Restorative therapies are pursued for natural mutations resulting from damaged genes.

The best therapy for a mutation of the Ford F-150 pickup truck, designated Raptor, is to respect its beyond capabilities and enjoy its civility.

Striking fear in the hearts of more pedestrian rear view mirrors, the 2nd generation redesigned 2018 Ford F-150 Raptor is a conundrum of what eats a work truck for breakfast, regurgitates as close to a road-going Baja 1000 desert racer as it can, and remains only some projectile armor and a gun turret shy of a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, while retaining a modicum of street docility.

As Roadblazing.com discovered in its 2018 Ford F-150 Raptor 4×4 Supercab stint, “It can be good to be bad.

 

MILITARY GRADE TOUGH:

As with other current [13th] generation F-150‘s, Ford’s revolutionary [for light truck] fabrication:  Especially rigid castings +  Appreciably greater laser welds +  Aerospace strength bonding = Mil- strength aluminum alloy body & box needing to make no excuses for rigidity, = 500 pounds < than outgoing F-150 Raptor. Raptor-specific fully boxed in frame = high tensile steel

 

MIRRORS MONSTER TRUCK:

Search not for vertical grille bars nor a front Blue Oval emblem for there are none:

 Dark brooding letters “F O R D”, spelled out with wider block bravado than the previous generation Raptor, stretching the entire width of a massive octagonal dark honeycomb grille;  Three commercial truck cab top style lights line the top edge of that predatory oral cavity;  Sinister, more pronounced exposed and open lower front fascia corner bumpers.

 Serious full sub-drivetrain front skid plate;  Transfer case steel plate;  Peregrine’s talons tapered perforated  running boards;  F+R wrist thick dual tow hooks, for lesser off-road vagrants rescues.

Dark clad near monster width wheel arches;  Fender louvers;  Hood louvers & racing stripes;  Stenciled bed side “RAPTOR” logos & lower body cladding.

– Standard F-150 fare = C-shaped bi LED headlamp & taillamps, steel rear bumper and flared upper tailgate.

A meaner, “What the F#@& is that beast in the rear view mirror” F-150 Raptor!

 

A SUBSTITUTE FOR DISPLACEMENT:

OUT: Previous F-150 Raptor’s 6.2 Triton V-8 powerplant

IN: Ford Peformance variant “Ecoboost” 3.5L DOHC 24V direct & sequential injected, twin-turbocharged, gas V-6:

Piston Cooling Oil Jets  Port and Direct Fuel Injection  Stronger crankshaft journals  and bearings   2-piece oil pan  Lighter weight camshaft + lower friction chain  Electric exhaust wastegate  + 6 psi turbo boost    E- Variable displacement oil pump    Dual 100 Watt air intake charge cooling fans   True dual exhaust w/ straight pipes

vs. previous F-150 Raptor 6.2L V-8:

  • 450 hp = +39 hp
  • 510 hp = +76 lb-ft
  • 128 hp/L = +94%
  • 5525 lbs. = -500 lbs.
  • 17 mpg combined = +30% = 23% lower fuel consumption

 

TORQUE MULTIPLIED AND SPLIT:

Ford-GM’s new 10-speed automatic torque converter transmission, doing track worthy service in the Mustang GT and Chevrolet Camaro ZL-1, also finds a home in the new Raptor:

Wide 7.4:1 gear ratio spread  One-way clutch, non-sequential shifting  Reduced fricton internals  High filtration  Internal stop-start oil sump  Magnesium steering wheel dorsal mount shift paddles

TORQUE SPLITTING = Electronic dash-mount dial, chain and viscous clutch coupled transfer case.

Front wheel disengaged, rear wheel drive;  Variable clutch slip all-wheel drive;  On-the-fly locked prop shaft high / parked low four wheel drive

Front differential = standard open, optional Torsen limited slip; 

Rear differential = electronic clutch pack locking

Terrain Management = +/- throttle reaction, transmission shift, transfer case split and differential lock from normal RWD to inclement weather AWD to locked 4WD Hi Sand & Baja modes to locked 4WD Lo rock climbing.

 

EARTH TAMING CHASSIS

Added to the F-150 front double wishbone rear live axle chassis with Raptor specific lower rate front coil, rear leaf springs:

  • 11.5″ inches ground clearance = +0.8″ vs. RAM Rebel, +1.9″ vs. Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro;
  • 13.0″ inches, 13.9″ inches F:R wheel travel = +2″ inches F:R vs previous generation Raptor
  • 3″ inch diameter FOX 9-stage bypass improved cooling shock absorbers w/ bump stops, remote rear reservoirs = 44% > previous generation Raptor
  • Front 2-piston floating caliper + 13.8 vented rotor brakes
  • 315-70/ 17  BF Goodrich All-Terrain tires = 33.4″ inch diameter
  • 3-level variable effort steering assist
  • Available Ford Performance forged bead-lock rims for reduced off-road tire inflation

 

[MOSTLY] ON ROAD IMPRESSIONS:

–  Casual commute Mr. Hyde. The only giveaway that the slushbox has non-sequentially skipped to 10th gear by 40mph is the gauge cluster indicator. Dual exhausts muster a coarse rumble 2-cylinder deficit to V-8 burble. Even noise emanating from mammoth aggressive treaded all-terrain BF Goodrich rubber is barely intrusive. Whether it be the low effort steering or the most compliant of the 9 damper valvings, 2018 Ford F-150 Raptor = Authoritative Boulevardier.

Jump on It! Twist the Terrain Management dial to Street mode. Depress the steering wheel variable effort setting to Sport. Put heavy foot into that soft accelerator pedal. Feel the Fox dampers open the bypass valves and flow the fluid faster. Thence follows a manifestation of absolutely controllable mayhem. The twin turbos spool up simultaneously matched by the gearbox 3-gear down-shift skip for a rush of near traction breaking thrust. Bends at speed are attacked with flatter attitude than most sporty crossovers, bereft of bob or lean, but without the harshness of axle tramp over pavement breaks.

– On-center steering vagueness persists but the reaction to inputs abuts performance car reactivity. The oversized disc rotors are linked to a long travel pedal though consistent firmness is eventually found.

 –  That 13″+ inch suspension travel at the corners, dispatches the need for off ground free-wheeling to mount a 4′ foot tall snow berm.

STANDARD SAFETY 6 airbags;  Bi-LED headlamps;  Rear camera w/ washer;  Sonar audible park assist; AVAIL. =  360° Surround view; Lane departure warning & Keep assist; Automatic high beam headlamps; Adaptive cruise control; Collision mitigation;

 

MILD PULLER & HAULER:

F-150 Raptor‘s off road suspension & extra mass = utility concessions vs. F-150 3.5L FX-4 3.55:1 gearing short box:

  • 6000 lbs. towing = -5500 lbs.
  • 1000 lbs. payload  = -1120 lbs.
  • 5525 lbs. curb weight = + 724 lbs (vs. F-150 Supercab 4×4, 6.5′ box)
  • Only available in 5.5′ foot short box, (either in Supercab or Supercrew configuration)

STD. =  Fixed bed anchors;  Bed corner steps; OPT. =  Power sliding mid-rear window;   Spray in bed liner

 

DESERT INSULATED OCCUPANCY:

– Front sport buckets seats , heated & 10-way in power adjusting, are snugger than F-150 fare, with aggressive bolstering up to shoulder height. Coverings = Contrast stitched perforated leather. +1 Front door squeeze latch releases.

-1 The tester being a Supercab rather than more limo like SuperCrew = dual sided, pillar-free suicide rear doors. Accessing rear doors from outside necessitates opening front doors. -1 Rear occupants exceeding 6’2″ will familiarize knees with front seat backs.

Storage Versatility Split fold-up rear bench seating; Full length door pockets; Dash top center storage bin; Center console side pockets x 2;  Cupholders = 2 forward + 2 aft front center console; -1 Among shallower & narrower front center sub-armrest stows; -1 Shallow door bottle holders x 4.

Materials Tight grained upper dash & door panel dark hard plastics;  Contrasting simulated carbon fiber & metallic bands;  Padded elbow rests; -1 Industrial smooth hard dark plastic console trim, -1 Larger gaps between door & dash panels

 

BAJA COMMAND CENTER: 

Instrumentation Ford Performance twin analog gauges included italicized numerals;  140 mile-per-hour speedo w/ red kilometer-per-hour numerals;  Operating conditions needle gauges in horizontal array;

– 8″-inch selectable LCD multi-function/ settings display = Powertrain & off-road readings, trailer tow options, terrain management modes and Raptor Status

Controls = Depressed front door panel top chrome tipped power window switches & wing mirror joystick;  Rugged-ized glove- able rotary dials for transfer case, trailer backup, climate fan speed / temperature & audio volume / selection controls;  +1 Overhead console toggle accessory switches; +1 Rowed lever transmission position selector;  -1 Select-shift transmission lever side toggle.

Entertainment & Connectivity = Tri-pane Ford MyTouch Sync3 8″-inch capacitive touch LCD infotainment screen; Bluetooth & voice command hands-free communications;  SMS text messaging; GPS HDD Navigation w/ 3-D map, voice guidance; Android Auto / Apple Car Play smart phone integration;  Sync3 Apps; USB x 6, 12V x 4, 110V AC x 2; +1 Concealed forward center console wireless device storage; +1 Clear if not deep sounding base 6-speaker, AM/FM, CD, streaming audio; +1 Sync3 voice command understands and speaks King’s English.

By Subscription (AVAIL.): Sirius XM Traffic & TravelLink apps (5 yrs. included); Wi-Fi hot spot (by Verizon Wireless);

 

KING OF THE ON-OFF ROAD :

The 2018 Ford F-150 Raptor is either America’s most docile desert mauler or the undeniable prince of off-road utility darkness. Without true peers it shows no fear. Priced starting at $50,000 qualifies it as a bargain of an F-150 mutation.