You can kind of see the F-150 that lives beneath the Raptor's swagger. But just barely.
The Raptor ain't cheap. Our tester tipped the cost scales at a nicely optioned $62,500.
Cool Raptor badging.
If you look closely, you can see that the Raptor has claws for "R's."
Who needs a dainty blue Ford oval on the grille when you spell out F-O-R-D in huge matte black letters?
There's a 450-horsepower, 3.5-liter turbocharged V6, with a whopping 510 pound-feet of torque, behind those menacing consonants and a vowel.
A reasonably ample bed.
The 5.5-foot box is the smallest available on a Ford full-size pickup, but carrying capacity isn't really what the Raptor is all about. As long as you can get a dirt bike back there, you're good to go. You will have to wedge it in diagonally, however. It is of course possible to carry bikes with the tailgate down.
Drivers who are heading off-road will appreciate the Raptors more compact rear end — it makes the truck easier to sling around when the pavement ends.
The BFGoodrich all-terrain tires were designed specifically to work with the Raptor's frame and suspension.
The shocks are specially designed FOX racing spec. They allow the front and rear suspensions to move up and down down more than a foot, according to Ford. That's enough to manage serious off-road punishment. But according to Ford, they can also smooth out the ride on traditional tarmac.
Our 2017 model Raptor was a "Supercab" trim level. So the rear doors open in the opposite direction as the fronts.
Somehow, this just seems much cooler than a Crewcab configuration.
A stout 10-speed automatic transmission.
The 10-speed is slick shifting and can be switched over the manual paddle-shifter mode, for more direct input into the driving experience.
The 0-60 mph run happens in five seconds.
The paddles are BIG. They actually reminded me of the paddles on a Ferrari.
You have both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You also have the usual Bluetooth connectivity, with USB and AUX ports, as well as actual 110V plugs for all your charging needs.
Supreme off-road capability.
The Raptor is considered by most reviewers who've taken it into the desert — we didn't do that — to be just about the best at its mission. Serious off-roader should apply. And their choice of chariot will be an easy one.