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.
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3.5L Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
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.
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.
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.
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