• Oct 26, 2010
Frequent Flying In Ford's Factory Baja Blaster

2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 - Click above for high-res image gallery

A scant 30 minutes had passed after taking possession of this 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor until we had all four of its wheels off the ground. We'd have done the deed even sooner, but our destination – a Baja-style test track in the middle of the desert outside Phoenix, Arizona – was, understandably, far enough out of town that no locals would be able to complain of excessive noise or mini dust tornadoes encroaching on their own tracts of brush-filled paradise.

2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor jumpAfter all, the modern conveniences of day-to-day life just don't mix with such uncivilized activities as seeing how much air you can put between your truck's skid plates and solid ground.

And therein lies the beauty of this particular beast. Since when did such niceties as in-dash navigation with voice-activated SYNC, a leather interior with heated seats, dual-zone climate control and satellite radio count as standard equipment in a truck that was built primarily for 100-mile-per-hour blasts through the desert?

Since late 2009, actually, when FoMoCo unleashed the first version of the F-150 SVT Raptor on an unsuspecting public. Unlike all previous products from Ford's Specialty Vehicle Team, including the F-150-based SVT Lightning, this truck does its best work once the pavement ends and the really nasty stuff begins.

It's no secret that we've loved the Raptor ever since our first experience behind the wheel, and now it's better than ever before. How so? Keep reading to find out.


2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2

Photos copyright ©2010 Drew Phillips and Jeremy Korzeniewski / AOL

Our biggest and perhaps only real complaint with the Raptor when it launched was that its 5.4-liter V8 engine was underpowered for the kind of shenanigans its heavy-duty chassis and beefed-up suspension encouraged. Ford heard our cries for more power, and rectified the situation with a new 6.2-liter V8 that was adapted for Raptor duty after first seeing action in Ford's Super Duty truck line.

Here's the first bit of truly great news: Everything positive that we said about the original Raptor carries over completely intact with the 6.2-powered version. That includes the solidity of the fully boxed ladder frame, which is a full seven inches wider than the standard F-150, as well as the 17-inch wheels with specially-crafted BF Goodrich All Terrain tires.

2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 side view2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 front view2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 rear view

You'll find knobs inside the Raptor 6.2 to switch between two-wheel drive, four-wheel drive high and four-wheel drive low. When the going gets really tough, the tough can get going by locking the rear end and engaging Off Road Mode, which uses electronic wizardry to change throttle and transmission shift maps along with the thresholds of the standard stability, traction and ABS brake controls. Finally, there is a handy-dandy Hill Descent Control function that will keep you from shooting up or down steep inclines too quickly.

And if you do happen to get in over your head despite all the efforts of the truck's hive mind of computer systems, the most important carryover bits and pieces would be those that make up the front and rear suspension. There are 11.2 inches of bump-ingesting travel up front and 12.1 inches at the rear. Damping duties are ably handled by a special set of Fox Racing Shocks that sport triple interior-bypass valving, enabling them to do things like leap tall mountains in a single bound. These suspenders are extraordinarily impressive and all but impossible to find fault with.

2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 interior2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 gauges2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 auxiliary switches2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 off road mode button

Now, let's get back to that Baja test track. We quickly found that you don't just drive a Raptor. You pilot it. The first thing we did after arriving at our not-so-secret testing location was to point the truck's massive front tires in the general direction of the track's largest ramp and bury the accelerator pedal. After that initial successful takeoff and landing, we repeated the deed over and over again... completely in the name of science, of course. Suffice it to say, the process of jumping a three-ton pickup truck never gets old, but we were still curious how the bright orange machine would handle the rest of the track's obstacles.

A couple of laps around the testing circuit proved a handful of points. First, it may indeed be possible to break a Raptor, but you'd need to do something truly stupid to make it happen. We're talking an act so completely without rational thought that it would have to be eligible for a Darwin Award if you didn't make it. A more likely scenario, however, is that you scare yourself into common sense at the first sign of pushing too far into the Raptor's prodigious bag of capabilities.

2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 jumping

Second, the biggest obstacle to earning your Raptor Pilot's license is the guts to keep your foot on the throttle in spite of your brain's ever present urgings to maintain control over life and limb.

Third, once you find the elusive switch that shuts down your brain's dogged insistence on self preservation, the Raptor will take on almost anything that Mother Nature has in its arsenal. Vespa-sized boulders, tire-swallowing holes and trenches large enough to halt a blitzkrieg are all dispatched with an air of invincibility. If you find yourself unsure of whether or not an area is passable, it probably just means that you're not going fast enough to jump it. We're actually not joking here – the truck's shocks are designed with multiple levels of damping force, which basically means the biggest of hits are soaked up at least as compliantly as smaller obstacles, and the rebound is much less likely to be jarring when you're moving at a decent speed.

2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 off-roading2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 off-roading2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 off-roading2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 off-roading

The final off-road tidbit we learned during our visit to the track is that the 6.2-liter engine is a much more willing and able partner than the previous 310-horsepower 5.4-liter Triton V8. Perhaps that goes without saying, but the fact of the matter is that the Raptor easily handles every one of the 411 horsepower and 434 pound-feet of torque the new engine is capable of dishing out.

And now it's time for the real revelation the Raptor has been hiding from you all this time: It's an extremely obliging machine when it's time to leave the desert expanses and head back home. What seemed just moments before like something created specifically to jump across the gaping hole of an unpronounceable volcano in Iceland is now a good old Ford F-150 pickup truck... and a luxurious one at that.

2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 engine

Amazingly, the ride is smooth and well controlled while driving on surface streets. Further, the cabin is quiet and cozy enough inside for front-seat passengers to carry on a conversation with those in the back seat without yelling. Steering is reasonably tight considering the giant rubber balloons on which the Raptor rides. The steering feel is a bit too light and quick for our tastes, but it's certainly on par with the rest of its off-road oriented full-size truck competitors.

Perhaps the biggest issue with the Raptor is its dismal fuel economy. We averaged a woeful 13.7 miles per gallon in everyday driving, which included more long slogs on the highway than balls-to-the-wall stretches of off-roading.

2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 side detail2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 logo2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 suspension system2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 wheel and tire

It's something of a contradiction in sheetmetal, the F-150 SVT Raptor. On one hand, it's a vehicle bred specifically to tackle the Baja 1000. On the other, it's refined enough to take you and the Mrs. out for a surprise night on the town. Well, that's assuming she doesn't mind being seen in our tester's bright orange paint and matte black graphics package. We'd at least take a pass on the matching interior scheme.

Perhaps it goes without saying, but we thoroughly enjoyed the week we spent with the 2010 Ford Raptor 6.2. All the good stuff we've ever written about the Raptor applies to this newest version, but sadly, our opinion that it needs more power remains.

2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 rear 3/4 view

Clearly, the 6.2-liter V8 is the engine Ford's Raptor should have been blessed with from the very beginning. Naturally, we'll gladly take the extra 101 horses over the previous engine, but in reality we're still left wanting more, and we have to wonder how Ford's more fuel efficient but surprisingly powerful 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 powerplant would feel in this off-road application.

Still, at a base price of $41,995 (a reasonable $3,000 premium over the outgoing 5.4, which is no longer available for 2011), you won't hear us complaining very much at all about the fun-per-dollar quotient of the 6.2-powered Raptor. While a plane ticket might cost less, you won't have more fun flying than on the back of this bird of prey.


2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor 6.2

Photos copyright ©2010 Drew Phillips / AOL

NOTE: Thanks to Matt Farah from The Smoking Tire for allowing us to photograph his personal 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor for this review. The Raptor in the jump shots was used for the review itself and is identical except for the addition of a graphics package.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 54 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's interesting to think of the need I feel to own this truck even knowing that I only hit the dirt with my mountain bike. On the other hand I could use one of these to take me to the trails, that's for sure.

      AWESOME truck.
      • 4 Years Ago
      What an absolutely ridiculous truck! I mean who could rationally justify owning that thing? God I want one.
      • 4 Years Ago
      First!....to buy this truck if the wife let me.
        • 4 Years Ago
        "@meshell: idk, maybe because there's limited number of reasonable women on this planet? :P"

        OH SNAP!
        gaga1
        • 4 Years Ago
        ahem! Excuse me but I'm a "wife" and I am buying this truck FOR my husband...
        so pooh on the if the wife will let me remark. If YOU (the "husband") have a job, want it and can afford it and still pay for your other bills/children/mortgage on time and still be able to have a saving account for "dooms day" .... then buy it, why does one assume that they HAVE TO ASK FOR PERMISSION to do things to please themselves once they get married. Silly men.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @meshell: idk, maybe because there's limited number of reasonable women on this planet? :P
        • 4 Years Ago
        Typically a $40,000 purchase is something you have to run by your significant other.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Great review. Mine's coming to the farm in a few weeks. :) My fiancee is excited for it too. It's an early wedding present for us from me. lol Although, I have a strange feeling she'll be driving it more than me. I know it'll look nice covered in mud, driving through her neighborhood.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I THINK I LIKE TRUCKS NOW
      • 4 Years Ago
      We should race two of them from Nancy Pelosi's house to Barbara Boxer's house without taking any paved roads... The start line would be jumping onto and over a Prius then through her yard and the finish line would be through Boxer's yard and jumping onto an Insight.

      Winner gets a case of Valvoline Synthetic Oil and the loser has use the Raptor to help Pelosi and Boxer move out of their offices in DC....
      • 4 Years Ago
      As a die-hard GM guy, this truck makes me very uncomfortable. See, I want one. There, I said it. I want a Ford. Wow. That was hard.

      Bottom line, this truck is ridiculous. I've been into off-roading for years, but I've never really been into rock crawling because, for me, a big part of the joy of off-roading is going to destinations that most people can't or won't visit...ghost towns, hot springs, etc. For me, a vehicle like the Raptor, that can take me to up some nearly impassible road in comfort, at speed and with confidence is EXACTLY what I've been talking about building for years. That I could go down to a dealership and drive one home is exciting.

      Wow...a Ford. Who'd a thunk?
      • 4 Years Ago
      All this from the one auto maker that didn't take bailout money. Impressive to say the least. These things are stupid fun to drive, and have a practical purpose. Many have been sold to the border patrol, and remote sheriff's departments for patrolling areas that were pretty much off limits to "normal" vehicles. If I had the cash I'd buy one in a heartbeat.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Considering that Ford owns no right to anything outright, including the Blue Oval trademark, then they should be doing something right. They need the money to pay off the massive loans they took out when the mortgaged "the farm".
      • 4 Years Ago
      Oh, how I pray to the car god's that FoMoCo would purchase Jeep and the raptor underpinnings would become the next Rubicon!

      Or just have Chrysler wake up and smell the f-ing coffee...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Yes it's a 'kickass' looking truck, but a percentage of the 5.2 billion people outside North America shake their head with confused disgust.
      Why? Because a 6.2L V8 should be able to keep a small nuclear powerplant running on idle. Engineering people! You can get a reliable 6-700hp from 6.2 litres.
      411hp?! Are you nuts? You can get that from a modest V6. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely car-mad, but if North America is the 3rd cheapest country to buy petrol and the biggest consumer of crude oil in the world, why isn't this ringing any alarm bells?
      I put down a challenge. Can America produce a 'Mighty Truck' with a maximum displacement of a 4L V8 and engineer it to produce the same horsepower?
      Of course it can.
      It's already been done.
      So I ask you, why does ANYONE need over 6 litres of engine to produce 411hp...errr embarrassing! The Germans are laughing, the British are laughing, hell, even the Japanese are laughing. Laughing at sloppy and lazy engineering.
      Macho crap aside, carbon footprint this, carbon footprint that. Is there ANY wrong in producing smaller, smarter engines with the same output of torque and horsepower?
      Give me one legitamate, well constructed reason why 411hp is acceptable from a 6.2L V8.
      One last thing, Ford posted a first quarter 2010 profit of $2,100,000,000. That's US2.1 Billion if you lost count of the zero's... in 4 months. Nice one Ford, you must have some happy people within the oil companies... 'Thanks for the 6.2L V8 Ford... top stuff...'
      • 4 Years Ago
      Looks like a great weekend toy! Interior is pretty sweet...almost Mustang-like!

      But, here in the OC, these won't be used for fun: They will be driven to a construction job-site by the loudest guy on the cellphone...the one balancing 6 clipboards on his lab and sipping a Starbux.

      Nearly as sad as those senior citizens, here in HB, scooting around in their 599s and Quattroportes
      Miguel
      • 4 Years Ago
      Toby Keith and Dennis Leary can keep thier pieces of Ford Truck crap, after owning two, I will never, EVER, buy another, they fall apart real quick. GMC is a real truck.
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