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First Drive: 2011 Ford F-150 Raptor Super Crew

Posted in Project Vehicles on July 1, 2011
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Photographers: Courtesy of the Manufacturer

The Ford Raptor is nothing short of every teenage boy’s dream pickup. With modern and unique styling, a 400-horse 6.2L V-8, 35-inch tires, and suspension so smooth and capable that it will impress your buddies off-road and your lady on the street, there’s no denying that the SVT Raptor is one of the best out-of-box 1⁄2-ton pickups ever produced. And while victories in Baja and Dakar give the Super Cab Raptor serious off-road credit, the unveiling of the Super Crew version left many to wonder if the new, longer version of the F-150 would carry on the performance torch.

We recently got the chance to get behind the wheel of the ’11 Super Crew Raptor and put it through its paces in the frigid cold of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. We put on some serious road miles as well as churned some snow and dirt at the Smithers Winter test facility there. Icy roads and snow-covered test tracks might seem out of place for a truck born in the desert, but the SVT crew aimed to show us that while the Raptor does excel in Southwestern terrain, it was built to handle all off-road conditions.

At first we were a little unsure if the longer wheelbase and extra interior space would take away from the nimble and exciting feel of the original Raptor platform. But within a few minutes of driving the Super Crew, the extra 11.9 inches of wheelbase were hardly detectable. Since the Super Crew Raptor shares the SVT’s electronic nanny delete features, driving the four-door version off-road is an absolute blast. Even with the rear locker engaged and speeds higher than your average trail crawl, we always felt very in control of the truck and enjoyed the steering characteristics both on and off the pavement.

On-road we found the power to be plentiful and the suspension extremely smooth, though the increase track width can take a little getting used to. And while the extra width and wheelbase of the Raptor make it one of the largest 4x4 1⁄2-tons on the road, it never felt overly large until we got into a tight parking lot.

Overall we found the Super Crew Raptor to have all the right cues for wheelers who need the workhorse capabilities of a modern half-ton but who still want to enjoy their time off-road with the whole family.

Engine 6.2L 2V V-8 SOHC, iron block, aluminum heads
Valvetrain Roller-rocker shaft with hydraulic lash adjuster
Horsepower 411 @ 5,500 rpm
Torque (lb-ft) 434 @ 4,500 rpm
Fuel Capacity (gal) 36.0
Transmission 6-speed auto overdrive with tow/haul mode
Transfer Case 2-speed, part time, 2.64:1
Axle Ratio 4.10
Front Fox coil-on-shock, long-spindle double-wishbone independent, aluminum lower control arm, forged-steel upper arm
Rear leaf springs and Fox outboard shock absorbers
Steering Rack-and-pinion
Front 13.8-in power vented disc
Rear 13.7-in power vented disc
Wheels & Tires 315/70R-17 SVT Spec BFG A-Ts on 17-inch cast-aluminum wheels
Wheelbase (in) 145.2
Curb Height (in) 78.4
Track Width (in) 73.6
Base Curb Weight (lb) 6,200
Payload Capacity (lb) 1,030
GVWR (lb) 7,300
Max GCWR (lb) 14,700
Max Trailer Tow (lb) 8,000

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