2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor: First Drive

The SVT Raptor is a Baja behemoth you can live with

2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor: First Drive

The Borrego desert in the southeast corner of California is a storied local among American off-roaders and that’s where I first had a chance to get behind the wheel of Ford’s new Raptor. And while that was a decent shake-down for this truck, I also spent a week beating it through the bush in Northern Ontario.


1. The SVT Raptor is powered by a 5.4L V8 with 320-hp and 390 ft-lbs of torque, although a 6.2L engine will be offered with 400 horsepower and 400 ft-lbs of torque.

2. Among other things, the Raptor gets flared fenders, Fox shocks and 35-inch BF Goodrich tires.

3. The drive system features 2WD, 4WD HI and 4WD LO with an electronic rear differential and a special low-gear off-road mode.

4. Pricing starts at $38,995 ($48,299 CAD).

Based on the F-150, this truck is a factory version of what many enthusiasts have built themselves with aftermarket parts – an off-road racer. But it’s not just a platform with bolt-on shocks and oversized tires; its body has been massaged and contoured into a unique shape with a unique rounded nose and recessed headlights. The Raptor’s wheel arches are pronounced and lipped with plastic mud guards – a practical design feature as the stance of the Raptor is 7-inches wider than a stock F-150. The same is true for the rear haunches of the truck that bulge over the tires and then sweep around to a solid brick-like tailgate.

So, with special suspension, a new body and purpose-built powertrain this SVT (Special Vehicle Team) creation gives the Raptor a high-performance off-road capability while still keeping it street-legal and decent to drive on pavement.


The Raptor comes in one body style only – Super Cab with a 5 ½-foot bed. This combination gives the truck the right look while maintaining a shorter wheelbase that is vital for getting it over rough terrain. Power is provided by the standard 5.4-liter 3-valve V8 that makes 320 hp at 5000 rpm and 390 ft-lbs of torque at 3500 rpm. Coupled to the new six-speed automatic transmission this combination has ample power to move the 5,900 lb truck on-road as well as off. Fuel economy figures for the 5.4-liter Raptor are rated at 14-mpg city, 18-mpg highway, but that’s mostly irrelevant as we have to think anyone buying such a purose-built truck has low fuel economy expectations.

But, for those who must have more; later this year a 6.2-liter V8 will be offered that will up the power to a nice and even 400-hp with 400 ft-lbs of torque.

Pricing for the Raptor (with the 5.4-liter V8) will start at $38,995 ($48,299 CAD). There’s no word on what the 6.2-liter upgrade will add to the price.


But aside from power, what really makes the Raptor unique is the suspension setup. Fox Engineering teamed up with Ford to develop the special shocks that would spring the 17-inch wheels and 35-inch BF Goodrich tires. These massive twin reservoir shocks give the tires unprecedented travel – a trait that makes desert racing possible.

The drive system features 2WD, 4WD HI and 4WD LO with an electronic rear differential locker will stay engaged at any speed. An Off-Road mode will also re-calibrate engine modulation, transmission shift points and lock out traction and sway controls. Add to these drive systems specially cast high pressure aluminum suspension parts, a fully boxed steel frame and full skid plates – and you have a truck that can run across desert trails at 70 mph, taking potholes, dips, dives and three-foot drop-offs in stride.

Of course, that’s what Ford says. So if you’re skeptical, have a look at last year’s Baja 1000 (the Super bowl of North American off-road races) results, where a pre-production Raptor came in third in the highly modified class – that means competing against hand-build race trucks.


Where the Raptor differs from those Baja trucks though is that it feels at home on pavement, is quiet with decent steering feel and offers all the comfy interior amenities that you might want. So while it drives normal in town I spent most of my time getting it dirty.

Luckily I had rain during my test week and the most telling bit of testing I did was on a highway that was under construction. I came across about a five-mile stretch where the asphalt had been torn up and the constant traffic, combined with the rain, had turned the roadbed into horrible washboard. Some cars I followed were barely moving and the pickups passing them were only going about 30 mph. The Raptor passed everyone at 60 mph. The suspension soaked up the rebound effect of the washboard and the steering stayed on course. Most importantly, I felt next to nothing inside the truck.

As the Raptor is aimed primarily at male buyers it comes in primary colors like white and black with a two-tone black/orange interior design that probably has the most panache when paired with the molten orange and tuxedo black exterior paintjob. Plush front leather bucket seats are split by a main consol with silver carbon fiber-like accents. It also features an integrated brake controller in the dash, a tow/haul mode and anti-sway technology that compliments the standard Class III hitch.


The 2010 SVT Raptor is a purpose built truck and one that more than fulfills its purpose. It’s an off-road monster, yet it does not inflict the on-road pain that many aftermarket builds do. And (at the risk of sounding sappy) it’s beautiful. The Ford SVT guys have a winner on their hands.

« Back

AutoGuide.com’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. *Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.


2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto AutoGuide.com and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on AutoGuide.com and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of AutoGuide.com), 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked