2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Long Term Road Test


2010 Ford F-150 Raptor SVT: Dyno Tested

August 24, 2010

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Here's proof that there's nowhere our longterm 2010 Ford F-150 Raptor SVT won't go. It barely fit on the rollers of the Dynojet chassis dyno, but fit it did. And that's a good enough reason to put it there.

There's also a more compelling reason. The 6.2-liter gasser under the Raptor's hood is a new offering from the blue oval. Sporting bore diameters of a hair more than four inches and a stroke that's a quarter-inch less than the bore diameter, this mill is surprisingly oversquare.

It's also got two spark plugs per cylinder, which is likely a measure made necessary by the large-diameters cylinder bores -- large combustion chambers burn their contents more slowly than compact chambers. You want a quick rate of combustion for optimum power, efficiency and to minimize cycle to cycle variation. Adding another spark plug effectively doubles the total area of the flame front, quickening the burn rate.

The large cylinder bores also permit the use of large valve diameters, which are great for high-rpm breathing. Roller rockers and and overhead cams round out the impression that this engine is more of a revvy screamer than a truck engine.

There's one very effective way to find out. Hit the jump.

The stats don't support this conclusion. Ford reckons the big V8 produces its peak power of 411 horsepower at a trucky 5,500 rpm. Peak torque of 434 lb-ft arrives at 4,500 rpm, which seems fairly high for a truck...

...until you see that there's plenty of torque swelling on either side of the peak. Here's our dyno result.

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The big ramp in torque output that you see at 3,500 rpm was no fluke. It was there run after run after run. This gives the heavy Raptor a good shove right where it needs it. As measured at the wheels, peak torque is 372 lb-ft at 4,700 rpm, and peak power of 361 hp arrives at 5,750 rpm. The rev limiter cuts in softly at 5,900 rpm with a hard limit at 6,000 rpm.

One tricky aspect to dyno testing vehicles equipped with automatic gearboxes is that slushboxes are in fact sentient beings. They're unruly, downshifting at will when you floor the go pedal. The only workaround is to begin the dyno pull from very high revs and leave no room on the tach for a downshift. Naturally, this approach misses out on a lot of data.

However, the Raptor's gearbox behaves differently -- when you select '3' with the console shifter, the transmission stays in third gear. No downshifting, no nonsense. This makes dyno testing a breeze as it allows us to begin the big truck's dyno pulls from as low on the tach as the torque converter's lockup characteristics allow.

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Of course, Ford didn't craft this feature to make dyno testing easy, they did it because if you're in a situation that requires you stir the transmission's gear selector -- say, in dirt -- you very likely need fine throttle control too. A big, whompin' downshift would cause instant wheelspin when you want it least.

Okay, back to the engine. The Raptor's V8 displaces 6.2 liters and employs two valves per cylinder. Sound familiar? GM's LS3 V8 ticks those same boxes.

fe_9999_0820106.jpg Lo and behold, we just happened to have dynoed our 2010 Chevy Camaro SS a few months ago on this same dyno, so I threw them together for a quick comparison. Yeah, one's tuned for truck duty and the other's not, but that actually makes things even more interesting.

For instance, the Raptor makes a whole lot more peak torque (nearly 30 lb-ft), which you possibly maybe might expect, but it's worth pointing out that the truck only gives 9 hp at its peak to the Chevy coupe. Also worthy of note is the Chevy's edge below 3100 rpm.

So despite the spec sheet's suggestion to the contrary, the Raptor indeed has an engine that suits its mission. Still, all of the Ford 6.2's rev-tolerant hardware makes one wonder what kind of latent potential lies within.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor @ 5,029 miles.

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