Ford has ripped the covers off it’s F-150 Raptor desert racer and if this machine doesn’t stir your off-road soul, nothing will.
Built exclusively for the 2016 Best in the Desert off-road racing series’ new factory stock class, the racer is built on the Raptor’s production platform and utilises its all-new high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, 10-speed transmission, and torque-on-demand transfer case.
“The all-new Raptor has the DNA of a Baja race truck, with a purpose-built engine, chassis and suspension that enables it to travel fast over challenging desert landscapes or crawl over rocky terrain,” said Jamal Hameedi, chief engineer, Ford Performance.
A Torsen front differential and the Raptor’s new transfer case ensure plenty of off-road grip.
The tricky transfer manages power distribution between the front and rear wheels, and is said to combine the best attributes of an on-demand all-wheel drive system and mechanical-locking four-wheel drive.
The Raptor’s Terrain Management System allows the driver to select from six specific modes for different terrain types, including;
- Normal mode – for everyday driving
- Street mode – for higher-performance, on-road driving
- Weather mode – for rain, snow or ice
- Mud and sand mode – for muddy, sandy trails and terrain
- Baja mode – for high-speed desert running
- Rock mode – for low-speed rock crawling
Rolling stock for the racing Raptor comprises Ford Performance 17-inch beadlock-capable wheels wrapped in next-generation BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 tyres.
“This is the most stock truck I’ve ever seen in my time building Ford race trucks,” said Greg Foutz, owner of Foutz Motorsports, Ford’s truck builder and primary race truck driver. “Without custom technology or other modifications, this all-new Raptor is ready to prove the toughness and performance in the Best in the Desert series.”
Modifications to the F-150 Raptor race truck include:
- Race-optimized three-inch-diameter external-bypass front and rear Fox Racing Shox similar to Raptor’s internal-bypass Fox Racing Shox
- Race-optimized front and rear springs provide additional ground clearance and provide increased compression rate
Custom-fabricated roll cage
- MasterCraft seats with five-point harness safety belts and window nets
- LED light bars, racing fuel cell, Lowrance GPS, RacePak digital dash and data logger
If you want to see the F-150 Raptor racer in action, the dates for the events are:
- Parker 425, Parker, Arizona, Feb. 4-7
- Mint 400, Las Vegas, March 10-14
- Laughlin Desert Classic, Laughlin, Nevada, May 5
- Vegas to Reno, Nevada, Aug. 17-20
- Bluewater Challenge, Parker, Arizona, Sept. 10-Oct. 6
- Pahrump Nugget 250, Pahrump, Nevada, Dec. 1-4