2013 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor (photo by Kevin McCauley)
2013 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor
2013 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor
2013 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor (photos by Kevin McCauley). Click image to enlarge

Review by Mark Stevenson, photos by Kevin McCauley and Phillip Thomas

The Raptor is Ford’s first big foray into the prerunner category, but offers a different twist on a proven, capable formula. Using the F-150 as its base, the Raptor offers up all the comfort and amenities one would expect from the world’s bestselling pickup with the added ability of jumping its monstrous mass repeatedly like a hyperactive child in a bouncy castle.

Texas, one of the biggest states within our liberty lovin’, bald eagle strokin’, Star Spangled Banner–flyin’ neighbour to the south, is unequivocally the land of the pickup. After football and firearms, pickup trucks are one of the most defining characteristics of the Lone Star state. First truck ownership in Texas is akin to entering manhood, with owners regularly comparing box lengths and arguing over whom can best deliver a load.

In Texas, if you don’t have a truck, you aren’t a man. It’s that simple.

The Texas Automotive Writers Association (an organization in which I used to have membership) gives an award for best pickup of the year – Truck of Texas – and it is a massive deal, not to mention an incredible marketing tool for the Big 3. Since 1993, the domestics have won every year except for two times when the jury was feeling particularly friendly toward SUVs (Toyota and Volvo took the honours those years).

The evidence is there. If you are going to test a truck of any sort, Texas is the place to go.

During my week in the Lone Star state, my trusty steed was a 2013 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor, a fairly well-kitted prerunner that easily ate up dirt construction pads and highway miles. The Raptor we were provided, showing off new “Terrain” coloured paint, is more understated than the other shades available on the order sheet. To make up for that, the box graphic package proudly shouts its name in big, bold letters. Also, the Raptor wore some bead-lock capable shoes that look fantastic but are a total pain to maintain. More on that in a moment.

2013 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor2013 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor
2013 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor (photos by Kevin McCauley). Click image to enlarge


Upon arriving at Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, I was presented with Ford’s prerunner waiting for me in the Arrivals pickup area. Luggage loaded and off we went, myself in the passenger seat, to a place I was not expecting to visit on my first day in Houston.

My friend and fellow journo Russ Cady, a Texan local, brought me to one of the best places to test a truck of this calibre: a massive construction pit. Ruts, mud holes, massive inclines on the sides of leveled pads, and nary a hittable object in sight, this is the perfect place to have some fun after spending 12 hours in an airborne cattle can.

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