This is an awesome truck. The MY2013 version of the world’s ultimate OEM high performance off-road pickup is just starting to hit showroom floors in the US, along with the latest F-150 model on which it is based.

And it’s at around this time each year, when companies start releasing their latest US models, that Aussie pickup truck fans curse the fact we live in a country that drives on the other side of the road!

Produced at Ford’s truck plant in Dearborn, Michigan, the latest Raptor (available only in LHD of course) differs little from the proven formula established in previous models, with its powerful petrol-fed 6.2 litre SOHC V8 and supple, long travel suspension.

It’s a unique design inspired by the ‘pre-runner’ trucks used by off-road racing teams for rapid reconnaissance of race courses like the Baja 1000 before the event is held. And we reckon this big beast would be right at home thundering along the Birdsville Track, too.

Major changes for MY2013 include new forged 17-inch aluminium rims (as shown above) which can be retro-fitted with a Ford Racing bead-lock ring kit, to keep the tyre beads in place when running low pressures in rugged off-road situations from rock crawling to high speed desert running.

2013 Raptor also gets a pair of High Intensity Discharge (HID) head lights for improved night vision and there’s better driver connectivity too that includes hands-free voice commands and optional 8.0-inch touch screen.


The Raptor comes in two body styles – the original SuperCab with 3385mm wheelbase or the SuperCrew (crew-cab) with longer 3688mm wheelbase.

Based on the conventional F-150 series, the Raptor distinguishes itself with a bold and intricate mesh grille design with the Ford name integrated across the centre.

It also has different front bumper, fascia and front mudguards, functional heat extractor vents on the bonnet, massive front under-body skid plate and big wheel arch flares. Design elements extend inside to the unique interior trim (2012 model shown below).


The F-150 SVT Raptor first appeared in 2010 and has quickly become a premium-priced big hitter for Ford dealers.

It was developed by SVT (Special Vehicle Team), Ford’s high performance arm established in 1993 which is also responsible these days for the Blue Oval’s hottest Mustang offerings.

The iron block, short stroke 6.2 litre V8 is a proper truck engine with grunt to burn, boasting best-in-class 411bhp (306 kW) @ 5500 rpm and a thumping 434 ft/lbs (586Nm) of torque at 4500rpm. Two-valve SOHC aluminium heads feature variable valve timing, twin spark plugs per cylinder and 9.8:1 compression.

This muscle motor will run on all grades of unleaded fuel including E85, but like the all-out racing trucks on which it is based, it doesn’t mind a drink either. Factory figures for city use are 21.3 L/100 kms (!) which improves to a more affordable 14.7 L/100 kms on the highway.

Transmission & Drivetrain

The Raptor’s 6R140 heavy duty ‘TorqShift’ six-speed automatic transmission was developed to cope with the huge low-end torque from Ford’s big Power Stroke V8 turbo-diesels, so is well suited to this application.

With advanced electronic control, the driver can use full automatic, full manual shift, off-road mode or tow/haul mode. It also has shift-on-the-fly selection of 4×2 and 4×4 and the 6R140 unit even has a power take off (PTO) provision available to run auxiliary equipment.

Premium traction is paramount. In 2012 Raptor was upgraded with a Torsen front LSD which juggles available traction between the two front wheels. If the left front wheel loses traction, the system forces traction to the right front wheel and vice versa. The rear diff can also be fully locked with the flick of a switch when the going gets tough (2012 model shown below).

Chassis & Suspension

Body-on-frame with twin-wishbones/coil springs on the front and leaf springs/live rear axle at the back. Raptor features 35-inch tall all-terrain tyres and a 178mm wider track than the standard F-150, using unique SVT cast-aluminium front control arms and other tweaks to deliver a generous 285mm front travel and 307mm of travel in the rear.

The shock absorbers are competition-derived FOX Racing Shox with internal triple bypass dampening. In simple terms, this oil valving system allows the shock to become stiffer as it travels, to prevent the suspension from bottoming out over big jumps.

Steering is hydraulic rack and pinion and the ventilated four wheel disc brakes are large and powerful, with 13.8-inch rotors up front and 13.7-inchers on the back.


Raptor features the excellent Hill Descent Control shared with the PX Ford Ranger. And there’s a heap of other passive and safety features including ABS, Roll Stability Control, Trailer Sway Control, factory-installed Integrated Trailer Brake Controller, Safety Canopy System, dual-stage front airbags, tyre pressure monitoring and advanced anti-theft features.

Speed Camera

There’s a small camera mounted in the grille to improve the driver’s forward visibility when climbing over rocks and other steep obstacles that might be obscured by the bonnet of the truck.

If you’ve ever driven something like an F series truck up a steep climb with a sharp drop-off on the other side, you’ll know the value of this camera because without it all the driver can see in front of him is a vast expanse of bonnet.

The camera transmits the image via the dash-mounted LCD screen. A washer function helps keep the camera’s field of vision clear in wet or muddy conditions (see video clip).

Weights & Measures

The Raptor is a really big truck, with a kerb weight of 2724 kgs and overall length of almost 5.6 metres for the SuperCab. That kerb weight steps up to 2812 kgs for the SuperCrew, which is almost 6.0 metres long from bumper to bumper.

The SuperCab will tow more than 2.7 tonnes and the SuperCrew more than 3.6 tonnes. If those figures sound conservative for such a big grunter, it gives an insight into the softer spring rates required for the supple long-travel suspension designed primarily for rapid travel in great comfort across all types of terrain.

In other words, in typical SVT fashion, this is a no-compromise high performance variant designed more for go than tow, even though it can do both with ease.

How much?

Ford US quotes a retail price starting at USD$43,340 (they sell them for less than that of course) which given the current parity of the Aussie dollar with the greenback gives you some idea of this truck’s relative value.

Check out the promotional video clip below that was made for the 2012 model launch. It’s basically the same as the 2013 model, so have a listen for the melodious throb of that big V8 doing its thing.

You’ll notice one problem though – they’ve got the steering wheel on the wrong side! How on earth did they get that so wrong? TJ


2 Responses to Video & Pics: 2013 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor

  • mark says:

    I think they are just what we need for the roads up here in North Queensland.
    I don’t think the bloody big holes in the roads up here would bother it!

  • Gpx says:

    Nice article. I want Ford to explain why Raptors cost $150k in Aus. Even with the conversion to RHD the numbers do not add up!

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