The Raptor is in its element in the desert. It rips through sand, dirt and gravel like you wouldn't believe, and its Baja race-inspired long-travel suspension components soak up bumps that would probably make most vehicles flip over at speed. And if you can find a trail that's wide enough to accommodate its bulk, the Raptor doesn't have much trouble crawling over rocks and up steep, crumbly grades. I've tried all of it, and was impressed. The thing's an absolute beast.
But the vast majority of Americans don't live anywhere near these arid off-road playgrounds that cater to people with the means for expensive toys. Most of us live in or around cities, where off-roading is, at best, a 5 mph slog down a few hundred yards of beach sand, or an illicit, lickety-split romp through a mud hole at a construction site. I live on Long Island, whose inhabitants seem to live for trucks and Jeeps (I mean literally live for them, just to afford the payments). There are plenty of Raptors on the island, but the nearest desert where anyone could really enjoy one is nearly 2,000 miles away. The woodland trails more common a few hours drive from here are less likely to fit a wide-bodied pre-runner without scratching up its expensive paint.
Going beyond the base performance drivers have come to expect from the F-150 is the Ford Raptor. Even though it is a trim option of the F-150, many would consider it a class unto itself with its specialized suspension and performance build. The king of the sand dunes and dominator of high-speed off-roading, the Raptor has always been a model designed to impress any driver looking for the most power and performance.
Off-road, the F150 Raptor is in a class of its own. With multiple driving modes on offer, the Raptor has an answer for everything and will make the most corrugated roads feel buttery smooth. In our first drive review of the Ford F-150 Raptor R on loose sand, we were astounded at how agile it felt, and how it can jump across large sand dunes and land again without you feeling like you're losing control. While both engines are powerful enough, the 450-horsepower EcoBoost V6 in the regular Raptor can't match the power or exhaust note of the Raptor R's 700-hp supercharged V8. There is a Quiet mode if you prefer not to alarm the neighbors, though. 2b1af7f3a8