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10 Things You Need To Know About the 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor

Benjamin Hunting
by Benjamin Hunting
October 31, 2011
5 min. Reading Time

Modern pickups sure are rugged, but that doesn't mean you can charge full speed across the dunes behind the wheel in one with reckless abandon and expect to emerge unscathed on the other side - unless you are behind the wheel of the 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor, that is. The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor is an all-terrain beast, a high performance off-road platform that can absorb a considerable amount of punishment while offering high-speed stability and a go-anywhere attitude that is rare on the full-size truck market.

Let's take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor.

10. The 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Is Designed To Tackled Off-Road Obstacles

The 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor was built from the get-go to handle the absolute worst terrain that Mother Nature can dish out. The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor's track is seven inches wider than that of the standard F-150 for extra stability and it comes with 13.4 inches of suspension travel in the rear and 11.2 inches up front. The latter is made possible by FOX internal triple-bypass shocks that are capable of adjusting their stiffness in real-time in order to prevent the underside of the truck's chassis from hitting the ground.

The Raptor is also outfitted with a full complement of under-armor skid plates as well as a hill descent control feature. The vehicle comes standard with four-wheel drive and its Advance-Trac stability control system can be set to "Sport" (which dials back the electronic nannies) or shut off completely in order to allow for full-on shenanigans. An electronic locking front differential is also present and accounted for.


09. The 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Offers A Unique "Off-Road" Mode

The four-wheel drive system installed in the 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor comes with an "off-road" mode that is designed to sculpt not just how the vehicle puts the power down to the road, but also how the transmission and engine behave. "Off-road" mode holds each gear as long as possible before up-shifting and takes the edge off of the vehicle's throttle in order to provide smooth power delivery that won't upset the balance of the truck while teetering from rock to rock, or cause it to dig four trenches in the sand when the go-pedal is depressed. The pickup also comes with an app featuring a "Raptor Mode" screen that keeps tabs on the status of each of the vehicle's off-road settings.


08. The 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Gains Several Improved Trail Features

The 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor has also seen a host of new and improved trail-oriented gear installed for the current model year. The front-differential has been upgraded to a Torsen unit that does a better job of managing traction in slippery situations thanks to its internal helical gearset. Working together with the vehicle's stability control system, it gives the Raptor an almost supernatural rock climbing ability.

Also on tap is an innovative front camera system (optional when the Ford truck's navigation system is installed) that can provide drivers with a clear view of what is immediately in front of the Raptor even if the pickup's windshield is pointing towards the sky. The camera is of course self-cleaning in order to keep it free of accumulated mud and dirt.


07. The 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Has Power to Spare

The 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor offers a single engine choice under the hood, but buyers of all stripes will be delighted by what the 6.2-liter, eight-cylinder unit has to offer. Rated at an outstanding 411 horsepower and 434 lb-ft of torque, the Raptor provides the most powerful motor available in a dedicated factory off-road platform - not to mention that it's also the gutsiest half-ton truck on the market. The 6.2-liter engine's smooth torque delivery and instant-on response is vital to maintaining the truck's momentum when traveling over loose sand, as well as when modulating the throttle in order to steer across icy trails or frozen lake surfaces.


06. The 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Features A SelectShift Automatic Transmission

The 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor comes with a SelectShift six-speed automatic transmission. This gearbox offers a manual mode that allows drivers to not only select the gear they wish to use, but also to hold that gear for as long as possible without the vehicle's ECU intervening and forcing an up-shift. It is also possible to force downshifts while in drive, aggressively selecting lower gears as soon as the engine revs drop to the point where the limiter will not kick in. This provides owners with the level of control over gear selection that is required in order to navigate tricky off-road situations. The transmission's Range Select mode also gives drivers the option of locking out certain gears (such as fifth and sixth) to stay within the desired powerband at all times.


05. The 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Provides Upgraded Styling Inside and Out

The 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor looks like no other edition of the full-size pickup in Ford's extensive lineup. Chunky and aggressive, the Raptor features an enormous FORD spelled out across its front grille and a unique hood that help to immediately identify the truck. New for 2012 is a new body-side graphics option composed of two ragged diagonal stripes, complementing the truck's available hood graphics. A fresh set of 17-inch rims and 35-inch tires are also available with the 2012 Raptor, while the vehicle's interior gains the option of cooled seats and a new blue color accent package that includes leather-trimmed thrones.


04. The 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Is A Practical Truck

The 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor might be designed for rough and tumble driving but it also manages to excel on the pavement as well. Piloting the Raptor around town reveals a very comfortable ride that makes it an excellent choice as a dual-purpose daily driver. The truck can be ordered in both SuperCab and SuperCrew body styles, and while each features additional room for up to three passengers behind the front row the SuperCrew also adds the bonus of a second set of full-size doors. The Raptor comes with a five-and-a-half-foot cargo bed, and it can tow up to 8,000 lbs - an impressive figure for what many might have pegged exclusively as a sport truck.


03. The 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Comes With A Long List of Features

The 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor comes with unique equipment that includes special sport seats as well as a highly stylized interior trim package. It also offers the availability of dual automatic climate control, cruise control, power adjustable pedals, heated and cooled front seats, the MyKey parental control feature and a special LCD vehicle information screen. The truck can also be outfitted with the Raptor Plus package (rearview camera, brake controller) and the Raptor Luxury package (power seats, upgraded audio system, remote start), with the latter grouping a few more of the vehicle's high-end options together for easier ordering.


02. The 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Is An Exclusive Ride

Part of the 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor's appeal - apart from its amazing capabilities and outstanding power - is its exclusivity. The Raptor is an unusual truck, and it’s also an uncommon one that is designed to lure in drivers who enjoy being the only person on their block behind the wheel of something unique. When compared against other more mundane off-road options such as the Toyota FJ Cruiser, the Jeep Wrangler or the Nissan Xterra, the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor handily trounces them in almost every single category. Showing up at the trail head in a Raptor will draw almost as much attention as pulling up to the front of the Ritz-Carlton in a Ferrari.


01. The 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Starts at $42,570

The 2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor provides significant value for off-road enthusiasts. Its $42,570 MSRP is a comparatively small price to pay when considering the power offered by its V-8 engine, its hardcore factory-developed off-road suspension system and the sheer road presence of the truck.

Yes, you could definitely build a cheaper trail rig on your own but it wouldn't offer half of the Raptor's civilized boulevard manners when driving to and from your local mud hole, which means you'd most likely have to also purchase a second vehicle as your daily driver to avoid having your eyes rattled out of their sockets during your commute. What's more, no homegrown 4x4 comes with the same warranty protections or extensive in-house testing afforded the F-150 SVT Raptor, which is especially important when considering the need for a reliable truck that won't let you down while driving miles and miles from the nearest service station.



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