by Sebastian Cenizo
If you want to crush a trail and boast about having the biggest and baddest F-150 on the road, the Raptor is the ultimate off-road truck with mad bodywork and enough power to embarrass hot hatches. While it's usable on the road, provided that said road is wide enough, the F-150 Raptor is built for aggressive off-roading, with Fox shocks and long-travel suspension allowing owners to bulldoze over rocks and jumps without so much as a hint of complaint. Powered by the same 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 found in the GT supercar, the Raptor produces 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. Managing the output is a ten-speed SelectShift automatic transmission that distributes thrust to all four wheels. The whole package combines to create a vehicle that is more than just an aggressive-looking truck - it's a genuine trail thumper that enjoys abuse.
The 2019 model of the F-150 Raptor received a few major changes that included a suspension upgrade and the addition of Trail Control - essentially cruise control for treacherous terrain. With a comprehensive improvement for that model, Ford saw no reason to update the model for 2020 besides some color changes: Lead Foot and Rapid Red are now available.
Telling the Raptor apart from other F-150s is not a tricky task. Its flared fenders, massive Ford badging on the front grille, unique bumpers and skid plates, and special vented hood make it clear that this is the most intimidatingly-styled F-150 you can buy. The 17-inch wheels, wrapped in chunky off-road tires, have a gap between them and the arches, allowing you to see the fancy Fox shocks. Quad-beam LED headlights adorn the front, with LEDs at the rear too, while the sides feature aluminum running boards. At the rear, a pair of exhaust tips help add visual width. An Extended Cab or a Crew Cab can be had, with either option paired to a 5.5-foot bed.
The 2020 Ford F-150 Raptor is available with one bed and two cabs. The SuperCab is the smaller of the two, and paired with the 5.5-foot bed, has an overall length of 220 inches with a wheelbase 134.2 inches. Approach angle is 30.2 degrees, with a departure angle of 23.1. Breakover angle is 22.9 degrees. On the CrewCab, overall length is 231.9 inches with a wheelbase measuring 146 inches. Approach angle is the same as on the SuperCab, but departure angle is 0.1 degrees less. Breakover angle is also reduced to 21.8, but ground clearance is the same on both models at a whopping 11.5 inches. Height and width are the same across both variants too, measuring 78.5 and 86.3 inches, respectively, with the latter figure excluding the mirrors. Including them, the Raptor is an insane 96.8 inches across.
The bed itself is 50.6 inches wide between the wheelhouses, with a length of 67.1 inches and a height of 21.4 inches. This gives it a capacity of 52.8 cubic feet. Curb weight for the smaller cab works out to 5,525 pounds, with the bigger version weighing 5,697 lbs.
Three new colors have been added to the palette for 2020, one of which is an extra-cost option. Rapid Red adds $395 to the build price, but if you want to save some ching and still show off that yours is a 2020 model, you can opt for Lead Foot instead. Other choices include a vibrant Race Red, a more demure Magnetic, the sinister-looking Agate Black, and a bright Oxford White. Velocity Blue is also available, but the color that most will associate with the Raptor is the iconic Ford Performance Blue. Whichever you choose, the Raptor is immediately distinguishable from other F-150s, and is one of the few vehicles that look good no matter what shade you paint it with.
A single powertrain option is available for the Ford F-150 Raptor - and it's a beast of an engine. Developing 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque, the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 is only available with a ten-speed automatic transmission. The benefit of this is that the Raptor can take advantage of a system called Trail Control, which is basically cruise control for off-roading. This means that even if you're not the most confident when going off the beaten path, the Raptor's four-wheel-drive system can be managed by a computer, climbing over obstacles with ease. Thanks to the all-wheel traction and that impressive engine, the Raptor can manage a sprint from 0-60 mph in around 5.5 seconds, according to independent tests. Never feeling sluggish despite its weight, the Raptor pulls hard and moves fast, even when massive undulations and boulders present themselves as obstacles. Essentially, the Raptor is the truck version of a supercar, providing Baja rally performance straight from the factory floor. Besides its off-road ability, the Raptor is an impressive towing vehicle too, with the SuperCab version managing up to 6,000 lbs and the CrewCab being able to pull up to 8,000 lbs. Hauling stuff in the back is also part of the Raptor's repertoire, with the SuperCab capable of up to 1,000 lbs and the SuperCrew capable of up to 1,200 lbs. While others can vastly outperform the Raptor here, none can boast its off-road ability.
Bragging rights for the Raptor extend beyond its ability. Owners can justifiably say that their pickup is supercar-powered, as the Raptor has the same powerplant as the Ford GT. A 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 sits under the hood, producing 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque. Mated to a ten-speed SelectShift automatic transmission, the Raptor powers all four wheels and offers even more grunt than the old 6.2-liter V8 that used to sit over the front axle. Put your foot down, on any terrain, and the Raptor surges forward with the kind of ferocity that makes you forget that you're in a lifted five-and-a-half-thousand-pound off-road truck. Acceleration is nearly instantaneous, even on gravel, with the Raptor seamlessly transmitting torque to the ground for neck-straining thrust. This is the benefit of a twin-turbocharged setup - lag is almost non-existent and peak boost arrives early. The transmission is just as good, almost never being caught out, and with steering-mounted paddles, you can take control whenever you want. Around town and when you want to take things easy, the Raptor is similarly impressive, with the throttle allowing for the kind of light modulation that prevents you from inadvertently mounting the Prius in front of you like an overeager bison during mating season.
While the engine is impressive, all that power would go to waste without a good suspension setup. Fox variable damping shock absorbers take care of this, making for a truck that has wheel articulation abilities usually only seen on Dakar race trucks. One of the few vehicles that almost encourages you to make and take absurd jumps, the Raptor is able to plow through some of the harshest terrain with its occupants barely even registering the environment. Thanks to variable drive modes, the Raptor can switch its throttle, gearshifts, and steering responses along with the traction control and stability programs to adapt to various scenarios. Mud/Sand, Weather, and Rock Crawl modes do exactly what they imply, but Baja mode is the truly zany option. This is the mode that you activate when you want to traverse bumpy terrain as fast as possible. Essentially like a track mode for supercars, this mode makes the best use of the Raptors off-roading abilities at speed. While all this may sound appealing to the enthusiast, the question of ride comfort may remain. However, those Fox shocks are so good that the cabin always feels serene, and is, arguably, better insulated from surface imperfections than in any other F-150. This translates to exceptional ride comfort on the road too, with the only downside being a dive of the nose under heavy braking and a slight lifting thereof under sudden acceleration. Speaking of the on-road manners, the brakes perform well and don't bite too aggressively, and in normal mode, the steering is light enough to save you from overdeveloping your forearms when parking.
With a supercar's engine at its heart and much more weight to carry around, the Raptor is sure to incur the wrath of the Prius owner you just flattened in traffic when the trees around you start wilting too. The Raptor scores despicable EPA estimates of 15/18/16 mpg on the city/highway/combined cycles. While these figures may be deplorable, a 5.0-liter supercharged Mustang motor is allegedly on the way. Whether that improves or worsens the economy of the Raptor is yet to be seen, but for now, the premium unleaded-guzzling Raptor can be had with a 36-gallon tank in the Crew Cab version, while the Extended Cab gets a tank 10 gallons smaller. Depending on the tank, mixed range varies between 416 and 576 miles.
The Raptor's interior will be surprisingly familiar to those accustomed to regular F-150s, with only a center stripe on the steering wheel and traces of carbon fiber (as part of an options package) helping set it apart. Optionally available are Recaro seats that add to the visual impact of the interior, but whatever you opt for, the cabin is spacious and comfortable. Naturally, if you opt for the Extended Cab over the larger Crew Cab, the rear is less accommodating for taller individuals, but the seats are at least comfy. Standard upholstery is of the fabric type, but leather can be had too. Heated and ventilated front seats and heated rears can also be optioned, along with dual-zone climate control. Thanks to the flared body, drivers may have to take a little more care when placing the Raptor, as visibility of the truck's extremities is hidden.
In the five-seater Raptor, the cabin is airy and suitable for six-footers sitting in the front or the back, so long as you opt for the Crew Cab. Headroom and legroom are similar whether you're in the back or up front, but the Extended Cab makes things a little more claustrophobic for taller individuals confined to the back seats. Getting in and out is made easier by grab handles and running boards, but those accustomed to slinking into the back of an S-Class will naturally find the raised ride height a little inconvenient. For those who don't need to ferry passengers around, the rear seats fold in a 60/40 split to maximize cargo volume.
The base interior of the Raptor is not excessively luxurious, and the dated cabin is highlighted by demure colors on dark plastics and fabric upholstery. The base trim has black with grey accents on the seats, and plastic is abundant throughout the cabin. This is good though, as it means you can use the Raptor without stressing about muddying the interior. Optionally available are lashings of carbon fiber trimmings and a two-tone black/blue leather interior on Recaro seats.
Whether you opt for the Extended Cab or the smaller Crew Cab, a 5.5-foot load bed is affixed to the rear, measuring 67.1 inches in length. The width between the inner wheel arches is just 50.6 inches, but with a height of 21.4 inches, overall capacity is a respectable 52.8 cubic feet. If you have the Crew Cab, this bed can haul up to 1,200 lbs, with the Extended Cab managing 200 lbs less. The tailgate is quite high thanks to the lifted suspension and sits 36.4 inches off the ground, but at least it comes with a power lock and can be specced with a remote release.
In the cabin, the Raptor is no different from other F-150s, which means there's plenty of space for phones, wallets, and keys in a center console storage box. The cabin also features your usual array of cupholders, door pockets, and a decent glovebox.
Standard features on the Raptor form an impressive list, with trail control being one of the most notable. This feature acts like cruise control for tricky terrain, a valuable feature for those who may be less experienced with off-road trails. Other features include a rearview camera, quad-beam auto LED headlights with auto high beams, cruise control, rear parking sensors, a trailer brake controller, and stop/start technology. Also included are forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, curve control, and keyless entry. Options include a remote tailgate release, heated mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, trailer backup assist, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and dual-zone climate control. A 360-degree camera and adaptive cruise control can also be specced. A twin-panel sunroof is also available on the Crew Cab.
The Raptor's infotainment is shared with lesser F-150 models, and includes an eight-inch touchscreen as standard. The SYNC 3 system supports SiriusXM satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Bluetooth. It also has a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, and overall, works really well. However, the screen is small compared to what others offer these days, and the responses are a little slow. Nevertheless, an available voice-activated navigation system improves the capabilities of the infotainment, and an optional ten-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system upgrade can be specced to placate audiophiles.
The 2020 Ford F-150 range has thus far been subject to three recalls, the earliest of which was in August 2019 for an issue of reduced seat-back strength. The other two were issued late in 2019, with one for excessive sealant adhesive on a battery cable and another for a damaged spare tire. Still, J.D. Power awarded it an overall 81 out of 100.
In terms of warranty coverage, the Raptor is covered by a limited warranty for three years/36,000 miles. The powertrain is covered for five years or 60,000 miles, and no complimentary maintenance is included. However, five years/60,000 miles of roadside assistance is included.
2020 Crew Cab F-150s have scored a full five stars from the NHTSA, but extended-cab models only managed four stars. Over at the IIHS, both models got the best possible rating of Good in all of the overall evaluations. Headlights scored poorly in the IIHS tests, but only lesser F-150 models with halogen headlamps were evaluated, with the Raptor's quad-beam LEDs not undergoing testing.
The standard Raptor is fitted with a few useful driver aids and safety features, among which are forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, a rearview camera, seatbelt pre-tensioners, rear parking sensors, curve control, and an SOS post-crash alert system. Optional safety aids include blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a 360-degree camera, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, and inflatable second-row seatbelts. Standard airbags include frontal, side and curtain airbags.
The Ford F-150 Raptor is in a class of its own, being the only pickup that is expressly designed to take big off-road jumps and shrug them off just as easily as climbing a curb. While some pickups may be able to tow more or haul more stuff in the back, and lesser models within the F-150 range can be had with a bigger load bed, the Raptor is unfazed and doesn't give a damn about conventional capacities for work-related tasks. The Raptor is literally the supercar of the off-road world and doesn't apologize for it. It can handle the roughest terrain, accelerate like a bat out of hell, and still maintain good on-road manners and ride comfort. While the interior is starting to feel a little dated and the fuel economy is atrocious, the Raptor makes up for that by being the most fun you can have in a truck without risking indecent exposure. If we could have one, we wouldn't hesitate. We'd just need to widen the garage door.
The Ford Raptor starts at $53,205 for the Extended Cab variant, before the $1,595 destination charge. Opting for the Crew Cab variant brings that figure to $56,190. Fully loaded, the Raptor will boast features like a heated second row, voice-activated navigation, a Bang & Olufsen sound system, a 360-degree camera, and vibrant Rapid Red paint - as well as a sticker price of just under $80k.
The Raptor is a stand-alone model in the F-150 lineup and can be equipped with either an Extended Cab or a Crew Cab, each of which is fitted with a 5.5-foot load bed. The engine is a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 with 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque which is distributed among all four wheels by means of a ten-speed automatic transmission. A Torsen diff at the front and an electronic diff at the rear help get the most out of the four-wheel-drive system, while variable drive modes help to finesse the output depending on the surface you're on.
Standard features include quad-beam LED headlights, 17-inch wheels, trail control, Fox variable damping off-road shocks, and cruise control, while the options list includes features like heated and ventilated front seats and heated rear seats. Also available are features like dual-zone climate control, voice-activated navigation, a ten-speaker Bose sound system, Recaro seats, a 360-degree camera, and adaptive cruise control. A twin-panel sunroof can also be specced if you opt for the SuperCrew variant.
3.5-liter Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
The 801A Mid equipment group is a $3,785 package that adds ten-way power-adjustable front seats that boast heating. It also adds power-adjustable pedals, leather upholstery, and a power-sliding rear window. If you want to really splash out, the 802A Luxury equipment group adds these features and more, with a 360-degree camera, a Bang & Olufsen sound system upgrade with ten speakers, and memory functions for the front seats. However, this package is not cheap, adding $10,920 to the base price. The Raptor Interior Color Blue Accent package is also available, adding $2,395 to the price. This package gives the interior a unique black and blue color scheme and Recaro seats up front, while also adding carbon fiber to the dash, doors, and shift knob.
The Raptor isn't too cheap in base form, but we'd definitely opt for the Crew Cab configuration to maximize passenger space. We'd also spec the 801A Mid equipment group for its more comfortable heated seats, leather upholstery, power-adjustable pedals, and power rear window. This also adds blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a useful addition when you're a few feet higher than most other traffic. In addition, we'd opt for the 360-degree parking camera, a necessity for those who reside anywhere that narrow streets or tight parking spaces are found.
Those considering an off-road-focused version of a great pickup truck may be interested in the RAM 1500's Rebel trim. This model is available as either a 4x2 or a 4x4. Powered by a 3.6-liter V6 with an eight-speed automatic, the four-wheel-drive variant starts at $45,190, almost ten grand less than a Raptor. The RAM produces 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque, but it's more of a styling trim with slow off-road aspirations rather than off-road racing ability. The Ford F-150 Raptor stands alone in the market as the only truly capable off-road racer, and trims like the Rebel do little to make an impact on the Raptor's target market. While the RAM is more affordable, more economical, and arguably more car-like and modern inside, the Raptor is the undisputed king of radical off-roading. For those that will do some occasional mild off-roading, the RAM is a better choice. For those who live and breathe dirt and dust, the Raptor is the only option.
The Raptor's High Output twin-turbo V6 is not only available in that model, with the most luxurious and most expensive Limited model having access to it too. The Limited starts at a whopping $67,485 and comes standard with a twin-panel sunroof (in Crew Cab configuration), and a lot more luxury features like upgraded leather upholstery, navigation, heated seats, and safety tech like blind-spot monitoring and lane-keep assist. It also gets ambient lighting and unique fascias. Overall, the F-150 Limited is the model to have if you want ultimate luxury, but its low-range gearbox means you have decent off-road ability too. The Raptor's Fox shocks are unique to the model, and that makes it the ultimate trail-busting toy, but if you don't need such ridiculous suspension travel and boulder-bashing performance, other F-150s can be just as enjoyable.