Winner: Ford F-150 SVT Raptor
Ford's Raptor is without peer in the industry. This 1/2-ton not only sets the standard for every 1/2-ton on the market, but it has earned its place in the history among great factory-built 4x4s.
The spec sheet is littered with the credentials most trucks dream about in the aftermarket. With features like a wide track, long-travel suspension, Fox Racing bypass shocks, 35-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain tires, 4.10:1 gearing, any-speed-selectable rear locker, Off-Road Mode, HDC, 45:1 crawl ratio, and excellent skidplates, the Raptor encompasses nearly everything we would ask for in a 1/2-ton pickup, and now add a potent 411hp engine to power, and the package is as complete as we could ever expect from an OEM.
On looks alone, the Raptor deserves respect. Its chamfered body turns heads and transforms the slab-sided pedestrian F-150 into something sexy and purposeful. There isn't a line on it that isn't there for a reason-even the hood vents are functional.
From clawing through sand washes at freeway speeds to comfortably cruising down the highway to the next trail turnoff, the Raptor always feels perfectly civil. Throw some rocks in the way, and the 35-inch tires and rear locker will get you over them. The Raptor is up to the challenge.
For all of the prowess the Raptor maintains in the dirt, where is the compromise? It can still haul 1,000 pounds, tow 6,000 pounds and is comfortable enough to commute in. The Raptor has the most up-to-date navigation, telematics and Sync systems for integrating phone and media devices and many other features usually reserved for luxury cars.
What more can we say about Ford's Raptor that we haven't said in these pages already? It is a fantastic truck and probably one of those special, once-in-a-lifetime products that we wished we could tell people we once had in our own garages.
The Raptor is an amazing machine, and now that it finally has the muscle to match its body, it is truly deserving of the 2011 Four Wheeler Pickup Truck of the Year award.
6.2L power, amazing exhaust note, whoops-resistant
Reluctant tranny, no mechanical front diff, no interior grab handles
2011 Four Wheeler Pickup Truck of the Year
From the Logbook:
- "Still can't believe anyone signed off on this truck-it is unreal."
- "There about three things in my mind that I would add, and nothing more."
- "It doesn't get much better than this."
- "I could easily drive this truck cross country, it is so comfortable."
- "Trans calibration could be improved."