For Sale By:Private Seller
Exterior Color: Red
Model: Model A
Trim: two Door Sedan
Drive Type: None
Ruskin, Florida, United States
I'm not normally a pickup kind of guy, but the 2013 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor won me over nearly instantly. The street-legal trophy truck - there is really no other way to accurately describe it - is big, brawny and incredibly capable. Let's just say it's every bit the monster it visually portrays. I spent a week pretending I was one of Ford's Baja 1000 drivers, but lacking desert sand, I headed into the local mountains where a mild winter storm had dropped a couple inches of fresh snow on my favorite off-road park. The Ford was, for the most part, practically unstoppable.
Ford offers its SVT Raptor package on Supercab and Supercrew platforms with the five-foot, five-inch bed. The Supercrew I tested rides on a 144-inch wheelbase (about a foot longer than the Supercab). In addition to its cosmetic differences when compared to the standard F-150 - there isn't a young boy on the planet who doesn't think the matte black Ford grille is cool - the Raptor has a 73.6-inch track - nearly seven inches wider than the track on the standard F-150.
After upgrading the F-150 SVT Raptor significantly for the 2012 model year, there are only a few changes for 2013. The list includes standard high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps, Hill Descent Control, forged beadlock-capable wheels, and the new matte Terrain color (aka "Desert Storm") option seen on my test model.
History has a way of repeating itself, especially in the auto industry. When Jaguar was owned by Ford, the British brand attempted to field a competitor for the BMW 3 Series, called the X-Type. Based on the bones of a Ford Mondeo, it aped the styling of Jaguar's flagship model, the XJ, while borrowing liberally from the Ford parts bin. That was 2001.
Now, in 2013, Jaguar is planning a new 3 Series challenger based on the platform previewed by the C-X17 Concept, while Ford is attempting to take the latest Mondeo upmarket. The moves have both brands recognizing where, why, and how the X-Type failed. "It didn't look mature or powerful or anything. It was just a car," Jaguar's current head of advanced design, Julian Thomson, told PistonHeads. Basing the X-Type on a front-drive car while giving it styling that was meant for a rear-driver lead to proportions that "were plainly wrong," Thomson told PH. Ford's European head of quality, Gunnar Herrmann, added that the X-Type was "a fake Jaguar, because every piece I touch is Ford."
For what it's worth, the X-Type's successor in the segment will sport rear-drive, with plenty of input from Ian Callum. Thomson described the new model, which would challenge the 3 Series as having, "Big wheels right to the ends of the car, low bonnet, short overhangs, very low cabins." Sounds good to us.
Ford made some serious waves when it unveiled the latest F-150. Instead of making its bodywork out of steel, like just about every other truck on the market, Ford went with aluminum. And you can bet the F-150 won't be the last Ford model to go with the lightweight alloy construction, either.
Our compatriots at Edmunds report that Dearborn is considering replacing two of its most popular SUVs with aluminum versions. One candidate is the Expedition, which would make sense considering that the current model (like the two preceding generations and the fullsize Bronco before it) is based on the F-150's underpinnings. Another is the Explorer, which was traditionally based on the Ranger pickup but went with a car-like unibody chassis in its current iteration. If the Explorer does go the way of aluminum, don't expect it to be a part of its very next update, which is likely due too soon for such major changes.
It would stand to reason that, if the Expedition were to go aluminum, so would the next-generation Lincoln Navigator. Ditto the MKT together with the Explorer. But those aren't likely to be the only models in contention for aluminum construction. Like any other automaker, Ford is under pressure to steadily reduce its carbon emissions and improve its fuel economy figures, prompting it to look at a whole range of measures - including more efficient engines, lower rolling-resistance tires, active aerodynamics and lightweight construction. Expect aluminum to play a big part in that equation moving forward.