While automotive awards come in all shapes and sizes, one thing is certain: the more the merrier. And Ford’s 2014 F-150 SVT Raptor just added another trophy to its already-vast collection, as it was named “Off-Road Truck of Texas” by the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA).
According to Ford, TAWA members put the capable Raptor through a series of rigorous tests at Knibbe Ranch near San Antonio — one of the most rugged off-road courses in Texas. As expected, the vehicle “showed why it’s the most capable off-road pickup in America, as well as America’s favorite”, said Doug Scott, Ford truck group marketing manager.
Initially launched in 2009, the F-150 Raptor has steadily attracted new fans and achieved new sales heights, reaching record sales performance in eight of the last 10 months. Sales of the specialized truck are up 14 percent in 2013, and are expected to remain strong as Ford boosts production of the Raptor from three to five trucks per hour.
Even though Ford has a unique offering in the truck segment, the automaker has not rested on its laurels, improving the Raptor every year since its debut. For the 2014 model year, the Raptor family grows with the addition of the Special Edition model that adds interior and exterior upgrades to further differentiate its appearance, and to appeal to luxury truck buyers seeking uncompromised off-road performance.
For the uninitiated in Raptor(ology), here are a few key aspects of the truck that make it so special:
- Functional design cues
- Segment-exclusive suspension technology
- Seven inches wider than a base F-150 to accommodate the additional suspension components that enable its off-road capabilities
- Internal triple-bypass shocks by FOX Racing Shox — the first on a production truck — give Raptor 11.2 inches of front suspension travel and 12.1 inches at the rear to handle tough terrain at high speeds
- An electronic locking rear differential and Torsen limited-slip front differential provide excellent capability for rock crawling and other low-speed off-road activities.
- Industry-exclusive beadlock-capable wheels are available to further help increase grip in low-traction conditions
- High-intensity discharge headlamps provide improved visibility
- SYNC with MyFord Touch infotainment systems are available for added connectivity
- Powered exclusively by Ford’s 6.2 liter V8 engine producing 411 horsepower and 434 lb.-ft. of torque, mated to an electronic six-speed SelectShift Automatic transmission with tow/haul mode
- Raptor SuperCrew is rated to tow up to 8,000 pounds, complementing its unparalleled off-road capabilities
The Motrolix Take
Have you ever heard of an award negatively impacting sales results? Neither have we. So we say, the more awards, the merrier.
Notably, the Raptor is a quintessential example of an outstanding product that serves the enthusiast community. We can’t command Ford enough for bringing the Raptor to market, and then for keeping it fresh with updates and special editions every year following its introduction. Great work, Ford.