2018 Ford F-150 Raptor, When the Renault Clio is the champion of sales all categories in France, on the other side of the Atlantic, the template is quite different. We are talking about the Ford F-150. A big pick-up that would not happen in most of our cities. It is to the great plains and gigantic straight arteries that our Clio is downtown. And in 2016, it sold more than 820’000. And it has been going on for 35 years!
Four generations for the Renault Clio. Thirteen already for the F-150! And it is not ready to stop since the current model, landed in 2014 comes to be restyled. But what we are interested in today is the Raptor version. A sporty declination, if so, developed by Ford Performance. By continuing the analogy with the French city, one could almost say that the F-150 Raptor is the Clio RS of the United States !! True comparison comparatively inappropriate since in reality the F-150 Raptor has no equivalent with us, as we have seen by taking his wheel for a grip … muscular!
Cut for the big spaces, not for us!
Rendez-vous is given to Univers Tout-Terrain, on the circuit of Ferté-Gaucher, in Seine-et-Marne (77). It is here that we expect this beast that we do not have the opportunity to cross often in our countries. And fortunately because it was necessary to share the pavement with such a mastodon, the circulation would be complicated. From the front, it’s a cube. Two meters high. Two meters wide. And this front intimidating with this grille that only makes a mouthful of the famous famous “single frame” of Audi. Small player next door.
And then this F-150 Raptor is also 5.60 meters long. We have to go to Rolls-Royce (Phantom Coupé and its 5.61 m) to find the same size. Except in double cab, our pickup can go up to 6 meters. USA – 1. Europe – 0. The Volkswagen Amarok does not weight with 5.32 meters. Even the little brother, the Ford Ranger, 5, 36 m anyway, pale face next door …
But most of all it’s the musculature that emerges from this F-150 Raptor that impresses. Extended wings, gigantic wheel arches, a perforated hood, truck mirrors … And then there are these two big exhaust outlets in the back. True. Not just for the beauty of the gesture. Finally, nice detail of this Ford F-150 Raptor, his body. At least access to the dumpster since in the back door is concealed a kind of ladder, with handle that unfolds to help climb in.
At first glance, one does not have the impression that this Ford F-150 Raptor has four doors. And yet it is the case with antagonistic doors in the back. And if the height of the machine does not help to climb in, five people take place indoors without problem. A cabin otherwise less rustic than one might have thought.
Finally, plastic is still omnipresent. Everything is square inside. No room for fantasy. As outside finally. But on the equipment side, it is nevertheless quite plush, notably with this central screen that brings together infotainment, but also the Sync 3 system or the 360 ° camera. Practical to see what happens more than 5 meters behind, or just in front of the 4×4.
If the passenger feels distant from the driver, special mention to this central storage, between the two seats, which serves as an armrest. By lifting it, there is a chasm that would almost store a pack of six 2-liter bottles. De Coca, of course!
A heart of GT
Go, place to the driving. So more than a real test, it is (unfortunately) here more than a grasp of the F-150 Raptor. Too short, but sufficient to have a taste of what it is capable of doing. That is to say, almost everything. But the first thrill will not come from the sound of its V6 3.5 EcoBoost biturbo which supplante, for obvious reasons of polluting emissions, the old V8 6.2. However, it now develops 450 hp compared to 411 hp before. And 691 Nm of torque against 588 Nm. But it is mainly the same engine as that of the new Ford GT! Finally a little modified. But there are still 60% of pieces in common!
A V6 discreetly grumbling open window, almost imperceptible to the ear closed window, and that shows itself very soft. A fillet of gas is enough for the F-150 Raptor to advance in front of a pool of mud or a mountain of 7 or 8 meters … and cross the obstacle without flinching. A disconcerting facility. The 10-speed gearbox is a model of smoothness. And even a terrain that compels a bridge crossing happens smoothly, in a comfort almost disconcerting from the inside. Well assisted it must be said by these huge 315/70 R17 tires that never seems to or almost lose grip.
And then the terrain emerges, that the F-150 Raptor can make use of all its power. It is at this moment that the steering wheel moves from one mode of driving to another. Normal, no. Weather, no. Mud and Sand for mud or sand, either. Ah! Baja! The sport mode on the Raptor. Reports that go faster, a better response to the accelerator … And then, the pickup accelerates like a sporty, but on rough terrain where a Clio, still it, would remain tanked from the first meters. The accelerator becomes much more sensitive. Nothing seems to be able the Ford. The V6 is there for performance, tires to adhere everywhere, and Fox shocks from competition to awesome ride for the feel of flying carpet. He does not forget to throw himself on the brake pedal to stop this brute of more than 2 tons. But here again he lets himself do it, without deviating from his trajectory. The limits of this F-150 Raptor? Not sure he has it!