2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Preview

Jeff Youngs | Dec 31, 2009
FAST FACTS
  • New performance off-road version of F-150 pickup
  • Inspired by off-road racing trucks
  • Wider body and increased suspension travel
  • 320-hp, 5.4-liter V-8 engine at launch
  • 6.2-liter V-8 engine available later
  • Reworked front suspension
  • Internal bypass shocks by Fox Racing Shox
  • Uses SuperCab body style
  • Available summer 2009

Introduction

Ford's Special Vehicles Team (SVT) performance arm has worked its magic on the F-150 pickup twice before. Both of those offerings, the F-150 SVT Lightnings of 1993-1995 and 1999-2004, were hopped-up street trucks. For 2010, SVT is at it again. This time, SVT is aiming at off-road enthusiasts with the 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor.

The SVT Raptor will fit in the mold of the pre-runner trucks that are used to scout a course prior to an off-road race. It will start with the SuperCab version redesigned F-150, and incorporate suspension modifications to improve off-roading and exterior changes for a more aggressive look. It will initially come with the largest engine currently offered in the F-150, a 5.4-liter V-8, but a more-powerful 6.2-liter V-8 engine will be available later. To whet consumers' appetites for the new performance pickup, Ford is entering a factory-modified version of the truck in late November, called the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor R, in the Baja 1000 Mexican off-road race. An SVT official says the company will use lessons learned in the Baja 1000 to further develop the truck prior to its release next summer.

Model Lineup

The 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor will be offered as a single model. It will use the F-150's SuperCab body style with two rear access doors. The body will be 8 inches wider than the base F-150's, thanks to wider front and rear fenders and pronounced black fender flares. Up front, the SVT Raptor will have a special grille with integrated marker lamps and "FORD" emblazoned across it. The front bumper, hood, front fascia, front fenders, and fender extractors will also be unique. Full equipment hasn't been announced, but some of the SVT Raptor's features will include leather sport bucket seats; air conditioning; tilt, leather-wrapped steering wheel; split-folding rear seat; auxiliary switch board with four pre-wired switches for aftermarket electrical accessories; and P315/70R17 tires on cast-aluminum wheels. The steering wheel will feature black leather with a vertical orange leather strip to serve as a centering sight line for performance driving. Two-tone seating and a bed extender will be optional. Four colors will be offered: blue, black, white and orange.


Hardware

Ford says two V-8 engines will be available for the F-150 SVT Raptor. It will launch with a 5.4-liter V-8 engine making 320 hp at 3500 rpm and 390 lb.-ft. of torque at 5000 rpm. Due after launch is a new 6.2-liter V-8 engine that Ford says has been durability tested in the desert of Borrego Springs, California, to approximate the conditions of the Baja 1000. Expect this engine to deliver in the neighborhood of 400 hp and 400 lb.-ft. of torque. Both engines will be mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy for the 5.4-liter V-8 engine should match or come close to the 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway that this engine gets in other F-150s. The SVT Raptor will be able to tow up to 6000 pounds and haul 1000 pounds of payload, both of which are the base numbers for the F-150.

Underneath, the SVT Raptor will have a 7-inch wider track and a completely different front suspension, with new upper and lower A arms, tie rods, and half-shaft joints. It will be the only production truck with internal bypass shocks. These shocks, made by Fox Racing Shox, become stiffer as they travel to prevent the truck from bottoming out, Ford says. To deal with the ruts and bumps of off-roading, the front suspension will offer 11.2 inches of travel and the rear will have 13.4 inches of travel. By comparison, the F-150 FX4, which is the off-road-oriented model, has 8 and 12 inches of suspension travel, front and rear. The suspension will also be aided by the tall sidewalls on the 35-inch diameter BFGoodrich All-Terrain TA/KO tires. Ford says that despite the changes made for off-roading, the SVT Raptor will steer and ride well on the road.

The SVT Raptor will come only with 4-wheel drive that can be driven on dry pavement. It will have low-range gearing and Ford's driver-selectable E-Locker electronic locking rear differential. The E-Locker doesn't disengage at higher speeds, which, according to SVT, helps the truck get through sand.

Safety

Like other Ford F-150 models, the SVT Raptor's standard safety features will include dual-stage front air bags; torso-protecting front side air bags; head-protecting side curtain air bags; tire-pressure monitor; anti-lock brakes; traction control; and Ford's AdvanceTrac electronic stability with Roll Stability Control and Trailer Sway Control. The SVT Raptor will also come with an integrated trailer brake controller and Hill Descent Control.

Technology

The 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor will have an Off-Road Mode that will modify the throttle mapping and transmission shift schedule to improve off-road performance. Ford says Off-Road Mode will hold each gear longer to allow better throttle modulation and vehicle control.
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