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Factory Built Off-Road Machines Battle for Your Love
We are back with this week’s installment of AutoGuide’s newest, interactive weekly feature “Commute, Toy or Destroy.”
Toyo Tires has just announced their vehicle lineup for this year’s SEMA Show, bringing four high-profile and customized vehicles to their booth and announcing three of them today.
Headlining the debuts will be the Toyo Tires Ultimate Ride Sweepstakes 2011 Dodge Durango, which will also be given away to a lucky winner. Along with the Durango, Toyo will have a 2011 Ford F-150 Raptor, a 2011 BMW 5-Series customized by Wald, and a yet-to-be-announced vehicle at their booth.
The giveaway Durango is a Mineral Gray Metallic Heat Edition 4×4 features a set of Toyo Proxes ST II rubber matched with 22-inch Savini Forged SV28c wheels. The Durango is further modified with a Magnaflow exhaust system while Mega Motorsports outfits it with a custom Alpine Audio entertainment system. Roadwire further modifies the interior with black leather upholstery contrasted with blue stitching. Up front is a T-REX four-piece flat black mesh grill featuring a UFC logo. Those attending the show will have the opportunity to scan a QR code to automatically enter themselves into the giveaway.
Second on the list is a custom Ford F-150 Raptor done by Street Concepts. The exterior features a Snow Camo vehicle wrap with 20×9-inch matte black Fuel Boost wheels wrapped with Toyo’s Open Country M/T rubber. The F-150 will be show-ready at SEMA thanks to Icon Vehicle Dynamics’ suspension, Brembo brakes, new bumpers and lighting. On the inside, Street Concepts gave the interior a carbon fiber-wrapped interior accented by black Alcantara. Kenwood supplies the in-car audio on this truck project.
Last of the announced vehicles will be a complete Wald F10 Black Bison, a customized 2011 BMW 5-Series. The 5-Series will feature a full Wald Black Bison body kit with 20-inch Wald R12 two-piece wheels paired with Toyo Proxes T1 Sport UHP tires.
The fourth vehicle remains a secret but Toyo promises it’ll be a crowd-stopping show car. Autoguide.com will be sure to stop by Toyo’s booth at this year’s SEMA Show to see these masterpieces in person.
GALLERY: Toyo Tires 2011 SEMA Lineup
With the allegations of bent frames, the Ford Raptor has had some wind taken out of its off-roading sails. The outcry from its owners has made SVT Chief Nameplate Engineer Jamal Hameedi come out of hiding to answer some questions.
Speaking to Autoblog, Hameedi believes that the frame bending isn’t a Ford issue, and one of owner treatment—but it’s not exactly abuse, either. “I think there’s a certain learning curve going out there,” he said. “The cool thing about the Raptor is that it’s something new that has never been done before. So it’s bringing a lot of new enthusiasts into this realm of high-speed off-roading.”
Judging by the video of the 10 trucks conducting high-speed runs, the owners were driving a 60 to 80mph in the desert, and anecdotally up to 120mph—too fast for the terrain, and forcing the truck to run out of suspension travel. According to Hameedi, the frame was designed to yield in such conditions, to avoid kicking the rear end into the air and causing an even worse accident.
“There’s a learning curve with these new enthusiasts and the organizers – of how to properly run an off-road, high-speed event like this. This is part of that learning curve. You can’t just find an off-road trail and barrel down it at 100 miles an hour.”
These owners, who are still negotiating their warranty claims, might not be happy to hear that the source of all their problems is that they don’t know how to drive. But that’s the story Hameedi is sticking with, along with what’s outlined in the owner’s manual: “you can get yourself into trouble very easily if you don’t know what you’re doing or if you’re driving above your ability or those of the vehicle. It’s not very different than a very capable, very fast sports car on a road course.
“You can break anything, you can even break a trophy truck,” said Hameedi, when asked about the ads and videos from Ford that show the Raptor’s high-speed off-road capabilities. “You have to be responsible and sensible about the way what you’re doing to the vehicle and the way you’re driving it.”
Hameedi advises that owners who may get their warranty claims denied can always get their frames restraightened for about $800, and that there are aftermarket solutions to prevent this sort of thing from happening to other Raptors. But this won’t sit well with the members of RaptorForumz.com, who publicized the issue in the beginning: they’ve argued that the event where 10 out of 14 trucks were damaged was well-organized with GPS tracking and marked obstacles, and that some of the trucks were damaged even before any off-roading.
Hameedi has explained that SVT will work on communicating with owners and event organizers, even focusing on instructional sessions. But for the 10 owners who see this as a manufacturing defect, and aren’t too keen on fixing the problem with their own money—hearing this from the head of SVT won’t end their situation.
After a wildly enthusiastic reception to the Ram Runner, the dune-bashing variant of the Ram pickup, Chrysler engineers have decided to go back to the drawing board and make the upgrade kit street legal, giving Ram loyalists a weapon against the Ford F-150 Raptor.
While any stock Ram 1500 can be used as a basis, the parts used will have more in common with Baja race trucks than anything seen on the street. The vehicle is so wide that special side markets have been mandated by the government. Track is widened by 3 inches in the front and 6 inches in the rear, while special Fox shocks, new control arms and widened fenders are just some of the modifications made for the Ram Runner.
Buyers can purchase a complete package, or the individual bits to upgrade their truck over time. Chrysler is looking at making a factory version but stated that “If we did, we would use a [second stage] partner to build the trucks.”
The forced-induction experts at ProCharger have just announced a supercharger system for the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor – as though the 6.2-liter V8 with 411-hp wasn’t potent enough. The result is nearly a 200-hp increase, with the centrifugal supercharger pushing the Raptor to 600-hp on pump gas.
ProCharger also didn’t ignore the 5.4L V8 owners; they have a kit that pumps horsepower up to 505. ProCharger’s kits all come complete with the supercharger, air-to-air front mount intercooler, larger fuel injectors and an ECU reflash. Best of all, the supercharger fits nicely under the stock hood and really does look quite OEM-ish. The kits boost around 8-9 psi.
Two kits are available for each model, a standard system and a Tuner Kit (comes without larger fuel injectors and ECU reflash). Standard System for the 6.2-liter is $6,496 while the Tuner Kit is $5,646; the 5.4-liter kit is $5,996 and $5,446 respectively.
GALLERY: ProCharger Ford F-150 SVT Raptor
Get all the specs after the jump:
Hot on the sales figures of the fastest production off-road vehicle ever, the SVT Raptor, Ford has announced it will be offering the Baja-ready truck in SuperCrew configuration for 2011. Other than the length of the cab, not much else is changed from the current production model, but the 6.2L “Boss” engine will be the only engine available on the heavier Super Crew. No word yet on pricing, but expect the roomier Raptor to sell for just a bit more than the $41,995 base price of the current 6.2L version.