August 11, 2011
Yesterday we began saying our goodbyes to the Raptor. With those goodbyes comes a survey of the truck's condition -- evidence that maybe, just maybe, we don't destroy everything we drive, as some of you contend.
Have at look a the skidplate. Or maybe a more appropriate name would be the non-skidplate.
But wait, there's more...
August 10, 2011
I got the email on Monday. "Detail the Raptor" it read. "We're going to sell it." So yesterday the coolest truck to ever grace our fleet spent half the day getting babied.
Below is a brief survey of its condition at almost 30,000 miles.
August 09, 2011
Seriously, what would you use it for? I'm talking about that rubberized storage tray on top of the dashboard of our long-term 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor.
You wouldn't want to put your sunglasses, radar detector, or navi up there as they would probably get fried in the direct sunlight. And if you put your wallet or phone in that shallow tray it would fly around if you ended the pathetic streak and drove at speed on the dirt roads with the idiots.
What about a book? C'mon. Most Raptor drivers are illiterate (that's a joke.)
If that tray was covered with a door it would protect the contents from the sun and from flying around the cabin (although I've never used those, either.) But it's just easier to use the center console storage and the cupholders for your small things instead of any type of top of the dashboard storage.
What would you use that tray (or any of those dashboard trays) for?
Albert Austria, Senior Vehicle Evaluation Engineer @ ~29,000 miles
August 09, 2011
I discovered this trim panel coming off of the Raptor's rear driver's side door yesterday. It's ugly and it makes noise if the truck is driven hard.
July 14, 2011
Here's a photo from yesterday's pre-Carmageddon commute home. We'll push the hype aside and just call it, Wednesday.
But if this weekend turns out to be as bad as they're saying, the Raptor would be a pretty good place to seek shelter.
Premium comfort and visibility combined with the ability to drive over obstructive medians.
And if things get really hairy: satellite radio.
Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 28,022 miles
June 15, 2011
There are a couple of smaller details in our Raptor that I find very cool. First is the race inspired rally wheel and it's red stripe. Lets you know which way is up, to keep you upright. Might not be totally necessary for driving through traffic in the morning, but it certain adds a little excitement to the 405.
June 13, 2011
Just last week I wrote about the gauge setup in our '85 911. The sheer number of dials makes it feel like a true cockpit, not to mention relaying quite a bit of information. The Raptor may not have the old timey look, but its collection of dials does an equally thorough job.
You're got your oil pressure, water temperature, fuel of course, and hidden behind the steering wheel there's a transmission fluid temperature gauge.That's quite a bit of info packed into a pretty small space yet it doesn't look overcrowded. Ford tried to give the setup an update for 2011, but it doesn't look any better. I still prefer the black on white gauges, it is an SVT truck after all.
Oh, and by the way, I didn't have any trouble with the seatbelt at all this weekend. No idea what Schmidt and company are talking about.
Ed Hellwig, Editor, Inside Line
June 13, 2011
I enlisted our 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor to run errands around town. The errands had me climbing in and out of the truck frequently. By the end of the day I was officially annoyed with the drivers seatbelt.
The latch goes in and clicks securely. But a simple button press no longer releases the buckle. It sticks unless you really force it. Add one to the dealer fix-it list.
Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 25,555 miles
June 10, 2011
Sound waves are tricky buggers, especially when they're coming out of speakers. The thing is, the sound doesn't really like to go through things so much as it likes to bounce around off of hard things (like glass) and get absorbed by soft things (like legs and carpets and sets) getting all muddled along the way.
This is a huge problem with our 2010 Ford SVT Raptor. My left leg is so close to the left speaker -- the door panel is way close and if you drive hard, be prepared for a bruise-- that it blocks most of the sound. Not that it really matters as the speaker appears to be aimed directly at my calf. The passenger-side speaker, however, is in direct line-of-sight to my ear. The end result is that there's virtually no sound from the left side, and the right side sound waves smash directly into my face. It's unpleasant and acoustically awkward. This is why IASCA SQ dorks spend so much time with dummy heads and laser pointers.
There's no time-alignment possible from the stock head unit, the only real workaround here is to fade the system some 80% to the left side to overboost it while diluting the ear pollution from the right side. Which sucks.
If I owned one, I'd have to redo the entire thing and put the speakers in the kick-panels. I need a stereo that plays to my ears, not my legs.
Mike Magrath, Associate Editor, Inside Line @ 25,595 miles
May 06, 2011
Come along with me for a tour of the Raptor's most often-touched interior bits to see how it's fairing inside. It is, after all, a truck, which we occassionally actually use as a truck.
March 31, 2011
Can I vent for a bit? Great. Here goes: plasti-chrome needs to stop. There is no excuse -- none -- for obnoxiously reflective surfaces like these to be present in a vehicle's interior. Forget for a moment that plasti-chrome looks chintzy. I'm talking about function.
It's hard to convey in photos, but our longterm 2010 Ford Raptor's PRNDL lever, the surround and the cupholders are all ringed with highly reflective surfaces that can leave you with spots in your vision. The door pulls are covered in plasti-chrome too.
What's only slightly less bad are the adjacent flat surfaces covered with the dot-matrixed silver. They don't dazzle but they do reflect.
At one point during the weekend I rounded a corner and exited the shade and had blinding relfections in my eyes from six locations. Sunglasses didn't help; these reflections came from under the bottom edge of the lenses.
Plasti-chrome (hell, any brightwork) is especially egregious in a truck. Two reasons:
1. It's a truck. Functional. Purposeful. No BS. And yet somebody in your styling department felt the need to stick little mirrors all over the cabin. Fail. Find them another line of work, please. Maybe somewhere alongside your personnel responsible for the cruise control interface, whom are also inept.
2. Trucks have large expanses of window glass. Far more than do cars. Windows, it turns out, allow light into the cabin. You can see where I'm going with this.
Please end the silly obsession with this nonsense.
People Who Drive Where The Sun Actually Shines From Time To Time
March 29, 2011
This weekend editor JayKav and I had to head up to Infineon Raceway in Sears Point for the 24 Hours of Lemons race. This time we were bringing my 6-year-old pit bull, Mya. In any case, after only having her for a month I had no idea of her jumping abilities. So when it came time to get her in the Raptor's backseat, I worried for a bit. The footwells were packed with Jay's gear and the passenger side was walled up with luggage. Do I try and lift a squirmy 60-pound dog into the backseat? After all it's about 3 feet total for her to jump. I figured worst-case scenario there'd be some scrambling.
Fortunately, Mya has some mad jumping skills. She got it on the first try. And I suspect she could kick this Chevy Traverse-jumping dog's ass in a high jump contest.
By the way, I bought a seat harness for her so she was safely seatbelted in for the long road trip.
Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor
March 23, 2011
A loooong time ago, Associate Editor Mike Magrath asked what to link the aux switches in our Raptor to. Machine guns, rockets, the imagination could run wild with it.
But I think I have the needed option to add to our Raptor:
A cell phone kill switch. The kind that would zap the cars in your immediate vicinity and render them useless. I'm not a violent man, I wouldn't to rig up a Ma Deuce to the switches. I just want to get home safely and peacefully.
In the last few days, I have been nearly side swiped, t-boned, and rear ended by people texting and or talking on their cell phones while driving. It hit my peak frustration last night with a dude driving down the 405. I thought he was an old drunk by the way he was driving very slow, randomly hitting his brake, and wandering from side to side in his lane.
By the time I was able to get beside him, I glanced over to see that it was a guy texting with BOTH HANDS while driving with his knees. He mouth was agape like a moron and he never, and I mean never, looked up at the traffic in front of him.
As I safely moved pass him I flicked the switch a couple of times, hoping that my imaginary electromagnetic pulse generator would kick to life. Just one little zap, that's all I want for Christmas. Maybe next Christmas.
Scott Jacobs, Sr. Mgr. Photography
February 25, 2011
Maybe I'm having as much fun as Darren Skilton and my friend Sue Mead had while winning their class in a Ford F-150 SVT Raptor at the 2011 Dakar Rally, but I'm not really sure.
That's because I can't really see where I'm going.
This might be an asset while carving up muddy trails, rocky desert hardpan or narrow mountain tracks in South America, but it's not a good thing when you're driving through traffic in Los Angeles. Any day now I'm expecting to turn up in my driveway with a Smart Fortwo rolled up into one of the Raptor's fender wells like some oversize insect from Argentina.
I wish I could blame the Raptors nose-up attitude, a signature of desert racing machinery because it maximizes front suspension travel when you plow headlong into one of those inevitable whoop-de-doos. This is what you want in desert racing, of course, since youre speeding across the dirt and you fear the next bump far ahead of you since its too late to fear the bump thats already under your tires. The F-150 has a pretty high, bluff nose anyway, and theres not much hope of keeping track of the terrain when the horizon line is somewhere in the middle distance.
And yet its not the Raptors nose-high trim that bothers me. Instead its the cabin itself and where you sit in relation to the A-pillar and the dashboard. Somehow I always feel too far back, as if Im peering over the dashboard of a Ford sedan from the 1970s. Its not like Im sitting with the seat on the floor in the full Dale Earnhardt driving position, either.
Maybe I need some kind of booster seat or a couple of pillows. Dodge pickups sure seem like they offer a better driving position than this, though. I still remember crawling rocks in Moab a couple years ago with a heavy-duty Ram 2500 Power Wagon without a problem.
Maybe I remember pickups of the bad old past when the dash was right there in front of you and the rear glass of the cabin was right behind you. Things were perfect then. Of course, if you hit a bump at any kind of speed, you first would get a bloody nose from banging the steering wheel, and then youd slam your head against the glass behind you. And then you wouldnt have any problems seeing anymore, since youd be unconscious.
Apparently Sue Mead is way tougher than I am.
Michael Jordan, Executive Editor, Edmunds.com
February 25, 2011
Check out the various dials on the center stack. I dig the machine gear-like look. Even the small details make the Raptor even tougher.
Scott Jacobs, Sr. Mgr. Photography @ 16,922 miles
February 15, 2011
The steering wheel in our Raptor is probably one of the best I've ever laid my hands on. Yes, a truck has one of the best steering wheels I've ever used.
The 3 and 9 o'clock position is perfectly suited to my hands. The race contoured rim is fairly hefty and It has such a positive, in-control grip that I feel like I'm at the control wheel of a jet.
You know what it reminds me of?
In my imagination, this is the kind of grip KITT's steering wheel would be like.
February 08, 2011
This, I'm sure, is standard F-150 stuff. But it's also handy stuff. On the bottom of the center console lid there are places to store an MP3 player, a cell phone and two pens. Of course, I couldn't get my iPhone to play through Sync's USB interface last night so I wasn't able to use this mount on my commute. That's a first.
December 03, 2010
A big center console, that is. I mean just look at that thing. It easily swallows the fuel log notebook, tire gauge, sunglasses and -- what's that? -- a Magic 8 Ball?
Is this a good center console? As I see it, yes.
Josh Jacquot, Senior editor
November 26, 2010
Our Raptor isn't the new crew cab bodystyle, but that doesn't mean it has fixed rear side glass. That's right, the small windows in those small rear doors go up and down with the push of a button. Cool touch Ford.
November 18, 2010
I came across a 2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor a couple days ago and noticed that the gauge cluster had been updated. The white-face gauges are gone, replaced by regular color gauges. I'm a little disappointed in that; white-face gauges have been a SVT trademark going back, at least as my memory goes, to the SVT Contour.
On the plus side, though, the F-150's new-for-2011 cluster-mounted LCD display screen (photographed below) looks great. I couldn't turn it on for the photo, but it's customizable and high resolution (no more Ford blue dot-matrix!). There's also an in-gear indicator, which our Raptor lacks.
Other 2011 Raptor changes include the 6.2-liter V8 being standard, the availability of a Raptor crew cab, manual shift control for the transmission (also noticably lacking on our truck), a few more extra standard features and a new optional matte black hood graphic.
November 17, 2010
My commute home and back in the Raptor was pretty unremarkable, really. But sitting there in the truck, with nothing better to do, I dialed in the seats to the exact position I like to be in. These things are incredibly comfortable. The only issue I have with them is the fact the heavy side bolstering reminds me I'm rapidly approaching 40.
Scott Jacobs, Senior Photographer
September 24, 2010
Yesterday afternoon I drove the Ford Raptor an hour-and-a-half south in traffic, from Santa Monica to Newport Beach, to help pick up a test car that was stranded in Orange County.
Normally I looooove driving the Raptor, but on the way back north, the sun on the driver's side of the truck was killing me. The truck's windows are so tall, there was no good way for me to avoid a full blast of sun on the left side of my face. I swung the visor to the side, but it was still way too high to be of use.
Sounds like a girly, nitpicky thing to complain about, but I can't remember the last vehicle I drove where the light annoyed me so much.
I'll still happily drive the Raptor whenever possible, but will prefer it on cloudy days.
Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 6,520 miles
September 23, 2010
This is a little piece of driving utility familiar only to a specific subset of enthusiasts.
Do you know what it's for?
September 22, 2010
The Ford Raptor and presumably the entire F-150 line desperately needs another door detent. As is, you're stuck with one of two choices. The first is shimmying through the narrower first detent, which is quite difficult given that the Raptor's cabin is located in the lower stratosphere and getting up there requires more maneuvering than with a shorter vehicle. Second, you could swing out the door fully and obliterate whatever is parked next to you. You can hold the door open when you get in, but trust me when I say it's harder to get out whether you use the running boards or just slither awkwardly out of the driver seat to the Earth below.
One solution I discovered last night was to park really far away from the grocery store and just take two spaces. Which, given the Raptor's width, wouldn't be a bad idea even if Ford smartly added one or more detents to the door.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 9,220 miles
September 14, 2010
A few weeks ago Ed told you about the Raptor's absolutely awesome seats. For me, it's this small fabric insert in both the seat back and seat bottom which makes them good. This seemingly insignificant detail makes all the difference in holding my small frame in place during cornering. And this thing will corner harder than you might imagine.
September 11, 2010
This is the part of our 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor road trip when things started moving fast. We were anxious to get to Yosemite but still had time to spare. So we crammed in some requisite tourist stops.
September 08, 2010
Cool or too much?
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief
August 26, 2010
Just in front of the shifter on our 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor sit four rocker switches. They're pre-wired blanks with an orange light in the center but for now do nothing other than offer a satisfying click and a subtle orange light.
But that should change. I spent hours of my life in high school drilling into dashes and doors just to add more switches. Because, really, is one horn really enough?
Here's what I'd do:
Aux 1: Horn. A serious one. This wouldn't be a 'beep beep' horn, but one I'd want to leave on to really let the message sink in.
Aux 2: Roof lights. I can't get Back to the Future out of my brain. I want a big silly light bar on a black truck more than I want dinner tonight.
Aux 3: Winch.
Aux 4: Another horn. Or a permanent bolted-to-the-bed air compressor.
Mike Magrath, Associate Editor, Inside Line
The question: Your truck, what would you do? Our truck, what should we do?
August 19, 2010
At first, Ford said it would only make extended-cab Raptors. Then, earlier this year we got confirmation that a crew cab version is indeed on its way. Sounds good, but after checking out the back seats of our extended cab version, a crew cab seems a little overkill, no?
Granted, I haven't had to sit in back for any length of time, but just look at all that room, how bad can it be?
Ed Hellwig, Editor, Inside Line @ 4,683 miles
August 16, 2010
I griped about it in 2007 on our Ford Edge. I whined further when the same interface plagued our 2009 Ford Edge. And here we are, deep into 2010, with the same craptacular cruise control interface on our longterm 2010 Ford Raptor.
I won't bother rehashing the same shorcomings, as absolutely nothing has changed from those earlier blog entries. Read the above links for a blow-by-blow. But I will summarize them.
1. No cancel button
2. No status light
3. Buttons feel the same and are stacked in a column, reinforcing the same-ness
4. Can't be left permanently on
5. Is not the BMW stalk
C'mon, Ford. The fluid in the Raptor's shocks costs $100 per ounce but you refuse to pony up for a halfway decent cruise interface?
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor