Click above for high-res gallery of the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor R

Ford is eager to prove that its new SVT Raptor is the real deal when it comes to off road capabilities, so it's developed a racing version along with the production truck that's set to compete in the grueling Baja 1000 taking place in just a few weeks. The Raptor R will use numerous stock components including the complete frame, transmission, brakes and axles. The suspension, however, has been upgraded for more travel and better approach and departure angles. The stock interior has also been replaced with race seats, a full roll cage, and the necessary equipment to properly monitor and navigate the vehicle. The 6.2L V8 powering the Raptor R is not available in the production truck... yet, and features an aggressive camshaft, modified computer mapping and exhaust headers. As an added bonus, the race program will serve as a test bed for future off-road performance parts in the Ford Racing catalog. Hit the jump for more details on Ford's new race program and our gallery of high-res photographs can be found in the gallery below.

Related GalleryFord F-150 SVT Raptor R

Photos copyright ©2008 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc.

[Source: Ford]


PRESS RELEASE:

The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor, Ford's new king of the off-road just found a best friend. The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor R, which features modified components, was developed by SVT and Ford Racing specifically to race in the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 – one of the most grueling off-road races on the circuit.

"Ford's commitment to using racing as a test bed for new technologies is expanding to the
off-road arena with the F-150 SVT Raptor R," said Brian Wolfe, Ford Racing Technology director. "Racing the new truck in the elite Baja 1000 is the ultimate off-road test and will allow Ford to evaluate how well the F-150 SVT Raptor will hold up under the most unique and extreme conditions."

Prepared for racing in long distance off-road endurance events, the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor R uses stock components of F-150 SVT Raptor, including the transmission, brakes and axles. The frame – the part of the truck that will take the most stress – is the same proven fully boxed frame that delivers class-leading towing and hauling in the base F-150. The race truck is powered by a specially calibrated 500 horsepower, 6.2-liter V-8 engine.

While the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor has off-road capability that isn't available in any other production vehicle, the F-150 SVT Raptor R adds to that capability with enhancements to prepare it for one of the world's best-known off-road races.

"The race truck has even more suspension travel, better approach and departure angles, more horsepower, more ground clearance, and full racing specification seats, safety cage and harnesses, all of which combine to make an even faster, more visceral off-road experience," said Jamal Hameedi, SVT chief engineer.

Even if the typical Ford customer will not be putting their truck through the punishing paces of the Baja 1000, the point is this, they could.

"You can say the average customer is not likely to take their vehicle and enter it in the Baja 1000, but if you look at the things that happen in that 1000 kilometer race, over the life of a vehicle, you just might repeat those events," said Hameedi. "Maybe not all in one day, but over that 100,000 miles, knowing the vehicle will stand up to the Baja 1000 is important to off-road enthusiast customers."

The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor R not only emulates the 'Built Ford Tough' motto with its toughness and capability, but it also shows the level of high-performance vehicles that SVT develops.

"Raptor R is a natural SVT extension of the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor," said Hameedi. "It's very analogous to what a race prepped Cobra R was to an SVT Cobra or what a Mustang FR500C is to a Mustang GT."

The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor R in the Baja 1000 also serves as a test bed for the development of a lineup of race-proven, desert-tested, off-road performance parts that will be available through the Ford Racing catalog.

Ford Truck Motorsports has a successful past in off-road racing, sponsoring the desert endurance racing series "Best-in-the-Desert" with Ford trucks serving as the official vehicle.

Ford is bringing some of the best stock class off-road truck drivers together to drive the F-150 SVT Raptor R in the Baja 1000.

The team includes driver of record Steve Oligos and co-drivers Randy Merritt, Greg Foutz and Bud Brutsman who will compete in class eight for moderately modified full-size pickup trucks.

The Baja 1000 will run from Nov. 20-23. The intense off-road endurance race runs from sea level to 7,000 ft. altitude over 1,000 kilometers of sand, rock and mountain passes on the Mexican Baja Peninsula.