It takes an amazing amount of hard work and constant improvement to become the best at anything. The F-150 Raptor was first unveiled in 2009, right in the middle of the recession. Nonetheless, over the years to come, this high-speed off-road behemoth managed to pick up podium after podium at Dakar, SCORE Baja 1000, Mint 400 and other off-road events in between.
The first generation F-150 Raptor won the Pickup Truck of the Year award in 2011, the second generation won the award in 2017. Today, Ford has done it again with the 2022 F-150 Raptor. The 3rd generation came with a complete refresh and Ford engineers and designers worked hard to bring the pickup in line for its 3rd award.
Brutal, but not overdone
Yes, everyone was grumpy about not having a V8 option available with the second-generation F-150 Raptor. Even more protests were heard once Ford announced the 2n/a generation was to be postponed to the 3rd gen Raptor. Even though there’s 500 lb-ft of torque available from the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 alongside 450 hp, there was still plenty of love to be missed for lack of two extra cylinders in the block. At the expense of 10 lb-ft, the new iteration of the V6 EcoBoost now manages to develop 500 lb-ft at 3000 rpm, compared to the previous 3500 rpm.
Putting it on the tarmac, the 2022 F-150 Raptor now hits 60 mph in 6.2 seconds and flies over the quarter mile after 14.9 seconds. Speedtrap reads 93.3 mph at the quarter mile line. In other words, even though it lacks the extra 10 lb-ft of torque, the earlier torque curve makes the 3rd generation Raptor over half a second faster at 60 mph and over 1/4 mile.
Competition Crushing Suspension
There’s no way the F-150 Raptor has won so many off-road competitions on engine power alone. In fact, despite some pretty impressive acceleration times, it’s the suspension that grabs the attention. So much effort and material has gone into the development of the 3rd generation F-150 Raptor suspension, it leaves competitors in dust.
Once off the asphalt, the F-150 Raptor begins to feel at home. Shift into Baja suspension mode and put a pair of expert hands on the wheel. Hit the throttle and you get the 2022 F-150 Raptor to attack bumps, trails and desert roads at 3-figure speeds without even a hint of worry.
How is it possible ? This happens thanks to the 5-link independent suspension setup, completely redesigned at the rear, standard 35-inch tires and an optional Torsen limited-slip front differential. There’s a whopping 12 inches of clearance acting as ground clearance and an insane 31-degree approach angle. Luckily, steps are standard so you grunt less when getting in or out of the van.
Surprisingly luxurious interior
On the outside, the 2022 F-150 Raptor looks and feels big. The same design cues are drawn inside the cabin. Just like previous versions, the interior is upscale and comfortable, with large door openings and plenty of head and leg room.
There’s an abundance of information from the digital driver display and Sync 4 infotainment system. If you’re looking to seriously upgrade the comfort and interior appearance of your Raptor, the optional Recaro front seats with rhapsody blue accents are an absolute must. The interior looks surprisingly luxurious when you upgrade.
A real winner
There is no foul play here. The 2022 Ford F-150 Raptor benefits from more than a decade of refinements, trial and error. It offers decent performance on the road, proving to be a reliable workhorse. However, the beast only comes out of the cage once the chunky 35-inch tires bite into the off-road. There, the well-designed suspension and ride modes show why the F-150 Raptor is an off-road monster.