Raptor R Drive Impression
Experiencing off-roading in the New Raptor R began with walk arounds. The truck, the engine, and a color-coded Chassis to highlight the specific upgrades to support the added horsepower and torque.
Dinner with the passionate Ford Performance team & then off to bed! The next day was a 5AM start.
I choose a Raptor R (AZURE GRAY). With an approximate 40-minute drive to The Silver Lake Sand Dunes in Mears Michigan, I took the opportunity to try out the 4 exhaust modes.
Quiet, Normal, Sport, & Baja
Sport and Baja being my favorite. Also noted was the quick response and seamless shifting of the 10 -speed SelectShift* transmission. Along with the front axle and driveshaft upgrade the Raptor R performed superior both on and offroad. The 5-link suspension takes the Raptor R to the next level.
Arriving at The Welcome Center of the Silver Lake Sand Dunes we were met by a park ranger and an area for a safety meeting and safety gear.
Tire pressure down to 15, dune flags, radio communications and we were set to go watch the sunrise from the top of the dunes. To define the leaders, there were big American Flags adorning the back of their trucks. We separated into smaller groups to participate in activities. Coming from a Gen2 Raptor there was a small learning curve. With some instruction I dialed it in. BAJA MODE! The only mode while on the sand.
You can certainly hear the V8, 5.2 supercharged engine. Equally you can feel the powerful rumble which gives you the satisfaction many have yearned for.
Having been to Silver Lake Sand Dunes in a gen 2, it gave perspective to the changes made to The Raptor R.
The leader of our group took us to what seemed like a straight down drop. The Raptor R went down the dune like a boss. And back up again as well. The upgraded 12-inch touch screen added real life perspective to aid in negotiating the best possible lines to complete the activity.
Experiencing the “drag” strip at the dunes was next up. Both the V8 and the transmission performed flawlessly. Producing a smile and a feeling of admiration for the engineers.
I followed the leader to a small forest of trails. They went up, down, and all around in tight trails with some turns that seemed impossible. This is where Trail Turn Assist** came in clutch. The feature reduces the turning radius by applying the break to the inside rear wheel. Definitely an advantage in this terrain. It will come in handy for snow wheeling and other tight turn obstacles.
The best for last…...Jumping the Raptor R.
The Ford Performance crew set up an area with perfect conditions and we were each allowed two jumps. Watching the other drivers jump their trucks brought joy to my heart as I knew the feeling of your first jump in a Raptor. I watched with anticipation as I waited for my turn. Outfitted with a helmet and a HANS device I made my way to the start of the line. Once cleared, I accelerated and hit the jump straight on. All 4 wheels were off the ground for both jumps.
The Ford Raptor line up, Gen 1, Gen2, Gen3, and the new Raptor R excel both on and offroad! Ford Performance’s vision inspired by extreme desert off-roading and racing by providing a capable truck is evident. The Raptor R exudes the vision. Ford Performance created a truck that many will try to match. But only Ford Performance has mastered.
SelectShift* Registered TM
Trail Turn Assist** TM