2018 FORD F-150 RAPTOR ESSENTIALS: FASHION FORWARD

What is it: The 2018 Ford F-150 Raptor Supercab is the top tier of Ford’s F-150 lineup and is about as close to a trophy truck as you’re going to get from a dealership. There’s enough engineering tech to tackle most of your off-roading without flipping through any aftermarket catalogs for part upgrades.

Key Competitors: Chevrolet Colorado ZR2

Base Price: $51,510 As-Tested Price: $64,850

Full Review: 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

Highlights: The Ford F-150 Raptor has Fox Shocks to dampen any bumps from the dunes or off-road ruts. Powering the Raptor was the previously exclusive 3.5-liter turbocharged EcoBoost V6; that made its way into the Platinum line of F-150 pickups in 2018. In this application it makes a robust 450 hp.

The Ford F-150 Raptor has basically the same interior as the standard F-150, but with extra off-road features and new menus in the infotainment system.

Our Opinion: What a truck. The Ford F-150 Raptor Supercab, or Ford Raptor for short, has carved its way into the history books as something special that didn’t look like it’d get a successor — and then a successor came. From the first generation to the second, Ford ditched the V8 power, leaving its 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 to motivate the Raptor across jumps, through mud puddles and up mountains. Sadly, in my time with the pickup, I didn’t exactly have a chance to tool around the Michigan sand dunes or deep woods. Instead, I did what the majority of these trucks will do during their service lives: drive around the city.

With the four-seat Supercab and the short bed, the Raptor is big but not unwieldy. You have to check your mirrors constantly in traffic because of the Raptor’s wide stance, but it managed Saturday Downtown Detroit traffic without a hitch. At stop lights, people would stare at the towering Raptor and look over its massive F-O-R-D emblazoned grille and various Raptor decals. There’s no mistaking this for an F-150 work truck. If you’re looking to make a fashion statement in a city center, it’s hard to top the Raptor — literally. And you will be the center of attention. At least I was, which might have coincided with a country music concert happening at the Fox theater.

The 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 is plenty potent, and the 10-speed transmission helps keep the engine where it’s making power. That said, it’s hard not to miss the V8. The V6 makes a ton of turbo noise, which is great, but lacks the thunderous exhaust and underhood rumble you’d expect from a pickup with the Raptor’s attitude.

Since it’s capable of conquering anything off-road, pothole-riddled Midwestern streets are a moot point. The truck handles divots and holes with ease, and the massive sidewalls deflect most of the damage-inducing shock. From there, the Fox dampers handle the job of supporting the truck through the struggles of an urban commute. This could probably blow through most of these neighborhoods — houses, curbs, lawn furniture and all — without breaking a sweat.

If you’re looking to get noticed, and don’t want to shell out the coin for a Ferrari, Pagani or Rolls-Royce, the Raptor will get you eyes. Afterward, perhaps, you’ll dive deeper into the pickup’s toolbox and take the thing far off-road and treat yourself to an adventure. Or, just tool around and buy a new pair of glasses, like I did.

 

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