A Queer4Cars Video will be coming on the Ford Raptor
Have you ever watched a muscle-bound guy walk into a gym full of other muscular men? It is done with a swagger and an air of confidence. That is much how the 2019 Ford Raptor rolls down the road, as it shows off its buff and very well-defined body. This boy has some serious tats too on his defined body. We took it on the road for a week to see what he could do. Sadly our trip did not include any off-road adventure. Though the thought of cleaning this bulky pickup with its bulging fenders afterward might have been a deterrent.
It was those well-defined bulges in the body parts that kept making me think that there were dents in the truck after parking it in a parking lot. But nope, that is part of the overall design of this aluminum-bodied beast. The Raptor Exterior Graphics Package graphics – tats – are a $1,075 option that has ink all over the pickup bed and cab body, even on the taillights. But they were telling you that it has extra safety sensors built-in.
Is this F-150 Different From The Others?
Indeed, it is! In all the Raptor is an F-150 on steroids, so it is bigger than a standard pickup truck. Size-wise it is on par with the Super Duty F250 pickups on the road. With Raptor there is just more of everything.
The suspension is beefed-up and lifted with Fox Live Valve shocks and skid plates. The Raptor has Ford’s Elect 4X4 shift on the fly with hill descent and off-road mode, and a terrain management system. While the engine is a Raptor unique 3.5 Ecoboost High Output, twin-turbo. Raptor rolls on knobby 17-inch LT315/70R17 BF Goodrich TA KO Baja Champion Tires. That can be set up, so they stay on the rim even if you pressure down the tires for climbing over rocks and rougher terrain.
Our test vehicle was the SuperCrew® though I hear the shorter SuperCab is what is thought to make this a rig even tougher looking. Both cab versions come with short a 5 ½ foot pickup bed. No matter what size the cab is, the interior was exceptionally well designed and finished. The red ring on the top center of the leather-covered steering wheel was a nice touch, especially in the blue accent interior with the Recaro blue accent front seats.
Driving the Raptor
Indeed it is big, you are high up, with a commanding view of all around you. From the moment you make that big step (and it is a big one) up onto the black cast Aluminum Raptor designated running board. Over the Ford Performance doorsill, and slip into the cab’s blue suede-like Recaro seat with the Raptor insignia on the headrest, you know this is not just a run of the mill F-150.
The Baja-bred F-150 Raptor is fine on a typical paved road, though the 17-inch BFG KO tires give a rougher ride than if were on an all seasons or even winter tires. And tires like this are a part of the overall image of a go-anywhere, do-anything off-road capable truck.
The full-size 4-door Raptor SuperCrew® comes standard with the extended-range 36-gallon fuel tank; an option on all other models. I finally figured out how to use Ford’s remote start system that comes as part of the $9,365 802A equipment package. (you have to lock it first then hit the start button, even if it is already locked. Know that once inside, you have to turn it off and turn it on again.) This package has a lot of desirable features that include the B&O™ Premium Sound System by Bang & Olufsen. Creating a customized audio experience by incorporating specifically tailored speaker placement, tuning, and calibration for this vehicle. Among its features are an integrated microphone monitoring background noise to ensure outstanding playback, up to 1,000 watts of amplified power, and 10 premium speakers. You get several other niceties, from LED Bed lighting to voice-activated navigation and a heated steering wheel, to name only a few.
Unique to the Raptor is a twin-turbo, intercooled DOHC 24-valve, 3.5L EcoBoost® with port fuel and direct injection system and Ford’s Electronic 10-speed automatic. This high-output EcoBoost generates more power than the previous 6.2L V8 – 450 horsepower and 510 lb.-ft. of torque, and provides better overall fuel economy, we got just under 20 mpg overall.
F-150 EcoBoost® and the advanced 10-speed automatic transmission delivered perfectly acceptable performance in low and mid ranges of the powerband with enhanced acceleration provided plenty of performance and power when needed. The selectable modes: Normal, Tow-Haul, Snow-Wet, EcoSelect, and Sport provide plenty of options no matter where you are driving, or what the conditions might be.
Hauling and Towing
Our unit had the $595 tough-bed spray-in Bedliner as well as the included Box Link™ system that offers a flexible, configurable way to secure items in the pickup bed. This tester was equipped with the $375 Tailgate Step with Tailgate Lift Assist an F-150 class-exclusive feature. That made getting up into the bed easier, though still a darn big first step up.
While this is designed as a sport truck, it does have an 8000 lb tow capacity. With BLIS trailer tow monitoring, trailer sway control, integrated trailer brake control, and Pro trailer backup assist, you have a lot to help out if you do end up hauling something.
This is definitely a Playboy Truck that will garner plenty of attention and comments. It is a fun one to drive, and you need to have space for it. It barely fit in my parking space.
The Raptor is showy, and it is quite popular even at a final sticker $74,955. If you want one, they are out there, you will have to negotiate your own discounts with a dealer who has one and wants to sell it.
Would I buy it? As much as I enjoyed my week in it, for my lifestyle, no. Though if I lived in the mountains or out in the country and had a barn to park it in, maybe. But as just a work pickup, probably not. You just do not want to get it dirty or damage it.
I thank Ford Motor Company and North American Vehicle Services for providing this truck for my week in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. They provided the truck and a full tank of fuel, but no compensation for this review.
Words and images by William West Hopper.
Mr. Hopper is a lifelong auto enthusiast. As a member of the Washington Automotive Press Association – WAPA he currently serves as their President. Mr. Hopper is also a member of The International Automotive Press Association IMPA.
All opinions are his own.