Ford updates F-150 SVT Raptor pickup for 2012

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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Shortly after announcing mechanical and appearance updates to its F-150 pickup truck for 2012,  Ford Motor Company has confirmed that the hardcore off-road version of the F-150, the SVT Raptor, will receive its own upgrades for the 2012 model year.

"A major element of the SVT Raptor program is our work to continuously expand the capabilities it offers to customers. We want to cover all dimensions of off-roading – from desert running to rock climbing," said Raj Sarkar, Ford F-150 Marketing Manager. "We always aim to keep the product fresh and exciting, and all of our changes for 2012 reflect that."

2012 Raptors will feature a front grille-mounted camera that can be ordered with the Navigation System. The camera works at speeds of less than 24 km/h (15 mph) and helps drivers see what's directly in front of the vehicle by transmitting its feed to the navigation screen on the dashboard.

"It's a surprise and delight feature that works during low-speed crawling, and it's particularly useful for seeing in front of the vehicle when tackling large inclines," said Jamal Hameedi, Ford SVT Chief Engineer. "We found the system particularly useful for avoiding large rocks or placing a tire on a rock. It can even take the place of the spotter at times, which is a great feature when the truck is in one foot of mud."

The 2012 F-150 SVT Raptor also has a new Torsen front differential which is said to increase front-end grip for going over obstacles. This is achieved by using an internal helical gearset to force torque from the front wheel with less traction to the front wheel that has more traction.

Exterior options for the 2012 Raptor include a a new side graphic that features a distinct "Raptor" logo and diagonal stripes. Of course, the Raptor also features eye-catching hood vents, fender air extractors and running boards. Inside, there's a new matte blue accent package available with every exterior paint option except for Race Red. The package includes blue inserts for the seats and door panels as well as blue surfacing on the centre console.

The 2012 Ford SVT Raptor is powered by a 6.2-litre V8 engine with 411 horsepower and 434 pound-feet of torque. The suspension uses internal triple-bypass Fox Racing shocks and cast aluminum front control arms with giant, 35-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain tires and 17-inch wheels. In all, there are 284 mm (11.2 inches) of front suspension travel and 307 mm (12.1 inches) of rear suspension travel. Another interesting fact is that the SVT Raptor is a whopping 178 mm (7 inches) wider than a base Ford F-150 due to its additional suspension components.

Over the years, Ford's Special Vehicle Team (SVT) has built a lot of unique models such as the SVT Lightning and SVT Cobra. Like its peers, the brutal looking SVT Raptor has already amassed iconic status. The upgrades for 2012 will make the Raptor even more of a treat for owners.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Pickup, 4x4, Ford, F-150 SVT Raptor, $50,000 - $74,999,

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