Click above for high-res image gallery of the SVT Raptor R from its debut in BAJA

Ford's race-ready SVT Raptor R made it's competition debut last fall in the Baja 1000 and managed a respectable third place finish in its class for its first time out. That same truck is returning to racing soon in the hands of Rob MacCachren and Steve Olliges to run the five race "Best in the Desert" series. The SVT Raptor R has a 500-hp version of the 6.2L V8 that will be available in the production SVT Raptor next year. Underneath, the Raptor R also has a standard Raptor frame and a production spec 6-speed automatic transmission. The initial run of production SVT Raptors that go on sale this summer will use the F-150's current 320-hp 5.4L V8. Ford will also be using the Raptor R race program to test new performance parts that will offered to regular customers after the truck launches.

Related GalleryFord F-150 SVT Raptor R

[Source: Ford]


FORD F-150 SVT RAPTOR R TO RUN "BEST IN THE DESERT"
SERIES IN 2009, PROVING DURABILITY AND RELIABILITY


• After a successful Baja 1000 finish, the production-based F-150 SVT Raptor R will run in all five points races to continue extreme durability testing of production components

• Drivers Rob MacCachren and Steve Olliges will pilot the Raptor R providing Ford access to development and testing data.

DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 5, 2009 – Ford Racing and Ford's Special Vehicle Team (SVT) announced today that the F-150 SVT Raptor R, the same truck that finished third in class at the 41st SCORE Tecate Baja 1000, will run in the 2009 "Best In The Desert" race series. The truck will be driven by veteran Ford truck racers and former "Rough Riders" Rob MacCachren and Steve Olliges. The privately funded team will run all five points races for 2009 in the Raptor R to continue testing the durability of the 2010 F-150 SVT Raptor and its production components.

Prepared for racing in off-road endurance events, the F-150 SVT Raptor R demonstrates the toughness and durability built into every F-150 by using stock components, including the stock fully boxed frame that delivers class-leading towing and hauling in the F-150. The race truck is powered by a specially modified and calibrated 500 horsepower version of the production 6.2-liter V-8 engine and is mounted to a production-spec six-speed automatic F-150 transmission.

"This is a great opportunity for everyone involved in the Raptor program to get more real-time data on how the truck performs in the most extreme conditions," stated Cliff Irey, Manager of truck motorsports for Ford Racing Technology. "We need to push the truck harder than we'd ever expect our customers would to ensure that the production F-150 SVT Raptor is the ultimate factory-available high-speed off-road truck."

Drivers Rob MacCachren and Steve Olliges each have impressive racing resumes, both winning numerous off-roading championships. MacCachren has won over 100 events and 15 championships in his career to date. Olliges has 30 class wins as well as seven off-road championships. Both drivers have also won their respective classes in the prestigious Baja 1000 during their careers.

The F-150 SVT Raptor is like no other truck available on the market today and demonstrates Ford's commitment to delivering unique production based performance vehicles. The F-150 SVT Raptor will be available at dealerships this summer with a Flex Fuel 5.4-liter V-8 engine making 320hp, 390 ft.-lbs. of torque, and a six-speed automatic transmission. The electronically selectable four-wheel drive system also has an E-locker rear differential that, when engaged, stays locked even at high speeds. Raptor will be available with an all-new 6.2-liter V-8 early
next year. Engineers are targeting 400hp and 400 ft.-lbs. of torque for the new engine.

The production F-150 SVT Raptor is had been developed with the DNA of an off-road pre- runner. Exclusive internal-bypass FOX Racing Shox, specially developed 35-inch BFGoodrich® All-Terrain tires, seven-inch wider track, specially calibrated "Off-Road" mode stability control, and Hill Descent give Raptor a high level of control in off-road situations. With 11.2-inches of front suspension travel, 12.1-inches out back, and patented internal-bypass dampers, Raptor is just as adept at handling the rough stuff at high-speeds as many other trucks are at a crawl.

The F-150 SVT Raptor R 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 Performance Parts catalog.

More information on the F-150 SVT Raptor can be found at www.F150svtraptor.com.