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Meet The Baja-Grade Raptor, Fundamentally The Same As Your Dealer-Lot Raptor

Ford thinks the best way for you to get to know the new 2017 F-150 Raptor and its EcoBoost V6 backed by a 10-speed automatic is to watch it tear up the desert.

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We already knew that the Local Motors Rally Fighter was one of the most interesting new vehicles of the last decade – it has a compelling backstory (come-from-nowhere company with a crowdsourced design), a fascinating look all its own and off-road chops. But now we know it has something approaching genuine robustness.

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Endurance off-road racing is brutal, and riders willing to tackle the open desert on a motorcycle are as tough as they are adventurous. Sam Longson, competing in the Best in the Desert "Vegas to Reno" race on August 17, showed just how rough off-road racing can be when he rode his bike the final 14 miles of the race with three broken ribs and a partially collapsed lung.

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

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Click above for high-res gallery of our time embedded with Team HUMMER

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The TSCO Vegas to Reno race, part of the Best in the Desert off-road racing series, is 457 miles long through the Nevada sand and scrub. From start to finish takes many racers 12 hours or more, and a driver that goes the entire distance is known as an "Ironman." For this year's edition, Emily Miller of Team HUMMER plans on being the race's first ever Ironwoman.

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