2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor: Off-Street Parking
September 13, 2010
Let's talk off-street parking. If you live in a big city, or even within 50 miles of a big city (like me) you know off-street parking is highly coveted. You can't have too much -- particularly if you're an impulsive car geek who spends too much time browsing Hemming's and eBay.
So a couple years ago I increased my home's off-street parking count by one after converting the former dirt patch next to my driveway into interlocking paving stones. The stones look good, don't crack over time, and can easily support the weight of a modern car (or truck).
However, while converting the dirt lot to paving stones was simple, converting the curb/sidewalk area below the dirt was complex. It involved permits from the city, re-routing a drain, and a major demolition effort. Certainly doable, but costly and strewn with red tape. So I decided to forego the curb shaving and just drive over to the paving stones from the existing driveway lip.
In the intervening two years I've confirmed this system for using my extra offstreet parking works, but it's a pain.
Except for our Long-Term 2010 Ford SVT Raptor.
Follow the jump to see video of the Raptor's curb-scaling in action.
From the bottom inset image in the photo above it's clear a car like our 2004 Chevrolet Malibu can't drive over this curb. It has to angle onto the paving stones from the official driveway lip, meaning it always looks strewn across the paving stones and it takes practice to get the car all the way over there without blocking the driveway or falling off the edge of the paving stones into our neighbor's front yard (she really hates that).
But with the Raptor the process is, literally, straightforward.
Here's a close-up video of the SVT Raptor's wheels going over the curb. I start in two-wheel drive mode to show that the rear wheels actually spin (and smoke -- whoops!) when trying to climb it that way. Then I switch to 4-Hi (you can hear it engage) and the truck walks right over the curb.
Sorry I don't have comparable video showing the Malibu tearing its undercarriage apart trying to climb this same curb. The wife wouldn't go for it (something about needing it for kids/errands).
Moral of the story? If you need extreme off-road capabilities, or if you need a powerful, open-bed vehicle with a bad-ass look, or if you just need easy access to your off-street parking, buy a Raptor.
Karl Brauer, Edmunds.com Editor at Large @ 5,680 miles