Quick Drive: 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor SuperCrew

Raptor action II
At the 2011 Texas Auto Writers Association Truck Rodeo, we got some seat time in the 2012 Ford SVT Raptor F-150, which had debuted at the State Fair of Texas. Our take on the Raptor has been consistent — it is the strongest and meanest factory-tuned desert-running pickup truck ever made. And now it seems like the Ford SVT engineers want to try to make it a better rock crawler as well. 

Among the changes are some brighter paint colors and a more obnoxious — some might call it stylish — graphics package and a few interior accents.  But the biggest changes come in the form of a front Torsen differential and grille-mounted camera (with a tiny spray nozzle to wash away mud or dust).

For the most part, the 2012 model still comes in just one flavor, sporting the growly 6.2-liter V-8 with single overhead cam, two valves per cylinder and aluminum heads. It’s still rated at 411 horsepower and 434 pounds-feet of torque.

The Raptor’s cab configurations continue to come in SuperCab (133-inch wheelbase) and SuperCrew (145-inch wheelbase). The two models we drove in Texas were SuperCrews — one Rowdy Red, the other Bolt Blue. 

The front Torsen diff is by far the most significant change to the 2012 model, as it implies Ford is expanding the Raptor’s performance parameters to include slow-go 4x4 prowess. On the ranch loop course, we did several slow-speed rock-hopping sections, some higher-speed open-field running, and we went on a loose rock portion as it skirted the banks of a large stream.

The most striking characteristic of the extra front traction is how invisible it is. You’ll feel a slight tug when the cams ramp up on each other inside the diff, for the most part, giving the wheel with traction a bit more grip. The trail we were driving on wasn’t an ideal proving ground, but the feel of Torsen on our trail was more like locker in tractive pull, but it never did feel the slightest bit heavy during cornering, like lockers do. 

We didn’t have the benefit of airing down any tires, but we still made short work of a loosely potholed 70-foot hill climb that had been damaged by tire-spinning SUVs and full-size heavy-duty pickup trucks. (It probably would surprise no one to discover that most auto writers are horrible off-pavement drivers.)

The extra traction was noticeable up the steep grade, but what surprised the crud out of us (with plenty of hill-climbing experience in a new fully lockered Ram Power Wagon) was when we had to make a sharp left at the top of the climb, just before a wall of rock that we couldn’t see out the windshield but did see in the console navigation screen. The hard left was easy and progressive, without any harsh steering-wheel feedback, just like you’d expect on a flat, paved road. 

Raptor Camera II
The other interesting feature on the 2012 model is Ford’s decision to include a grille-mounted front camera. That alone is cool, but the way Ford integrated the view into the steering-wheel toggles and information center display seems to make sure no one will accidently flip on the camera on the center console screen. In fact, the camera will go on only when in low range and you must be moving slower than 15 mph. If you go faster, the camera defaults to the previously chosen screen — nav, stereo, Sync, whatever you like — and then comes right back to the front view when you slow down for the next obstacle. The same depth and alignment lines that appear when you use the backup camera also appear on the front camera: Blue lines tell you how your vehicle will move forward, and yellow/orange lines tell you the distance and direction the vehicle is pointed. 

The system may sound complicated, but it gives drivers the very real ability of knowing exactly what is under each corner of the massive hood, something that had always been a mystery for Raptor drivers without a spotter. In effect, the camera negates the need for a spotter because you can see the approaching obstacles and see exactly where to place a tire to keep your sheet metal out of harm’s way. It’s a simple piece of technology, but it will definitely help you do less body damage to your truck.  (Of course, the obvious question is how many Raptor owners are really doing that type of trail exploration.)  

Raptor camera screen II
A high-pressure washer nozzle cleans the camera lens, but neither of the larger headlamps has a wiper or washer nozzle. (Technology, some might argue, is more important for the safety of the driver.) How well the camera and sprayer survive harsh winters, rock chips and swarms of springtime insects remains to be seen, but for now, the view from the Raptor driver’s seat — and the truck, all around — is just about the best it has ever been. 

What does that mean to any challengers that might want to follow suit? Only time will tell. In the meantime, the Ram Runner, Power Wagon, Jeep Wrangler Rubicon (aren’t they all from the same company?) and Toyota Tacoma TRD Baja Series haven’t responded with their own surround-view camera setups, but we’ll see. From where we sit, the Raptor looks to be the leader of this high- and low-speed 4x4 parade. I think I smell another comparison test. Any suggestions on where and what trails we should be thinking about? Let us know.  Raptor stickers II



No matter where your brand loyalty lays, this stuff is just awesome!

Awesome? Raptor is just a over priced gas HOG! The Raptor is for ford girly men that feel the need to compensate for their little wee wee's. I will say that there is definitely a market for the raptor and that ford is making some money on this niche market.

Ford Raptor, I'm loud and proud and love to eat gas. The Raptor will probably offer ford girly man steps just to get in the truck. Now watch all the ford girly men respond with anger because I said the ford raptor was for ford girly men with little wee wee's. Just watch, here it comes.....

An awesome truck that just keeps getting better.

What a wonderful way to start off the week -with a Ford story!

Rock on, Ford F-150 S.V.T. Raptor!!!

Great enhancements that should drive the industry forward.

Wow Michigan Bob, I didn't realize kindergarten'rs were allowed unrestrained access to internet sites and forums.

Can Michigan Bob get a WHATEVER from the congregation please.



Is there a washer for that front camera lens? I can see that getting dirty and unusable very quickly without that feature.


Yes, the washer nozzle is right below the camera. You can see it in the picture of the camera.

I personally would love to see the raptor available in single cab short-bed configuration. In many situations the extra length is a bigger problem than the width. You can turn so much sharper in a single cab and don't have to worry as much about breakover angles.

ok this article seems biased by text. read it over twice and youll see


Here is an idea for your next comparison test: Come out to San Bernardino County to the San Bernardino National Forest. Off of the I-15, below Hwy 138, there is the Cleghorn O.H.V. Trail. Plenty of hills and rutts to test suspension articulation and traction with some steep hills for good measure. It would only take about three hours to complete the trail. From there, you could cruise around Silverwood Lake and jump on the Pilot Rock Trail, for some more hills and rutts. I would love to come out, with my 2005 Power Wagon, and watch you guys put these beasts through their paces.

Great article!

Please Ford, continue to make the AWESOME F-150 S.V.T. Raptor for at least a couple of more years! That way I can buy a brand new one in the near future.

Golly gee, I really have nothing better to do with my life, than to come on pickuptrucks.com and show everybody that I'm a stupid hick with a 5.3L Vortec (The bestest motor ev'ar made!) shoved so far up my ass, that I can taste the coolant. I'm such a dumb fanboi that I make the brand I like, look like only idiots like it. (Which is untrue, I'm the only hardcore chevy dumbass). I can't wait for the 2020 Silverado to come out and be the best thing since sliced bread, and I will climb my super awesome tough-guy, chevy's original idea, tailgate step (which they will surely include) and laugh at all girly ford men using their "man-step" to get into their girly ford trucks (that will still outsell my beloved chebys.)

I would love to own a svt raptor, however I do have two duis and I'm still waiting to get a hardship license. Unfortunately for me, my insurance would be the equivalent of a truck payment for somebody else. My 2001 f150 xlt supercab with the 5.4l v8 has under 89,000 miles and still worth some money.

The idea of a washing camera is very intriguing. I do not know if I will own a new truck before they are downsized and spell the end of large displacement, high powered engines, as we know regulations in effect are only down the road. I just need two more years for Ford, Chevy, and Dodge to go at it with there engine and truck wars. Personally, I love the F150, Silverado, Sierra, and Ram equally. Although I do drive an F150, each truck has an attribute I admire. I love the hemi, I respect the z71 package, and fords leather seats :)

How about the Rubicon Trail for testing.

All I want to know is did Ford move the bumpstop for the rear axle from directly underneath the frame to the side... Too many bent frame Raptors because of this design flaw.

You ford girly men really crack me up, I mean seriously, I am laughing my butt off! Showing me a video of a wounded war veteran? Look for you brainless ones and there are many here that fit the bill, I don't have a problem with fords girly man step. Running boards or assist steps are quite common on trucks, ford introduced a girly man step to make it easier to access the bed of the truck.

Why did ford do this??? simple, it was so high in the air a "man step" was required to get in and out of the bed to access what ever you had in your bed of the truck.

I said ford inveted it and GM made no claim to the girly man step. I actually think it's a good idea. I just like teasing your ford girly men that get so worked up because I make fun of it. People demanding I respond, very funny stuff.

Killer Truck!

"Too many bent frame Raptors because of this design flaw" -DB

Too many? What, 8 from one event? With that flawless logic I think I'll wait to buy a car model that has had zero accidents. Don't want to risk it...


The Raptor isn't for everyone but it's an option for those that want a turnkey race prerunner even if it hardly leaves the pavement. GM fanbois have zero options except for mocking everyone else for having them.

I have a backup camera on my truck. It gets dirty or damp from road spray or gets covered in snow. I don't find it a big problem because the same thing can and does happen to mirrors and windows. The backup camera is a great feature. I can see it being handy in the front.

@Bob - you make me laugh with all of your girlie man talk. You forget that Louis Chevrolet got the idea for the "bowtie" from a wall paper pattern in a French "bathhouse". That sounds real manly. GM's slogan should be "take it like a man". Must be hard for you since GM doesn't have anything competitive in the 1/2 ton ranks. Your inferiority complex shows through with every post.


That would be a noble choice.

@ Buy American,

Thank you, I just cant get over the power and useability of this thing. No more spending weekends under my truck trying to repair some dumb thing. No more waiting for parts to be sent over from Japan and paying extra for the privelage. Just fire it up and enjoy.

You ford girly men forgot about the Z71. It's the legend in off-roading.


Obviously it's a tough truck and I think that's what people are looking for! But you can get tough with good lookin and comfortable. And you can take it through the woods!

that couldn't have been the Oxi we all know, saying something positive about something non Toyota! I mean, there is no comment on the fact it's wider!


It is wider for sure, but looking at the rest of the package makes that pill easier to swallow. I mean I sat back and thought about it. Really I'm only off road 2 or 3 times a year anyways. Why compromise for the other 363 days.


Are you just messing with us? Are you being serious or are you just pulling our winch lines?

@Bob I hope that video was a joke. If you wanna post a off road video lets see a real one.

Like this!

This is the real oxi...

Impressive features but I do not like FAMILY pickups...

I only saw one Raptor today, that was it...

It had no real bumpers, so it was a poser...

i'm the real oxi, i was here first and i looooove family pickups

At least it has a real engine !! The 6.2 is better than the overrated eco boost !!

In all the road tests I have seen they never had an equal 0-60 1/4 mile test,the 6.2 truck was always heavier ,bigger,more optioned truck and different axle ratio,the eco boost trucks were always lighter and a lower gear ratio.I want a test with the exact same truck,options ,the same but one with an eco and one with the 6.2.The 6.2 will blow the doors off of the eco boost.

Yea, all the mention of 2012 upgrades I thought for sure there would be a simple frame mod. It has to be a lot safer catering to slower off road users.

The only mod needed is an off-road education course so newbies can learn how to safely off-road.

Gm did it first! Ford Stinks!! So it is written. Hurr, Durr! Troll! Wee Wee, Man Step!!!!

Was four wheeling the other day in an area west of Albuquerque. Some maniac in a Raptor blasts across the arroyo (wash) only 20 feet in front of us. Never saw him until he blasted down into the arroyo. Scared the crap out of my friend and I. Like Dave said, an off-road education course is needed (required?) when people buy these trucks, whether it's a Raptor, Power Wagon, or an FJ.

@fake oxi - LOL! Now knock it off before real oxi gets started

you need be careful watch out for bent frame Raptors

The eco is a great motor, but it doesn't have the attitude for this truck in my opinion.

Ferrari owners need to beware of their vehicles splitting in half down the middle. I have seen two now, in the last three or four years, severed in half. I believe that both of these occurrences happened around the Malibu, California area after sliding sideways, at high-speeds, into power poles. Such a design flaw.

@Ann Arbor Bob - I have to agree with you. The Z71 is a tough truck.
It has to be to tough to survive offroad when it's built that low to the ground.
Is that why the frame rails are so low?
Gives the truck something to slide over bumps with, kinda like rock rails?

@Lou - Ouch! Go easy on the Z71, give it some credit! It's got the most aggressive decals of any off-road package by any manufacturer!

can we ban bob and his 30 aliases?

awesome truck, if i only had the cash and a wife that wouldnt kill me !

@Dean - he could do something sneeky like change his name to Robert or Bobby. No one would ever now the difference ;)

@ Bob's Gourmet Chef -
a loss?
Kinda like the 30 million a month extra revenue Ford is making with the EB 3.5.
looks like Bob's inferiority complex is rubbing off on his employees.
Does he let you drive his Impala when you need to get groceries? or does McDonald's give you frequent flyer credits and delivers straight to his home?

@Bob's Gourmet Chef - one could go out and buy the Chevy equivalent....................no, wait.......................... there isn't one!
What is there to fix?
You put an idiot chef behind the wheel and hit something really really fast and hard, things will bend or break.
It ain't rocket science.
Even a snot nosed kid flipping burgers at Rotten Ronnies can figure that one out.

@ Michigan bob- Idc what you say, you dont get me riled up. But I do have a question. Answer this only if you arent really a troll: Why do you go on GM stories and get mad at Ford guys who bash (so you say, none really do) them, yet come to stories like this and just say sh1t in order to cause trouble? Hypocrite much? Be the bigger person here Bobby...

@Bob's Gourmet Chef
I've seen trophy trucks and monster trucks get wadded up, what do you have in mind?
You are right with one thing - I'm not an idiot blogger.
What's a "disquise" ?
Your grammar is on par with Bob.
How is the Impala?
Make Louis Chevrolet proud - go polish your bowtie.
When the topic of full sized 1/2 ton GM trucks comes up, we'll ask for your opinion some time next year.

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