Ford to Race F-150 SVT Raptor R at 2009 Best in the Desert Series

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Following the recent unveiling of the 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor and the success of the Raptor R at the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, Ford is entering the Raptor R in the 2009 “Best in the Desert” race series.

Ford engineers are using the race as an opportunity to “continue extreme durability testing of production components.” Unlike many other off-road race trucks, the majority of the Raptor R doesn’t differ from the production vehicle. Engineers also plan on testing possible performance accessories before offering them to the general public.

The Raptor R is powered by the same 6.2-liter V-8 that becomes available on the stock truck early next year. To make the truck more competitive, power has been boosted from around 400 hp to 500 hp. The Raptor R uses an unmodified production six-speed automatic transmission to transmit the power to the ground.

The Raptor R’s traction is aided by the same electronically-selectable four-wheel drive system with an E-locker rear differential. The standard FOX Racing Shox also remain on the Raptor R.

When the 2009 Best in the Desert Race Series commences, the Raptor R will be driven by Rob MacCachren and Steve Olliges, both of whom have won their respective classes in the Baja 1000 during their careers.

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