2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor: Up On Saddleback
December 12, 2010
This morning dawned crisp and clear, making it the perfect day to take our 2010 Ford SVT Raptor up to the top of Saddleback, the highest point in Orange County.
Saddleback is not one mountain, but two. Santiago Peak (5689 feet) and Modjeska Peak (5496 feet) stand about 3/4 of a mile apart and from most points in OC the pair of them look very much like a horse's back.
From up here I could the huge sweep of Southern California, from Point Loma in San Diego through Newport Beach, Palos Verdes, Santa Monica, Malibu to Point Mugu in Ventura County--all as if it were one humungous bay. The view to the East was equally stunning and comprehensive.
Left to right: Palos Verdes, Santa Monica, Malibu, Point Mugu. (Point Mugu is actually farther left than Malibu, but it is farther north up the coast. The offshore island is Catalina.
The trail is easy, but it's sometimes narrow and sporadically rocky. Ground clearance and approach angle are more important the 4-wheel drive, and only because of the numerous water bars. Low-range isn't necessary for anything other than engine braking downhill, but the Raptor's hill descent control made that tactic unnecessary. I kept it in 4-high or 2wd.
The trail is only one lane wide most of the way. There are a few turnouts, but mostly the two opposing trucks would sort it out by squeezing up against the cliff of backing up to a wider spot. The Raptor is considerably wider than a Jeep, so there was a bit more of this than usual.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 14,473 miles