The Raptor is in a class of one; there’s nothing else like it out there. So by default, it offers the lowest starting price in its class. But what about the Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, the Ram Rebel, and the Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison, you ask? Those are all low-speed off-roaders, which, by the way, the Raptor can do too. But none of those three can follow the Raptor off-road at thrillingly fast speeds. Thus, the Raptor stands alone, and its $52,855 starting price is an entirely reasonable admission charge for the experience.
Surprisingly, the F-150 Raptor is an incredibly comfortable vehicle. It’s a little awkward to get in and out of because of its high ground clearance (running boards make a big difference), but once everyone’s in their seats, they’re as pampered as they would be in any well-optioned F-150.
This particular Raptor doesn’t have the new Recaros, which means the front seats are more forgiving with smaller bolstering. Rear-seat passengers, meanwhile, get the same bench seat found in other F-150s. Passenger space is incredibly generous, with more than enough room in every dimension for five adults.
The Raptor’s ride is very forgiving. Credit the new adaptive Fox suspension for tailoring the damping of each shock absorber to what the truck is doing at that moment and the ground it’s riding (or landing) on. Those big tires and the truck’s long suspension travel also make everything short of a felled tree barely noticeable from behind the wheel.
The F-150 features Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system, which is average amongst its competitive set. Its graphics are monotone but clearly laid out, its response times are acceptable, and it offers a fair number of connectivity options. Missing are extras such as wireless phone charging, but you do get plenty of 12-volt outlets and one 110-volt paired with a 400-watt inverter. This particular Raptor doesn’t come with navigation, but Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility come to the rescue when directions are needed.
Nonetheless, the performance potential of the Raptor is readily apparent even without an off-road course to test it. For one, the twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter Ecoboost V6 engine produces 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque, which is destined for all four wheels. Ford says that’s good for running to 60 miles per hour in six seconds flat, but it feels so much faster. All that torque is available early in the rev range thanks to those turbos, so dipping into the throttle means a quick and earnest kick in the pants. The truck’s 10-speed automatic transmission is a marvel of multiple ratios, and for the most part works invisibly, the exception being during hard braking when it’s indecisive about what gear you’ll wind up with.
The Raptor comes standard with LED headlights and familiar F-150 safety systems such as AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control, Curve Control, and a rear-view camera with Dynamic Hitch Assist. Also standard are more advanced driver assist systems such as automatic emergency braking with pre-collision assist. This Raptor comes with an optional blind spot monitoring system and surround-view camera, two features for which I am very thankful given this truck’s generous proportions.
Ford has opened order books for the 2019 Mustang Bullitt and confirmed final output for the commemorative-edition GT fastback.
A re-tuned 5.0-liter V-8 engine generating 475 horsepower–15 more than the GT–and 420 lb-ft of torque and tops out at 163 mph. It has a manual transmission and white cue ball shift knob. It was also tuned for a distinct exhaust note through the new tips. The extra power comes thanks to the GT350’s larger, freer-flowing intake manifold, its bigger (87mm versus 80mm) throttle body, and an open airbox
Up front, we can see a new grille design with a honeycomb-pattern, black mesh. There’s no pony logo, but Ford added subtle chrome accents on the upper frame. Onto the sides, we can see the usual Torque Thrust wheels, also based on the original car and seen on previous iterations of the Bullitt. On this car, they measure 19 inches and are made from aluminum. Behind them, red-painted Brembo brake calipers add a dash of color.
The Raptor is unlike any production pickup on the road. Ford fit the regular F-150 with advanced off-road equipment and widened its aluminum body for a purposeful appearance. A 450-hp twin-turbocharged V-6 is sheathed beneath its skin. Operate its paddle-shifted 10-speed automatic properly and its sophisticated drivetrain will rocket the Raptor to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds. Its oversize dimensions make tight spaces treacherous, but an astonishing suspension and comfy cabin mean no territory is untamable and no trip is uncomfortable. Compared with conventional pickups, the Raptor is on another level—providing pure, dumb fun like no other. Spare no expense.
The Ford F-150 has been America’s best-selling truck for 40 straight years and its best-selling vehicle for 30. Despite all the Accords and Priuses that dominate the West Coast, this is the country’s most popular mode of transportation. The Raptor is the high-performance, off-road version of the F-150. It’s not a monster truck, but it’s a truck, and it’s a monster.
From their hauling and towing abilities to trailer-attaching in-truck electronic guidance to the quality of materials lining the cab’s innards to the sticker prices slapped on the driver-side window, pickups have never been more impressive.
Which Ford Explorer Model Is Right for Me?
The 2018 Ford Explorer gets gentle refreshing before its next major overhaul. There’s a well-rounded selection of Explorer models available so you can pick the power, perks, and price that fits you best. Five trims are available (Base, XLT, Limited, Sport, and Platinum) with MSRPs ranging from $31,990 to $53,940. All trims come with a six-speed automatic transmission and one of three engines. The standard engine is a 3.5-liter V6. A turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder engine and a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 are also available. Most trims include front-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive is standard in the Sport and Platinum trims and available in all lower trims for about $2,200.
Prices can quickly climb with the Explorer trims. If want to keep costs low, yet still want some premium amenities, we recommend starting with the Explorer XLT. It includes conveniences like rear backup sensors and a proximity key, and you can add upgrades through various packages. Options include the SYNC 3 infotainment system (which includes a nine-speaker sound system), a dual-panel moonroof, leather-trimmed seats, and automatic climate control for two zones.
In addition to the 3.5-liter V6 engine, the base Explorer ($31,990) comes with the SYNC infotainment interface, a 4.2-inch color display, voice commands, Bluetooth, a USB port, six speakers, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and a rearview camera. Ford’s MyKey – a system that lets you set limits for your teen drivers – is also included.
Ford Explorer XLT
Standard features in the $34,020 Explorer XLT include satellite radio, rear parking sensors, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, a six-way power-adjustable passenger seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, keypad access on the door, a proximity key, push-button start, and upgraded brakes.
Ford Explorer Limited
Powering the Explorer Limited is a turbocharged four-cylinder EcoBoost engine. This edition also has the upgraded SYNC 3 interface with an 8-inch touch-screen display, two 4.2-inch driver information displays, a 180-degree front parking camera, and a 12-speaker Sony audio system. Other notable features include leather seats, a hands-free liftgate, dual-zone climate control, a 110-volt household power outlet, heated and cooled front seats, heated outboard second-row seats, and power-folding third-row seats. Prices start at $42,090.
Ford Explorer Sport
The Explorer Sport ($45,950) boasts the most powerful engine in the lineup: a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6. This four-wheel-drive trim also comes with hill descent control, a sport-tuned suspension, a terrain management system, and an upgraded towing package.
Ford Explorer Platinum
The range-topping Explorer Platinum ($53,940) gets a full suite of active safety technology. Adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic braking, lane departure warning, active park assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and inflatable safety belts for the second-row outboard position are all included. Wood and leather interior embellishments give the Platinum a swanky ambiance. The twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine powers this trim.
When Ford released the original F-150 Raptor in 2010, it was insanely popular. It was the first true high-performance off-road pickup truck with a manufacturer’s warranty. Developed by Ford’s Special Vehicle Team, it survived the Baja 1000 desert race. More of the same are predicted now that the F-150 has a new and lighter platform.
Many details of the new 2017 F-150 Raptor are still shielded, but the second generation pickup will launch in fall of 2016 as a 2017 model under the new Ford Performance banner. It is also a more thoroughly engineered special vehicle itself… it has a dedicated chassis and powertrain to go with the special bodywork. The Raptor’s new boxed steel frame is reinforced from the normal F-150’s and will come in two sizes: the sportier 133-inch-wheelbase SuperCab and the roomier 145-inch SuperCrew. Despite the beefier frame, Ford claims that the new truck’s aluminum body cut 500 pounds from its predecessors curb weight.
No longer is there a big V-8 under the hood, so that should save some weight right there. Yes, folks… the 2017 Raptor is EcoBoost only and the first beneficiary of a second-generation 3.5-liter V-6 with twin turbochargers and direct fuel injection. Ford says the high-powered EcoBoost engines it develops for sports-car racing influenced some of the production V-6’s improvements, including a new aluminum block and updates to the fuel system, cylinder heads, and internals. Paired to the Raptor’s engine will be the first application of Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission and a new four-wheel-drive transfer case, which will work with a terrain-mode system to configure the truck for varying conditions (mud, snow, rocks, etc.). Controlled via steering-wheel buttons and a menu in the cluster, the system will tailor the characteristics of the engine, drivetrain, stability control, and more to help weekend warriors get the most from their Raptors without rolling them down hillsides.
There’s also no uncertainty that the new Raptor certainly looks the part all toned in its alloy. Of course, the raptor has its proud “FORD” grille and an array of marker lights. However, they are now framed in a design more in tune with the new look of the vehicle.
Like the first-generation model, the new Raptor features Fox Racing Shox with custom internal bypass technology. This time around the front and rear shock canisters’ diameter has increased from 2.5 inches to 3.0 inches. Ford says the new shocks have more suspension travel than the previous model’s 11.2 inches front and 12 inches rear travel.
The 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor will be built at the automaker’s Dearborn Truck Plant and will go on sale in fall of 2016 in the U.S. and Canada.