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The all-new Ford F-150 Raptor is the latest toy for the big boys

This road-going rally truck gets major upgrades to its suspension

The latest F-150 finally gets a Raptor version. This should be fun. PHOTO FROM FORD

The performance truck.

It’s one of the more popular automotive trends in the industry, and we’re no strangers to that category with the wildly popular Ford Ranger Raptor being sold here. Although we did receive a local release of the 13th-generation F-150, the full-size pickup is currently in its 14th iteration elsewhere in the world.

But lest we forget that the F-150 was the original flag-bearer of the Raptor name, the folks over at Ford’s SVT department were able to get their dirty little hands on the truck’s current version, and the result is the all-new F-150 Raptor.

Terrain like this is just child's play for this tough truck. PHOTOS FROM FORD

The usual Raptor formula of blacked-out trim, flared fenders, and skid plates are applied to the exterior. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as all Raptors in the past have always had a distinct, brutish Baja-inspired look that just works really well.

Ford does say that the car’s off-road capabilities have been improved, with a new five-link rear suspension system with a Panhard rod and 24-inch coil springs—a welcome upgrade from the previous Raptor’s leaf springs. This should allow the truck to put more torque to the ground from the rear wheels, letting you go off-roading at faster speeds.

Fox shocks help keep this thing in control over the rough stuff. PHOTOS FROM FORD

And when you inevitably jump off some bumps at those higher speeds, the truck’s new Fox dampers come with Live Valve tech that dynamically adjusts to the terrain to soak up all surface imperfections. You can also configure your truck to come out of the factory with either 35- or 37-inch tires, but they come with trade-offs.

With the 35-inchers, you get about 15 inches of suspension travel. But when you spec the truck with 37-inchers, you lose about an inch’s worth of articulation, but you make up for it with better approach, departure, break-over angles at 33.1°, 24.9° and 24.4°, respectively. For comparison, these angles are at 31°, 23.9° and 22.7° for the smaller 35-inch tires.

As for performance, you won’t be getting any new engines here. Ford hasn’t revealed any performance figures, but the Raptor’s twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 is carried over from the previous model, which wasn’t a slouch in any department. If you crave for more power, there will be a V8 engine option next year in the form of the Raptor R.

It's hard to resist the temptation of going airborne in a Raptor. PHOTO FROM FORD

As good as the F-150 Raptor sounds on paper, the hard truth is that this car wouldn’t be ideal for the crowded cities in the metro. It’s just plain obvious with how much better the Ranger Raptor would be for almost everyone else. But for the small percentage of consumers who would fully utilize the F-150 Raptor’s capabilities, then this thing is the right truck.

Sam Surla

Sam is the youngest member of our editorial team. And he is our managing editor (believe it or not). He specializes in photography and videography, but he also happens to like writing about cars a lot.