To my relief, we encounter NOTA, none of the above -- at least, not as far as we know. All we saw down by the fence were Border Patrol trucks, but it turns out that the smugglers have a new trick: using cloned Border Patrol trucks to drive into the U.S. But for that ploy to work, their trucks would have to match the ones that the Border Patrol actually use. Which means that the agents in the Yuma sector probably aren't the only ones waiting, impatiently, to get behind the wheel of the fastest truck in the desert.
The engine an SVT Truck Deserves
Even as they launched their new SVT Raptor last summer, Ford SVT engineers and product planners sheepishly conceded that the 5.4-liter V-8 under the Raptor's enormous snout didn't match the truck's outrageous off-road capabilities. Unfortunately, the brand-new, 6.2-liter SOHC V-8 that Ford was developing for the F-series Super Duty wasn't ready. Now it is, and the SVT guys have had a chance to massage it for Raptor duty. With more aggressive camshafts and fuel mapping and a free-flow exhaust, power increases from 385 to 411 hp, and torque gets bumped from 405 to 434 lb-ft-plenty of juice to contend with the Raptor's 6006-pound curb weight and meaty off-road tires. By comparison, the 5.4-liter, which remains the base Raptor engine, gets by with 310 hp and 365 lb-ft. To make the Raptor 6.2 more livable on a daily basis, the engine's firing order was selected to cut down on cabin drone. But don't worry; the throaty V-8 sound track coming from the tailpipes is good enough to win a Grammy. The "six-two" is a $3000 option on top of the Raptor's $38,995 base price, but this truck deserves nothing less.