Road Test Review: 2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor SuperCrew

F-150-svt-raptor-supercrew-05
Words by Dan Sanchez, photos by Drew Phillips for PickupTrucks.com

Has Ford created the ultimate off-road chase truck?

The 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor quickly rose to the top of factory performance trucks with its unique long-travel suspension system and an appearance reminiscent of a Baja trophy truck. It met the untapped demand of off-road enthusiasts looking for a turn-key prerunner. But there was even more demand for a Raptor with extra cabin space from wheelers with families and racers looking for a support vehicle.

So we set out to see if the SuperCrew version performs as well as the lighter and shorter-wheelbase SuperCab SVT Raptor or a heavy-duty three-quarter-ton chase truck, like a hardened Ford F-250 recovery rig.

The 145-inch wheelbase Raptor SuperCrew model is 12 inches longer than the SuperCab model. That extra room for bodies and gear doesn’t come for free. The extra doors that make the Raptor SuperCrew desirable for families or racers with a pit crew add weight and increase the truck’s breakover angle. That must mean the truck has lost some of its performance ... or does it?

F-150-svt-raptor-supercrew-24
The Raptor SuperCrew can fly down washboard roads without feeling loose or unstable. We averaged 50-60 mph on a few dirt roads, and the six-speed transmission kept the truck at the proper power range for effortless acceleration.

After driving the Raptor SuperCrew earlier this year in the frozen northlands of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Ford’s big desert eagle is also right at home in Southern California’s deserts. The Raptor SuperCrew flies over washboard pitted dirt roads and smooths out harsh bumps with its aluminum lower control arms, forged steel uppers and Fox Racing shocks. The longer wheelbase makes it easier to drift around corners with precise control, thanks to the 16:1 steering ratio (tightened from 20:1) that was added to the SuperCrew model to make up for the truck’s length.

Switching to the Raptor’s unique off-road mode allows the truck to perform more like a racer, applying slightly more power to the rear to accelerate out of turns and help you control the truck’s steering with the throttle when needed.

Despite the ability to change the truck’s suspension modes, we did find that the Raptor SuperCrew tended to oversteer in a variety of conditions. Fortunately, the Raptor’s Advance-Trac stability controls make it easy for novice off-road drivers to keep the truck in full control, both on and off the highway, providing they prerun the course first to see what they’re getting into.

Equipped with a 6.2-liter V-8 that produces 411 horsepower and 434 pounds-feet of torque, the Raptor SuperCrew isn’t sluggish but it lacks the crisp and immediate throttle response needed at high speeds in the rough. While this might be an issue if you’re racing, it definitely doesn’t deter from its overall performance.

F-150-svt-raptor-supercrew-52
The 6.2-Liter V8 is a cast-iron block with aluminum cylinder heads. Producing 411 horsepower and 434 pounds-feet of torque, a modified version of the engine has proven itself during a Baja 1000 race and can keep cool under extreme conditions.

Nonetheless, the 6.2 has been tested by Ford in extreme heat, dirt and sandy conditions. The 16-valve single-overhead-cam engine’s cast-iron block with aluminum cylinder heads features variable camshaft timing. This helps boost and optimize the engine’s fuel economy and performance, which was evident during our testing. We averaged slightly over 14 mpg in highway mileage, the same as the EPA's highway rating (12/14 mpg city/highway) and the six-speed automatic transmission kept the engine in its prime rpm range to maximize performance.

As expected, the SuperCrew’s ride was very smooth no matter what type of obstacles we encountered. The front and rear triple internal bypass Fox Racing dampers are tuned differently from the SuperCab model, and the coil springs are 8 percent stiffer to compensate for the heavier engine and longer wheelbase. Yet, the truck didn’t feel different from the SuperCrew model in off-road conditions.

During normal city and highway driving, however, the heavier truck does seem like you’re in a three-quarter-ton, until you stomp on the throttle or take a corner at high speed. We did notice some highway oscillations typical of any extended-wheel base pickup, but they weren’t as harsh as on other four-door pickups we’ve tested.

F-150-svt-raptor-supercrew-58
The transmission +/- toggle switches allow the driver to set various upshift and downshift points, depending on vehicle speed. These are great to improve exit speeds out of a turn or when approaching hills, but require some time to learn to use properly.

In four-wheel-drive high mode, the Raptor SuperCrew pushed through deep sand, slowly climbed up steep hills and easily crawled over obstacles with the help of the electronic locking rear differential. The Raptor SuperCrew’s longer wheelbase and hill descent control also made it much easier to climb down a steep hill pitted with deep ruts that, in one instance, left the driver’s rear tire completely in the air.

The truck’s 315/70R17 BFGoodrich All Terrain tires are quiet on the highway and have enough sidewall to cushion bumps while also providing lots of great traction in off-road conditions. The tires also add to the truck’s overall towing capability, which is rated at 8,000 pounds (about half what a diesel-powered F-250 can pull), making it suitable for hauling a trailer full of ATVs or an enclosed trailer with a light race truck inside. The SuperCrew Raptor also has a huge 36-gallon fuel tank, which hurts a little when you fill it up, but also ensures you have enough fuel to reach a broken-down Trophy Truck in the middle of the desert.

Inside, the Raptor SuperCrew is comfortable and sporty. The front leather seats are firm yet not too hard for a long road trip. The large 4.2-inch LCD screen in the center of the instrument cluster allows you to view a variety of vehicle functions. It includes an off-road screen that allows you to see steering wheel and vehicle angles when on a grade or obstacle plus a special screen to keep track of all of the Raptor's special drive modes and controls.

The toggle switches on the center console control the transmission shift functions. This allows you to select various modes that control gear selection of upshifts and downshifts according to engine speed. While this is perfect for maximizing your speed over difficult terrain, it takes a while to learn its functions. After a few unsuccessful attempts at optimizing our downshift points from a short turn we kept taking at high speed, we left the toggle switches alone and opted to concentrate on the truck’s other interior features.

F-150-svt-raptor-supercrew-55
The Raptor SuperCrew is comfortable and sporty at the same time. The instruments offer the driver full control and various gauges to monitor engine and off-road functions.

One of these includes a much-needed telescoping steering wheel that allows you to sit properly and comfortably for any type of high-speed driving. The Raptor SuperCrew also includes a rearview camera and trailer brake controller, which adds to the truck’s full capabilities. We also liked the other standard features such as the perimeter alarm, which lets you know when a vehicle is in your blind spot, and a head restraint for the middle backseat passenger to further limit neck injuries for family or crew members.

The bottom line is that the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor SuperCrew offers more advantages and capabilities for a tow and chase truck or family adventure vehicle than what the SuperCab Raptor or what diesel-powered heavy-duty off-road owners may already have. Sales seem to prove it. The Raptor SuperCrew is one of the fastest-selling trucks in Ford’s lineup for 2011. It’s difficult to find at dealerships, and it’s priced about the same as a three-quarter-ton diesel. Our test model priced out at $51,645.

With its high-performance suspension and a powerful 6.2-liter V-8, the Raptor can travel almost anywhere off-road much more quickly and with much less effort than most off-road-customized three-quarter-ton chase trucks and with more comfort for rear passengers compared with the SuperCab Raptor. Just remember, while the Raptor is tough, it’s not immortal.

F-150-svt-raptor-supercrew-35Articulation is the key to gaining full traction. The Raptor SuperCrew’s longer wheelbase makes it easy to go over deep and large obstacles.

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At speed in deep sand, the Raptor SuperCrew floats well over the terrain, and the 6.2-liter has plenty of power to keep the heavier truck in motion.

Comments

Great report! Now, if only I were able to buy one now, instead of having to wait a year or so. I can not wait!

Ford rocks!

The very last line in the story -

Just remember, while the Raptor is tough, it’s not immortal.

So. No truck is immortal, not even a trophy truck, nothing.

SVT boss goes on record about Ford Raptor damage claims:

http://www.autoblog.com/2011/07/21/svt-boss-goes-on-record-about-ford-raptor-frame-damage-claims-w/

I have a black one sitting on my lot right now if anyone is interested in the philadelphia area...

Love to have one! Awesome Truck!

This

*Just remember, while the Raptor is tough, it’s not immortal.

@Tom,

A reconnaissance run before running a course wouldn't hurt. BTW, who drives a truck 100 mph in unfamiliar courses?

durr i droveded mai raptor off teh cliff and nowe its brokeded, its obveeusslee a ford deefect huhdurr.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8W85WjayKQ&feature=related

Frank,

Me and the boys removed our jounce bumper landed pads thingies. Why my truck no workie?


@Dave,

The owners manual say "Do not Remove." But what do you know, you don't read the Manual for crap!

It was good to hear from SVT on the matter and good to hear yet another successful Raptor run by pickuptrucks.com Mike Levine never damages a Raptor and neither should you.

What???? No 0-60 or 1/4 mile times???

@xoo7 - was that GMC testing their new Raptor competitor?

@Frank - real men don't need owners manuals.

Whada ya mean you won't warranty ma busted truck?

I'm curious - "We did notice some highway oscillations typical of any extended-wheel base pickup, but they weren’t as harsh as on other four-door pickups we’ve tested."

I've seen that kind of comment made in other places regarding longer wheel base trucks. I've also heard of guys talk about the expansion joints on "superslab" freeways.
My dad made a comment once about the same thing when he was long haul trucking through the USA.

Is that more of a SoCal freeway issue?

I've never had a problem with any of my full sized trucks and everyone I know prefers the longer wheel base trucks due to stability and ride especially on gravel roads or icy winter roads.

Not a bad truck,the 6.2 is better than the Honda Civic sounding Eco-Boost.

Just dont jump these trucks guys !!!

Stupid truck for stupid people! Someone has to be out of their mind to spend that kind of money for a truck like this. But you can not fix stupid so somebody will buy this over priced gas sucking vehicle.

I'd hate to bend the frame of my 4X4 but if so, I wouldn't fix it just like any other offroad battle scars or urban bullet holes. I've seen simularly bent frames on 3/4 tons with tow/repo equipment on back. It's definitely a weak point as the rest of the frame is braced by either cab or bed. I'm thinking the back of the cab can be bolted to the top of the bed by using rubber donut cab mounts that would allow minimal flexing but still isolate vibration, essentially making it unibody. You don't hear of SUVs buckling in the middle do ya?

If anyone is looking for a Raptor, just check out rich ford in albuquerque, nm. They always have a couple on the lot.

"an appearance reminiscent of a Baja trophy truck."

Where are the proper front bumpers and rear bumper?

Let me guess the spare tire is still under the bed? eal off-road trucks maintain proper ground clearance all around and that includes removing the spare tire from underneath...

Shread a tire buried in sand, how the hell are you going to get that spare from underneath? A 15-minute tire change off-road becomes hours at a minimal...

Seriously the weight of this pickup (even empty) is of concern down the road. Just wait after 50,000 miles to see if that kit suspension will be holding up...THAT IS if their owners actually use it off-road!

Most would not even dare take a $51,000 pickup to get it scratched and dented off-road!

It's a trophy truck allright, one that will only see the highways to show off...

@oxi,

This is better than any Toyota TuRD they make !!!

This is a far better off road truck than any factory Toyota !!!

The Ford Raptor and Dodge's RAM Power Wagon destroy any new Toyota truck in off road capability!!!!

Stop trolling and stop being jealous that Toyota's totally suck !!! As per serious recall issues on hundreds of millions of vehicles,loss of steering,rust,random excelleration (its mechanical they even said so)cracking glass,bad ball joints,wheel bearings that wheel falls off,cracking tailgates,bad welds that front doors pop open at speed on Toyota Minivans,rusted out frames on 1 year old trucks,rusty floor boards on 6 month old cars,rust 1/4 panels on 1 year old minivans ,bad transmissions,bad camshafts,engine sludge,bad V-6 engines that self destruct when new with 10 miles bad Lexus engine line-up each 6 banger was recalled because they blew sky high when new and more.....

@Greg

The Raptor is actually around $2,200 over a comparable 4X4 Lariat CrewCab with the 6.2 engine and offroad package options. Who else is putting together a turnkey package like this for so little? Try the Ram dealer then hit the parts dept. Hope you know how to weld.
As for fuel consumption, what exaclty were you expecting?

oxi,Tacoma is too big to be a decent trail blazer !! Best serious off roaders are old Suzuki Samurai's and Jeep Cherokee's,Tacoma's are too big and heavy..a 70's-80's American full size is the size of a Tacoma !!!!!A Cherokee is narrower and can go places a overweight,fat Tacoma cant !!

I passed by a Starbucks the other day and saw two Raptors in the parking lot.

"The Ford Raptor and Dodge's RAM Power Wagon destroy any new Toyota truck in off road capability!!!!"

I can take a $25,000 Tacoma and still have $25,000 left to mod it into a Class 7 desert truck and leave the heavy Raptor in the dust!

It's better to buy a stripped pickup and build it up yourself, it will cost less and do more than these kit trucks and will not take a toll on insurance!

@No Tacoma's 4 Men !!,

Problem is where is the cargo capacity and payload?

Not many smaller 4x4's being built as expedition style because you need to carry enough gear for weeks on end in the wild.

"Posted by: oxi | Jul 22, 2011 1:08:11 AM"

Ok, who is inpersonating me on this forum?

Kind of sad when my first response never mentioned a single manufacturer on this thread but as soon as I post, the trolls come on and spit out Toyota talk...

Now they make posts using my name...

What's next children?

Ford F-150 S.V.T. Raptor and Ram 2500 Power Wagon= WINNING!

I think I get it now. The Tacoma is better than a Raptor for off-road, better than a Duramax for towing, better than a Ferrari around the Nurbergring, better than a Maybach....A Tacoma is just awesome. I will try to forget about how my friend driving his Tacoma said he struggled to keep up with me in my F150, while I had a Can-Am on the back and towing a camper; because with a Tacoma, who needs a camper?

A Tacoma with AT tires and leveling kit is nothing special.

I think Mike should test the F-150 vs the Tacoma off-road and that would answer many questions.

Either.....
1) Stock Tacoma TRD vs Stock F-150 FX4
or
2) Tacoma TRD V6 with skid plates, tires and shocks vs F-150 FX4 EB with skid plates, tires and shocks
or
3) Tacoma vs Raptor
or
4) Mike in a Ford vs Oxi in a Toyota in the Baja 1000 (driver's choice) using stock supension - only tires and shocks can be updated

A Tacoma is the superior off-road truck because of the weight to ground clearance ratio is much much better. The F-150 is heaver and would sink much faster than the Tacoma.

A Tacoma isn't bad on pulling power either:
http://www.thehulltruth.com/attachments/trucks-trailers/88135d1255451995-tacoma-v-f150-resized.jpg

@ Greg: Maybe they just have better jobs, or more money?

@ Oxi: I absolutely do not agree with most of your post, but at least you have a truck similar to what you post about/think is the best. I can respect that you practice what you preach.

Just pondering, anyone think that flaming/trolling would decrease if you had to register and have a sig with a pic of your truck or whatever vehicle you own? Seems like people would be less likely to bash everything if they had their own junk exposed

i hate toyota and don't really agree with oxi but i kinda have to agree with oxi you can buy a beater for cheap and if your a true truck guy like me pick up a wrench and build it as you want for cheaper and perfromer better but face it oxi were talkin bout the ford boys that know all with their spark plug spitting 5.4 's' and blowing head gaskits 6.0 6.4 and raptor bending frames and failing oil pump but after all what do i know im only the one that spent 40k on a powerjunk with a smoke tranny at 50k miles and broken leafs

@alton- I agree. Here's mine:

http://i1003.photobucket.com/albums/af159/robertpdp/DSC04001.jpg

Raptor ALL THE WAY.....FTW!!!!!

I agree with oxi.

For that price you could buy a Tacoma and put long travel on it...

Ford Raptor ~$51,000

Toyota Tacoma ~$25-$28,000
Intake and Exhaust ~$500
Full Long Travel front and rear ~$10,000
Deaver springs to make it one ton capable $1000
Total cost for something more capable ~$35,500-$39,500

I'll stick with my tacoma.

Road Test Review: A 4 door overpriced F150

fixed it

i hate toyota and don't really agree with oxi but i kinda have to agree with oxi you can buy a beater for cheap and if your a true truck guy like me pick up a wrench and build it as you want for cheaper and perfromer better but face it oxi were talkin bout the ford boys that know all with their spark plug spitting 5.4 's' and blowing head gaskits 6.0 6.4 and raptor bending frames and failing oil pump but after all what do i know im only the one that spent 40k on a powerjunk with a smoke tranny at 50k miles and broken leafs @chevy guy

i agree with Ford trucks are far from perfect but so are your Chebbys and Gm's Brakes, front end issues, let's not talk about the early year Durasmashes, or the shitty deisel's they had before the durasmash, thin metal panels, gas guzzlers, interiors need to be updated need a new line up of engines underpowered, and last they had to file for bankruptcy that just does not sit right with me if they are the GREAT company that you chevy fan boys say they are they would not have had to file for bankruptcy and would have better manage money, moral of the story no one bats a 1000

@ Alton
Just pondering, anyone think that flaming/trolling would decrease if you had to register and have a sig with a pic of your truck or whatever vehicle you own? Seems like people would be less likely to bash everything if they had their own junk exposed

I agree

@Toyota LOL - 2 years ago my wife and I bought a 2010 Sienna. Its been flawless. The majority of USA head office based products I've owned have made trips to the dealer for repairs in the first 2 years of ownership. I don't buy your rant. I have yet to meet a Toyota owner who has had the problems you've stated. Almost everyone I know owns a Toyota product of some kind.

@Chevy guy - I don't blame you for being angry at Ford. I had the same issues for the longest time with Chrysler products. The thing is - you have to get over it and move on. Will I buy a Dodge/Chrysler product in the future ? Yes. IF my research says the product I want is the best one for my money and needs.

@ Oxi - we've heard it all a million times.
People like the Raptor and Power Wagon.
Look at the sales figures.
The Tacoma sells 100,000 units a year and falling. How many people buy a Taco and never go offroad. I don't see very many TRD TAco's that actually see any offroading.

The Raptor is selling over 900 units a month and generally cannot keep up to demand.

I do agree that most of them will never see any hardcore offroading.
Is that the truck's fault?
NO
33% of drivers should not have a driver's licence. Put that kind of person behind the wheel of a performance vehicle and it will get broken.
Pro's break things too.
Is that the truck's fault?
NO.

Raptor is for me as I carry a lot of payload and tow. Tacoma does nothing for me. FAIL!!!!

Oxi's Tacoma will be one ton capable with Deaver springs.

after all what do i know im only the one that spent 40k on a powerjunk with a smoke tranny at 50k miles and broken leafs
@chevyguy

is the truck out of warranty, or does Ford refuse to fix

Stupid truck for stupid people! Someone has to be out of their mind to spend that kind of money for a truck like this. But you can not fix stupid so somebody will buy this over priced gas sucking vehicle. @ Greg

did i not see in a recent post that you drive a 8.1 chevy, how's your FE

@Dan the Man,

Greg is just mad because his 8.1L would break it's suspension if it even hit a spec of sand/rocks!

Guarantee it! Keep it on the pavement where all the Chevy's belong.

"I agree with oxi.

For that price you could buy a Tacoma and put long travel on it...

Ford Raptor ~$51,000

Toyota Tacoma ~$25-$28,000
Intake and Exhaust ~$500
Full Long Travel front and rear ~$10,000
Deaver springs to make it one ton capable $1000
Total cost for something more capable ~$35,500-$39,500

I'll stick with my tacoma." -brett

Yeah but in the end...you are still stuck with a Toyota.

Ford F-150 S.V.T. Raptor all the way. Built Ford Tough



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