By crossing the finish line at the Desert Mint 400 near Las Vegas last weekend, Ford says its next-generation F-150 Raptor is the first stock pickup to complete the off-road race.
The 2017 Raptor, slated for release this fall, competed in the factory stock class for full-sized trucks (Class 1200) and, as the only stock truck competing, was one of only 19 teams out of 68 in the group to actually finish.
As we’ve detailed previously, the new Raptor is the first to feature the new F-150 combo of aluminum body with fully boxed steel frame, albeit with a stance about 6 inches wider than that of the regular F-150.
The production Raptor will sit on 17-inch headlock-capable wheels with BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires and is powered by a 3.5-liter EcoBoost turbo V6 with a 10-speed transmission. That engine replaces the last generation Raptor’s 6.2-liter V8 and is the same one found in the 2017 GT supercar.
The truck that raced in the Mint 400 was equipped just the same and, apart from safety equipment like a roll cage, harness seats with window nets and a light bar, Ford says there were really only two performance-related modifications made to an otherwise stock truck:
- Three-inch-diameter external-bypass front and rear FOX Racing Shox similar to stock F-150 Raptor’s segment-exclusive, three-inch-diameter internal-bypass FOX Racing Shox.
- Front and rear springs raise ride height for additional ground clearance, and provide increased compression rate to handle extreme terrain and additional weight of competition-required roll cage.
Ford isn’t the only automaker using desert racing to test and market its pickups. In Novemeber, Nissan announced that it would begin racing a nearly stock Titan XD in land speed record races. Nissan will enter the truck, powered by a Cummins ISV5.0 engine, in a class that severely limits modifications to entered vehicles.