Even those of us who don't normally get excited by trucks cannot but fail to be impressed by the looks and specs of the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor. Apparently it's been selling better than expected and Ford has enhanced the 2012 model with two unique new features.
First, a patent-pending off-road front camera system makes its debut on the 2012 F-150 SVT Raptor, giving drivers and passengers a new and unique view of what's happening in front of their truck.
It's activated through the 4.2-inch LCD productivity screen, the system uses the 8-inch navigation display and helps drivers see what's directly in front of the vehicle, even when their view from the driver's seat might be blocked. The display includes dynamic and static overlays to help drivers determine where their wheels will go.
"It's a surprise and delight feature that works during low-speed crawling, and it's particularly useful for seeing in front of the vehicle when tackling large inclines," said Jamal Hameedi, Ford SVT chief engineer. "We found the system particularly useful for avoiding large rocks or placing a tire on a rock. It can even take the place of the spotter at times, which is a great feature when the truck is in one foot of mud."
And, if you need to clear that mud you don't have to get out to clean it as the camera, which is mounted in the front grille, includes a dedicated washer function that is activated by pressing a lever on the left steering column stalk.
But what good is a camera if the truck cannot traverse those rocks? Ford's answer is a new Torsen front differential. The system increases grip significantly for the front end of the truck and allows it to pull itself over obstacles and up steep grades, even when the traction is split between the front tires.
An internal helical gearset is used to help force torque from the wheel that is losing traction to the wheel with traction. The system is set with a torque bias ratio of 2.5:1 to help multiply torque from wheel to wheel and the preload is set to zero to help minimize steering feedback.
As before, the F-150 SVT Raptor is 7 inches wider than a base F-150 to make room for the additional suspension components that give Raptor its off-road abilities. The wider stance also gives the truck an aggressive appearance. Internal triple-bypass shocks by FOX Racing Shox – the first on a production truck – provide position-sensitive damping and extra suspension travel for extreme off-roading and a smooth ride on the road.
Raptor also has unique cast-aluminum front control arms and SVT-tuned 35-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain TA/KO 315/70-17 tires. This provides the Raptor with 11.2 inches of front suspension travel and 12.1 inches of rear suspension travel on either SuperCab or SuperCrew.
The standard 6.2-liter V-8 engine, which produces 411 horsepower and 434 lb.-ft. of torque, makes the F-150 SVT Raptor the most powerful half-ton pickup on the market, according to Ford.
Raptor aficionados should be able to identify the 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor from the as Ford is offering owners new ways to add a customized touch to their truck with a fresh bodyside graphic. Similar to the hood graphic, it now features the distinctive Raptor logo. The graphic is based around two diagonal stripes, with jagged lines and shapes.