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Old 02-11-2013, 12:13 PM
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Default "Ford finds an unlikely sales star in Raptor pickup"

Ford's powerful pickup now is being embraced by ice-and-snow trekkers, not just desert rats. It's huge, guzzles gas and costs a lot, yet it's selling well

Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY 5:23p.m. EST December 10, 2012



In an age of downsized dreams, high-priced gas and a general disdain for supersized living, Ford Motor continues to have a sales star in a four-by-four pickup that kicks sand in the face of convention.

It's the Ford SVT Raptor, an F-Series pickup sporting a fuel-gulping 411-horsepower V-8 and riding atop big-wheel oversized tires. And now it is making new fans for its performance in ice and snow and on rocky hilltops, not just roaring over desert dunes.
The Raptor shows that despite the forces aligned against it, the U.S. market for performance vehicles and brawny pickups remains intact. Yes, gas mileage has become a top consideration for buyers. But, no, buyers aren't going to sacrifice fun or getting a vehicle that best fits their special needs for one that scores on fuel economy.
That's where Raptor comes in.

"It has this kind of 'Oh, yeah, watch this' kind of quality to it," says Mark Williams, editor of PickupTrucks.com. "There's a lot of cachet."
Raptor competes in the off-road-capable pickup arena against the Ram Power Wagon, Ram pickups customized with the Ram Runner desert kit and Toyota's Tacoma Baja model pickup. Ram's Power Wagon model, with its winch and Bilstein shocks, is aimed at traversing rugged terrain. The Ram Runner kit, costing about $18,000 through Chrysler's Mopar aftermarket-parts unit, turns pickups into desert racers. There has been "a great response to it," says Steve Houtman of Mopar.

But Raptor seems to have found a larger niche in the market by being the more do-it-all truck.
Despite being basically unchanged for three years, Ford Raptor saw its two highest sales months ever in October and November. More than 1,400 Raptors sold in October, the all-time-best month, topping by 200 the previous monthly record set in April 2011.
That has put it on pace to top 13,000 in sales for the year, the highest year since its debut. Its sales are just a tiny slice of the total sales for F-Series pickups the nation's best-selling vehicle of 520,830 through October. But the Raptor comes with a high price tag that makes it one of the profitable prizes in Ford's stable.

At $44,335 with shipping, the 2013 Raptor's starting price is almost twice that of the base F-150 pickup. But then again, the thing is a monster from its 6.2-liter V-8 to its 35-inch all-terrain tires.
"If a guy needs that off-road capability, there really is nothing else that can approach it," says Jamal Hameedi, chief engineer for Ford's global performance vehicles.

But turns out that part of its success is based on its versatility.
Hameedi was the part of the team that envisioned Raptor as a desert racer. By the time it had been fitted with touches such as long-travel Fox Shox shock absorbers and a front-view camera to give drivers a view of obstacles they can't see over the top of the hood, it turned out to have decent rock-crawling and snow capabilities as well.
When a blizzard shut down travel to the Chicago Auto Show from Detroit a couple of years ago, Hameedi says, he and two other Ford executives hopped in Raptors and plowed their way from Detroit to the Windy City in less than five hours.

Raptor's snow-and-ice capabilities are impressive enough that Mark Rowe of Greensburg, Pa., is organizing a 500-mile frozen backwoods rally next month in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The so-called SnoBall 500, which Rowe dreamed up with a few buddies, already has attracted 35 Raptor owners and $20,000 in donated items for a charity raffle.

Sure, the gas mileage is awful. It's government rated at 11 miles per gallon in the city, 16 mpg on the highway, 13 mpg combined. But Rowe says that despite Raptor's fuel thirst, "It puts a smile on my face every time I get in and pull out of the driveway."
Rowe, who works for an oil services company, says Raptor defies stereotypes of an off-road-capable truck. "Everyone thinks it's going to ride rough." In fact, he says, "It rides like a sports car riding on a marshmallow."

The ride quality is helping Raptor attract a high-end clientele outside of hard-core off-road enthusiasts, says Steve Olliges, one of the drivers involved in the original testing of the truck and president of Team Ford in Las Vegas, one of the nation's top-selling Raptor dealers.
He says some couples have his and hers Raptors. And some buyers have traded in a Range Rover for one.
PickupTrucks.com's Williams says Raptor has proved more capable overall than its rivals. "The way the computer, ... suspension and traction all work together is amazing," he says. "As far as vehicles that are fun to drive, it's hard to find a vehicle like the Raptor."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/...truck/1723555/
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:29 PM
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I'm going to hell BUT that truck looks better then the new Chevys
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:01 PM
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I'm going to hell BUT that truck looks better then the new Chevys
I heard that
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:11 PM
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I'm going to hell BUT that truck looks better then the new Chevys
BUT..........does it jump better?



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Old 02-11-2013, 11:43 PM
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I heard that
I BET YOUR EARS WERE TINGLING
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:28 AM
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These trucks are truly a blast. It took 6.5 months to get my hands on one from the day that I ordered it. Very well written article!!

Oh, and as for the fuel mileage........
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:57 AM
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Cosmo mentis Cosmo mentis is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intocarss View Post
I'm going to hell BUT that truck looks better then the new Chevys
It sure does look better.

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Originally Posted by FETorino View Post
I heard that
Always!

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BUT..........does it jump better?



That was ridicruelous!

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Originally Posted by SpeedyV10 View Post
These trucks are truly a blast. It took 6.5 months to get my hands on one from the day that I ordered it. Very well written article!!
Oh, and as for the fuel mileage........
Nice to have an owner weigh in.
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:23 AM
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A friend has had one as a daily driver for over a year, they are good looking and he's really enjoyed it. He's an off-road motorcycle and mountain bike guy so he pushes it on Oregon back roads within reason but understands it's limits unlike some.
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:40 AM
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A friend has had one as a daily driver for over a year, they are good looking and he's really enjoyed it. He's an off-road motorcycle and mountain bike guy so he pushes it on Oregon back roads within reason but understands it's limits unlike some.


Like this.



Strangely they didn't blast music during the vid and left those objectionable motor/exhaust/terrain sounds in.
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:55 AM
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One youtube'r named it "Truck Norris".

That's
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