Ford's off-road beast, the F-150 SVT Raptor, has only been on sale for a year, but it's already getting a few upgrades for the 2011 model year.
Many reports and a few spy shots indicated that Ford had been prepping a four-door SuperCrew version of the Raptor (you know, for when the family wants to do the Baja run with you), and the automaker has officially confirmed the details (again). The SuperCrew's wheelbase is a full 12 inches longer than the standard Raptor, meaning it should provide a more comfortable ride along the way, and the 5.5-foot box can still haul everything you need when you get there.
Speaking of capability, all Raptors now come standard with more power on tap – the 6.2-liter V8 will be the only available powertrain for 2011 (sad trombone for the people who rushed out to get the 5.4). As we reported earlier, it stands to reason that the 2011 Raptor will get a price increase to account for the larger mill, but it's a small price to pay for an extra 101 horsepower and 69 pound-feet of torque over the 5.4-liter V8.
From there, the other enhancements for 2011 are purely cosmetic. Raptors can now be had in a new color – Ingot Silver Metallic (pictured) – and matte black accent graphics are available on the hood. These new graphics can be ordered separately from the box side decals, too. Inside the cabin, Ford now offers a standard 4.2-inch LCD display (called the "productivity screen") in the center of the revised instrument gauges, similar to what was introduced on the 2011 Super Duty.
Dealers will start taking orders for 2011 Raptors as you read this with the first examples hitting dealerships later this year. Ford's detailed press release is available after the jump.
• Ford F-150 SVT Raptor again is raising the bar for high-speed off-road performance trucks by adding a SuperCrew option and more standard power and towing capability for 2011
• The previously optional 6.2-liter V8 engine, which produces 411 horsepower and 434 lb.-ft. of torque, now comes standard for 2011, making Raptor the most powerful half-ton pickup on the market
• Upgraded technology content, including a standard 4.2-inch LCD productivity screen and SelectShift Automatic™ transmission, keeps customers more in tune with their trucks, while
a new graphic and color choice gives them more options
DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 3, 2010 – A new standard 6.2-liter V8 engine pumping out 411 horsepower, new technologies and a newly available SuperCrew option that gives Raptor customers more choices in cab size all ensure the 2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor will remain the off-road performance truck champion in the new model year.
"When we launched the F-150 SVT Raptor, consumers were blown away with the capability of the vehicle," said Jost Capito, director of global performance vehicles and motorsports business development. "By adding the SuperCrew, we have expanded the versatility of Raptor, and now even more enthusiasts will be able to experience the no-compromise off-road performance that only Raptor delivers."
The F-150 SVT Raptor is the first-ever high-speed off-road performance truck offered by any manufacturer and highlights 33 years of Ford truck sales leadership by emphasizing F-150's Built Ford Tough durability, innovation and engineering. Developed with the DNA of an off-road pre-runner, comprehensive modifications focused on chassis and suspension enhancements.
The F-150 SVT Raptor is 7 inches wider than a base F-150 to make room for the additional suspension components that give Raptor its unparalleled off-road abilities. The wider stance also gives the truck an aggressive appearance. Internal triple-bypass shocks by FOX Racing Shox – the first on a production truck – provide position-sensitive damping and extra suspension travel for extreme off-roading and a smooth ride on the road.
Raptor also has unique cast-aluminum front control arms and SVT-tuned 35-inch BFGoodrich® All-Terrain TA/KO 315/70-17 tires. These components give Raptor 11.2 inches of front suspension travel and 12.1 inches of rear suspension travel on either SuperCab or the new SuperCrew.
The new available 145-inch-wheelbase SuperCrew offering with a 5.5-foot box adds to the extensive list of F-150 SVT Raptor features. While contributing additional space and flexibility for the customer, the SuperCrew delivers performance as well.
Applying lessons learned from the SuperCab F-150 SVT Raptor, engineers were able to tune the truck to handle off-road events with ease. The 12-inch-longer wheelbase on SuperCrew also delivers the benefit of a more comfortable ride, especially in rough off-road situations.
"We spent a lot of time getting the ride and suspension characteristics of the SuperCrew similar to that of the SuperCab, and we were successful in getting the same character and flavor out of the SuperCrew," said Jamal Hameedi, SVT chief nameplate engineer. "While the SuperCab and SuperCrew both have different strengths, each is worthy of the Raptor nameplate."
A larger 36-gallon fuel tank and increased towing capability – rated at 8,000 pounds – keep F-150 SVT Raptor SuperCrew a mainstay in the desert environment, with capabilities as a chase or tow truck.
Revved up and ready
The previously optional 6.2-liter V8 engine, which produces 411 horsepower and 434 lb.-ft. of torque, will now be the standard engine for the 2011 F-150 SVT Raptor, the most powerful half-ton pickup on the market.
The Ford powertrain team performed extensive testing to ensure the engine would live up to the Built Ford Tough promise. Hundreds of additional tests beyond the normal verification of truck engines, as well as vehicle testing on a 62-mile durability loop in the desert that simulates the Baja 1000, validated the performance of the engine for reliability and longevity in the harshest conditions.
New color and graphic options
Raptor's exterior also receives some new touches for 2011, in the form of an additional paint color – Ingot Silver Metallic – that will be available with the standard black interior, or the optional Molten Orange Interior Accent Package.
A new optional hood graphic adds a personalized and functional touch to F-150 SVT Raptor. Inspired by older off-road racing Ford Broncos, matte black accent graphics – including the F-150 SVT Raptor logo – run along the hood, also helping to reduce glare. The Raptor logo in the graphic is done in body-color bleed-through, similar to "SVT" on the side vent. "F-150" and "SVT" are written in dark gray. The graphic is available with or without the box side graphics.
More capability, more technology
Key to helping customers take advantage of all the capability offered by the F-150 SVT Raptor is a standard 4.2-inch LCD (liquid crystal display) productivity screen that is integrated in the center of the new instrument gauges, which have a black face, red pointers and ice blue daytime lighting. Also used on the all-new 2011 Super Duty, the technology was specifically tailored for off-road use with Raptor.
The screen includes a unique welcome animation and offers menu options giving the customer important information related to off-road and towing performance. A truck application screen provides vehicle status information for important off-road parameters such as off-road mode, Hill Descent Control™, electronic locking differential settings and AdvanceTrac® with RSC® (Roll Stability Control™).
An off-road screen informs the customer about steering wheel angle and vehicle angle on a grade during off-road maneuvers. The menu is navigated through a five-way button on the steering wheel and is positioned between the tachometer and speedometer.
"The productivity screen is a great solution for our off-road customers," said Hameedi. "With one glance, they can tell exactly what settings are enabled on their truck and what the driveline
For the customer who wants more control of transmission gear selection, SelectShift Automatic transmission functionality also is introduced on Raptor. A toggle switch located on the console shift lever engages the mode, where the transmission doesn't second-guess the driver, giving him or her total control over gear selection and performance feel. Upshifts, for instance, are not commanded at redline, and downshifts are allowed at the lowest gear possible as defined by the engine speed.
A Raptor Plus Package debuts for 2011, offering the rear view camera and trailer brake controller. The Raptor Luxury Package also receives additional features, with folding power exterior mirrors and Remote Start System with integrated key fob added to the list.
New standard technology features for 2011 include:
• Perimeter alarm
• Integrated spotter mirror
• Express up/down driver and passenger front windows
• 110 V power inverter in the center console
• Head restraint for second-row middle seat
• Telescoping steering wheel
2010 Raptor equals hot seller
Sales of the truck are off to an impressive start, selling four times quicker than the average F-150, with the 2010 F-150 SVT Raptor equipped with the 6.2-liter engine selling within 11 days of arriving at dealerships. In fact, 2010 F-150 SVT Raptor sales are set to exceed the highest model year sales of the F-150 SVT Lightning.
Dealers will start taking orders for the 2011 F-150 SVT Raptor today, and the trucks will be available in dealerships late this year.
MORE POWER COMES STANDARD ON 6.2-LITER V8 ENGINE ON TAP FOR MORE CAPABLE 2011 FORD F-150 SVT RAPTOR
• New for 2011, the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor delivers a standard 6.2-liter V8 engine with
class-leading 411 horsepower and 434 lb.-ft. of torque, powering customers through almost any off-road terrain they encounter
• The engine and truck were tested in the Baja 1000 and on a unique desert loop designed
to prove out the durability that high-performance, off-road enthusiasts demand
• Core features of the new 6.2-liter engine include cast-iron engine block and four-bolt main bearing caps, aluminum cylinder heads, a single overhead camshaft with roller-rocker shaft drivetrain and dual-equal variable cam timing
DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 3, 2010 – The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor, already known for its unrivaled capability, is ensuring customers have even more power on demand for their off-road adventures by making the previously optional 6.2-liter V8 engine standard for 2011.
With 411 horsepower and 434 lb.-ft. of torque, the engine makes the F-150 SVT Raptor the most powerful half-ton pickup on the market, giving customers new levels of capability. Low-speed maneuvers, such as rock crawling, driving up a grade or accelerating through deep sand, require much less throttle input because of the engine's increased torque.
The exhaust for the 6.2-liter engine was uniquely tuned to deliver the performance-oriented, high-horsepower sound customers want. Additionally, a unique firing order gives the 6.2-liter a distinctive roar.
The 6.2-liter V8 is similar to the engine used in the all-new 2011 Super Duty, but features unique tuning and a special cam profile to produce more horsepower and torque. It's similar to the race-prepped engine that powered Raptor R to a podium finish at the 41st Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 in 2008 and completed every mile of the grueling 2009 Best in the Desert series.
Testing in the heat
The engine was put to the test in its element – the desert of Borrego Springs, Calif. Important factors such as engine cooling were tested on the 62-mile loop designed by Ford's Special Vehicle Team.
"We spent a lot of time developing our desert durability test so that it's very close to replicating the Baja 1000," said Kerry Baldori, global performance chief functional engineer. "Desert testing proved to be a very quick way to learn about the reliability of the truck, and it put another level of extreme loads on the engine that our normal durability testing doesn't need to cover."
Engine cooling is key on Raptor – when the truck is in a desert environment, the hot weather and deep sand put a heavy load on the vehicle, and the engine has to exert maximum power to keep the truck powering on.
There also is more airflow through the radiator at low speeds, and a large and effective cooling system is required for this extreme environment. To improve airflow to the engine, grille openings were increased by 20 percent.
Features of the new 6.2-liter V8 engine include:
• Cast-iron engine block with bay-to-bay breathing and four-bolt main bearing caps with additional cross bolts for durability
• Aluminum cylinder heads, with two valves per cylinder and two spark plugs per cylinder to more efficiently burn the fuel-air mixture in the combustion
• Single overhead camshaft with roller-rocker shaft drivetrain, which creates a stiff valvetrain that allows optimized camshaft lift profiles and results in better low-speed torque. The roller-rocker shafts allow valve angles to be splayed, resulting in optimized intake and exhaust port layout for better engine breathing
• Dual-equal variable cam timing means intake and exhaust valve opening and closing events are phased at the same time to optimize fuel economy and performance throughout the engine speed range and throttle positions
Core to the improvements is using a larger bore and shorter stroke. This approach to creating power has its roots in storied Ford racing engines from the past. The large bore (102 millimeters) allows for larger intake and exhaust valves for improved engine breathing, and the shorter stroke (95 millimeters) allows higher engine speed for increased horsepower. Still, peak horsepower is generated at a relatively modest 5,500 rpm. Piston-cooling jets squirt oil on the underside of the pistons to keep the piston crowns cool under extreme operating conditions.
Crankcase breathing also is improved to reduce windage losses and oil aeration levels at very high speeds. "That really helps get a robust lubrication system for the engine," Baldori said. "It allows us to endure a lot of time at extreme high speeds – and that's a must-have for customers."