Big Orange

Let’s face it. Gas wars or not, Americans like trucks. While many Americans own them as a necessary tool for their occupation, there are plenty who also own a truck because they like how it looks or the size or they enjoy going off-road on the weekends. I fall into the last category. Actually, I think I fall into all the categories. When I owned my truck, I used it to haul my DJ equipment, I loved how it looked, I liked being bigger than most other vehicles and I LOVE to go off-road! The only problem is, for that last group, the off-road enthusiast, there really have never been any truly off-road capable trucks you could buy off the dealer’s floor. Sure there was the Hummer, but who has $100,000+ to spend on something that’s not even really capable of being a daily driver? How can we get our off-road fun toy without spending many thousands of dollars on conversions, just to make the thing unbearable to drive to and from work??

Thankfully, Ford not only heard our calls for help, but they decided to spoil the hell out of us. Drum roll please…..ladies and gentlemen, I present my new obsession……The Ford F-150 Raptor.
2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor

Bringin' the Orange to the County

Bringin' the Orange to the County

I highly suggest you follow me past the jump for more pictures and information that will make many of you want to run to the nearest Ford dealership. Yes, really!

Well Hello!

Well Hello!

Let’s start with the looks. This thing looks, and actually really is, massive! A stock F-150 next to this thing looks like the skinny little brother of the jock older brother. This new massive look comes, in part, from the fact that they widened the truck by 7 inches! Those big fender flares aren’t just for looks like on your neighbor’s pickup (if you live in Huntington Beach), they are quite necessary. That’s the reason there are marker lights around the truck. As with a duelly (the pick up trucks with 4 wheels in the back and giant rear fenders), the rules of the road stated Ford had to add the marker lights for safety. If you look closely at the front grill however, you’ll see instead of putting the lights on the roof, as the duellies and semi trucks do, they placed them in the grill. Check it out!

Who makes this truck again?

Who makes this truck again?


Don't the lights look pretty? Photo courtesy of Raptor's photo download section of their website

Don't the lights look pretty? Photo courtesy of Raptor's photo download section of their website

While we’re on the grill, did you notice the slight huge change? The Raptor gets a custom grill with a giant Ford stamp across the front. I really like it. Ford also created a custom front bumper just for the Raptor. I’ll get in to the details later, but Ford and Fox Racing Shox teamed up to make a completely custom suspension upgrade for the Raptor. As an added bonus to those who might admire your truck from up close, Ford added a window to the front bumper so as to admire the custom suspension.

Photo courtesy of Raptor's photo download section of their website.

Photo courtesy of Raptor's photo download section of their website.

Going back to the rest of the exterior, you might notice a new color from Ford, “Molten Orange.” Like some (many?) of you out there, I really wasn’t sure about the color at first. I thought it was just a preproduction scheme for the press. But as I walked around it more, and got used to it, I can’t see this truck in anything but orange! However if you’re really not a fan, the truck comes in 3 other colors. “Tuxedo Black”, “Oxford White” (get it? it’s like an oxymoron! trucks and nice clothes??) and my favorite…”Blue Flame”. Blue flame? Really? Was there no one at Ford that heard that name and immediately thought of lighting farts on fire?? I digress. The only other color I think the truck looks good in is the “Tuxedo Black”, however I feel you lose all the aggressiveness of the vehicle. Blue is my favorite color but I don’t feel the blue suits this particular vehicle. As far as the white is concerned, I don’t believe anyone should drive a white car unless it’s some vintage Rolls Royce or Mercedes.

Blue Flame?

Blue Flame?

The last things I’d like to point out on the exterior are the hood scoops and fender vents. While they may look like pretty decorations, it turns out they are actually functional!

They're almost like the gills of a fish, letting the beast breathe.

They're almost like the gills of a fish, letting the beast breathe.


If the fenders are gills, these must be the nostrils....OF THE BEAST!

If the fenders are gills, these must be the nostrils....OF THE BEAST!

While we’re on the subject of big breathing beasts, let’s talk engines. (insert Tim Allen grunt here) The truck that I drove had the 5.4L SOHC V8. The thing sounded great and was mighty powerful under pressure, yet very refined on the streets. The specs show it as having 320 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque. That’s an engine you can have some fun with! However…if that’s just not enough for you (let’s face it, if you’re going to own a truck like this, why not go balls to the walls), then may I suggest waiting until early next year for the 6.2L V8! This engine is also known as the “BOSS” engine. It has over 400 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque! Pair each of those with a 6 (yes 6) speed transmission, and you’re going to have some fun in the desert, or wherever you go! (except the gas pump, that still might suck) The MPG was in the 17-21 range, which for what you’re getting, really isn’t that bad, but let’s be honest…it’s no Prius.

Like an idiot I forgot to photograph the engine, so once again I thank Raptor's website for downloadable pictures.

Like an idiot I forgot to photograph the engine, so once again I thank Raptor's website for downloadable pictures.

Earlier I mentioned the suspension. As I stated Ford and Fox Racing Shox teamed up to create specialized shocks just for the Raptor. The guys at Ford wanted to give the maximum amount of travel (the distance the wheel can move up and down) without intruding into the engine bay or truck bed. Fox designed specialized shocks that look as though they have reservoirs attached, as you would see in professional race trucks, but in reality that is just an extension of the shock itself. I lied. It is in fact a reservoir! Even better! This allowed them to get a few more inches of travel into the suspension and keep the structural integrity of the original design. How many inches of travel you ask? Try 11 inches in the front and 13 inches in the back! This provides a big cushion for the truck to land when you catch air and a great amount of flexibility when maneuvering difficult off-road courses. Unlike in typical suspension upgrades, though, they have also made the truck smooth and sturdy when driving on the asphalt! This means when you drive to the movies or work or whever, it’s a comfortable ride! Go figure!

Don't they look pretty??  See what I mean about the piggyback design?

Don't they look pretty?? See what I mean about the piggyback design?


Just to give you an idea of what 13 inches of travel looks like.  I don't think I was even at max stretch here either.

Just to give you an idea of what 13 inches of travel looks like. I don't think I was even at max stretch here either.

How have I gone this far and not mentioned the off-road specific features of this king of the desert?? This truck was purpose built to race the Baja 1000, widely agreed upon as one of, if not the most grueling auto race in the world. Every year approximately two-thirds of the vehicles that enter the race don’t finish. Well the Raptor finished 3rd in class and was the FIRST EVER preproduction truck to finish the Baja 1000!! Don’t believe me? Check it out!
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsRrKAW-YP0[/youtube]
So how do you build a production truck capable of accomplishing such a feat? Well it helps to start with a sturdy vehicle. Say what you will about Fords, they haven’t had the longest running, highest selling pickup for no reason. As I said, they threw in a powerful engine, beefed up the suspension, widened the track by 7 inches…what else is there? How about the first factory standard Electronic Locking Rear Differential!! (the link takes you to wikipedia for those who don’t know what it is) They also created a technology they call “Hill Descent Control”. When this is engaged, if you’re descending a hill, the anti-lock brakes automatically control your descent! Yeah, take your foot off the brakes and concentrate on steering. It works and it’s awesome. It also works in reverse, so if you climb a big steep hill only to discover it leads no where, you can safely back down. There is also an “Off-Road Mode” button. When this is engaged, the computer adjusts the throttle to be more less responsive (in other words, less touchy…so if your foot accidentally twitches, you’re not sent 90 mph over the rock you were crawling over) and lets the shifts rev a little higher to prevent constant gear changing when climbing hills. It also adjusts the ABS brakes and the locking rear differential to improve your off-road experience. Having tested these features out I can tell you they work, and they work WELL! Ford also teamed up with BF Goodrich, widely know to make superior off-road tires, to create a custom tire just for the truck! While they may look like your typical “BFG All Terrains” you see on most other off-road trucks, these have been specially made to improve the truck’s handling on and off the road, and best of all…they’re quiet on asphalt! Yeah! You can drive with your windows down and talk to your passengers! They think of everything.

I wish I could say this was me, but I didn't want my PR rep, Octavio Navarro, to lose his job, so once again Raptor's website provided the photo.

I wish I could say this was me, but I didn't want my PR rep, Octavio Navarro, to lose his job, so once again Raptor's website provided the photo.


Custom tires even!

Custom tires even!

OK, let’s finish up with the interior.

Looks great, right?

Looks great, right?


I really liked the interior. It was roomy without feeling cavernous. This model had the orange accented leather and trim and I really feel it capped the truck off nicely. I’ve seen pictures of the all black interior and I feel that it lacks pizazz.
Sync!  I love it and will discuss more about it in future posts.  Stay tuned!

Sync! I love it and will discuss more about it in future posts. Stay tuned!

This truck had all the bells and whistles for the entertainment system. It had Ford’s exclusive “Sync” system (which I adore and will discuss in a MetBlogs post in the near future) and of course the full touch-screen/sat nav/DVD/space ship/super duper/blow you away entertainment system. As I said earlier, I’m a DJ so music is VERY important to me. The sound system equipped in our truck was Ah-mazing! One of my pet peeves when off-road driving is, being that it’s bumpy, my CDs always skip! Well this thing has a hard drive to store your music. Now I can rock out while I’m out climbing rocks! Also, if you can see those four switched by the shift lever, those are pre-wired auxiliary switches! It’s not uncommon to add a winch or exterior lighting to an off-road vehicle, but the problem has always been where to install the on/off switch?? Ford answered that for us. Thanks Ford!

Look at the cool looking gagues!

Look at the cool looking gagues!


Nothing clever to say about this one.  It just looks great!

Nothing clever to say about this one. It just looks great!

As with you’re typical extended cab pickup truck, it has a “suicide door” setup for easy entry and to haul bigger stuff in the cab. The back seats don’t provide any more or less room than your standard extended cab either. If they do, it’s not really enough to be noticed by the general public.
OK I’ve covered all the areas I felt were most important, but there’s still so much more that I didn’t cover. Why don’t you check out Raptor’s website yourself, or just go chat up your local Ford dealer and see it for yourself! If you have an interest in trucks and playing in the dirt, I think you’ll be hard pressed to not want to buy one of these.
I’ve included the rest of my pictures below. If you haven’t figured it out yet, the pictures get much larger with a click. Enjoy!

I like the logo too.  Fun but not over the top.

I like the logo too. Fun but not over the top.


Rear Angle 1
Rear Angle 2
Undercarriage
This picture wasn't my idea, but I like how it turned out.  So you get to stare at my beautiful face and be jealous I drove a cool truck...and you didn't.

This picture wasn't my idea, but I like how it turned out. So you get to stare at my beautiful face and be jealous I drove a cool truck...and you didn't.

9 Comments so far

  1. frazgo on September 8th, 2009 @ 9:17 am

    Nice post, nice truck. love all the HDR work.

    I love sync. I’ve loved it since I first saw it last summer. ITs in our new Milan and absolutely love it. Totally tricked out, love talking to a car and giving it commands and watching it spring into action fulfilling our every need. I really like the 911 feature (calls automatically if you are in an accident where airbags deploy). I still need to visit http://www.syncmyride.com to get the vehicle history function activated which should help with maintenance etc.,.


  2. Jon (oc_jon) on September 8th, 2009 @ 10:39 am

    Look how hetero you look!


  3. Jeff (unregistered) on September 8th, 2009 @ 11:45 am

    Soon to be driven by soccer mom’s all over OC on their way to park in a compact spot at Starbucks! :-)


  4. Dandy (unregistered) on September 8th, 2009 @ 4:01 pm

    That thing is massive!

    Jon totally cracked me up.


  5. Dave Share (daveshare) on September 8th, 2009 @ 4:11 pm

    @Fraz- Thanks! I’m finally learning to utilize the HDR a little better.

    @Jon- They’re few and far between, but I have my moments! Think they’d Valet this at “Rage” for me?

    @Jeff- Lord please no!

    @Dandy- It is….and he does that.


  6. Jon (oc_jon) on September 8th, 2009 @ 8:01 pm

    That truck really is big! Are we compensating for something? :P

    And real men don’t need to validate!


  7. Jon (oc_jon) on September 8th, 2009 @ 8:04 pm

    One more thing… The Raptor? Way to stay relevant Ford, you only missed the dino-craze by a decade.


  8. Dave Share (daveshare) on September 8th, 2009 @ 10:26 pm

    It’s not compensating. It’s mirroring. Like when dog owners get the same haircuts as their dogs. But less weird.


  9. A Taurus To Save Them All? | Orange County Metblogs (pingback) on September 16th, 2009 @ 2:10 pm

    […] [stereo] the speakers are usually really awesome). This stereo was very unlike the stereo in the Raptor I test drove a few weeks ago, that stereo was amazing. Look at those pretty […]



Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.