First Look: 2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor

The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor is without question the ultimate factory-built off-road truck, and Ford's SVT engineers aren't about to let it get stale. For 2011, a few tweaks enable the SVT Raptor to literally open more doors to the world of off-roading -- and do it with even more power underfoot.

The purpose-built pickup receives a number of mild revisions for the 2011 model year, the most significant of which is the addition of a Raptor SuperCrew model that we recently had a chance to drive in prototype form earlier this year. The larger cab won't benefit the driver or the front passenger, but those relegated to the rear bench will celebrate. In addition to the SuperCrew's full-size rear doors, legroom increases by a substantial 10 inches, while headroom grows by six-tenths of an inch.

Wheelbase increases along with the cab's length. Raptor SuperCab models continue to ride upon a 133.3-inch wheelbase, but that grows to 144.4 inches for the SuperCrew. Despite the stretch, SVT engineers say the longer Raptor performs just as well off-road -- if not better in certain situations -- as its shorter sibling. Coupled with incredible internal-bypass Fox Racing dampers carried over from the SuperCab, the SuperCrew's wheelbase is more adept at soaking up moguls. Better yet, the SuperCrew can tow up to 8000 pounds, approximately 2000 pounds more than a standard Raptor.

Regardless of the cab configuration, all 2011 SVT Raptors will utilize a common powertrain. Ford's aluminum-block, 6.2-liter V-8 is now standard across the Raptor line, blessing both the SuperCab and SuperCrew with 411 horsepower at 5500 rpm and 434 pound-feet of torque at 4500 rpm. A six-speed automatic remains the sole transmission, but it receives a new SelectShift manual mode that gives the driver some control over shift timing.

Along with the Digital Mud Graphics package, 2011 Raptors can be ordered with a new hood applique that adds a matte black finish and the Raptor logo to the hood stamping. More impressive is the new Ingot Silver metallic paint hue.

Interior changes are limited. The second-row bench receives a headrest for the center seating position, and a new LCD screen within the revised instrument cluster displays towing, fuel economy, and off-road driving information. Springing for a new Raptor Plus package adds a rear-view camera and an electric trailer brake controller, while a Luxury package throws in remote start capability and power-folding exterior mirrors.

We've yet to receive pricing for the 2011 SVT Raptor, but those interested better hurry. Order banks are open, and if sales resemble those for the 2010 model, the revised Raptor won't linger on dealer lots for long.

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