and connectivity, was up by 9 percent year on year.
The F-150 may be the smallest model in the F-Series range, but it’s currently the world’s best-selling vehicle and has been America’s best-selling truck for the last 40 years. The Ford F-150 Raptor is America’s idea of a go-faster version. Inspired by Baja desert racers and developed by the same Ford Performance division that brought us the Focus RS, Mustang and GT supercar, the Raptor has been built to go almost anywhere at speed.
It’s basically a leather-lined Dakar truck for the family, and it uses the same engine as the Ford GT supercar. Seriously. Under that bonnet-the-size-of-a-county is the same 3.5-litre twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 petrol from Ford’s Le Mans-winning, race-developed supercar - albeit retuned (and detuned) for torque rather than power. It develops 444bhp and 510lb ft of torque, which are bigger, scarier numbers than the previous Raptor, which used a larger capacity 6.2-litre V8.
It’s lighter than its predecessor, too. This may still be a 2.5-tonne truck designed for tackling vast open spaces, but Ford has managed to strip 220kg from the previous car’s kerbweight thanks to the smaller capacity engine and a mixture of military grade aluminium and composites.
Everything about the F-150 Raptor shou...