2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor: Soothes Road Rage
February 15, 2011
This is not where the Raptor wants to be. Creeping, braking, lurching through the backup of a highway accident. Our recently-repaired transmission handled it pretty well, though. A couple of slight shudders, but overall very well-behaved.
This is pure Valentine's Day misanthropy. And it started back at the office, our building bordered by four streets, all choked and frenzied with the rush to dates at restaurants and movies and Starbucks. Damn - who are all these people? Did all of coupled Los Angeles come out to the Westside tonight? Don't they have kids? A booming night for baby-sitters, no doubt. Now in a grizzled mood -- and hungry -- as my own return home is delayed.
By quittin' time, I have the keys to Raptor in hand and am ready to rain some creeping death on any Prius, Beetle or CNG Civic idling between me and dinner.
Raptor. Ride The Lightning. Barking stomach. Like mixing recreational poisons, this is a combination best avoided. Within minutes of entering the freeway, the Raptor inspires a heady belligerence. You really gotta check yourself in this machine. Of our current long-term fleet, only the Infiniti M56, which allows you to method-act as an Osaka crime boss, delivers the same sort of imperial swagger.
But wow, the Raptor is a nice ride. Soft and serene. You can really lay out in this cabin. Papa Crown Vic aesthetic, minus the front bench. A front bench in the Raptor would be awesome. Until you want to jump it, I suppose. As it is, the seats wrap themselves around you with firm, comforting bolsters. In its on-road mode, the Raptor's suspension neutralizes the lumps of highway life. They simply don't make it past the FOX shocks. Sure, you feel some motion and sway, but not the jolts of impact.
And except for the Z06, there's no other car in our long-term fleet that makes tailpipe music as sweet as the Raptor's. Good thing too, as the stock audio system is thoroughly mediocre: muddy, flat and lacking definition. I haven't driven the Mustang GT yet, but some of the fellas say its open-throttle song is also very pretty.
Once home, I've averaged 12.0 MPG. Managed 12.2 MPG on the return trip to the office this morning. I wonder if a small oil derrick exceeds the Raptor's towing capacity; it's gonna need its own. When the polar bears and rainforests rise up to reclaim the Earth, I don't want to be driving the Raptor. My 100-mile lap on the 405 freeway has set me back a couple of rungs on the Karmic Resource ladder, and I will need their mercy.
-Dan Frio, Automotive Editor