OK, clearly the Raptor is about going fast off-road, so how was it? Well, without resorting to woo-hoos and yee-haws, I’ll do my best to put it into words.
First off, Ford’s collaboration with Fox was time well spent, as the ride off-road is nowhere near as jarring as I would have expected. While any SVT member could hit the upper 90s on the course we had, I kept my speed to 30-35mph over the whoops, and 50-60mph in the open washes, only breaking into the 70s towards the end of my lap when the wash was a bit wider and my confidence was high. I drove faster and more confidently as time went on, and although I never got the truck airborn, I did cycle through much of the suspensions travel and never felt as though I was being punished. The traction control button might as well be labeled “Push for Fun”, since the traction control elbows its way between your right foot and the throttle to stop any sort of yaw-induced shenanigans, the only way to take any wash at speed is with the system partially disabled, at least if you like drifting through them like I do. Thankfully you have the option. Speaking of drifting, 4wd drifts are predictable, even though I’ve spent only a few sessions driving off-road. Any time I got a little too sideways I could correct by lifting the throttle and the truck would go back where it was pointed. For me, 2wd was a different story, as I got the Raptor’s rear end loose enough to make the SVT engineer sitting shotgun a little worried that I was going to wreck the bodywork on one of their brand-new toys.
So, if the traction control button is labeled “Push for Fun”, what about the Off Road Mode switch? Well in my case it could have been labeled, “Push to Laugh Maniacally”, or, if you ask Ali Mansour from 4-Wheel and Off-Road, the button could be labeled in such a way that would have Christian groups emailing us in droves because an electronic device on a truck was likened to the coming of the savior. With the traction control off and Off-Road Mode engaged, the Raptor will hold each transmission gear longer, to minimize hunting for gears, and it also remaps the throttle so it’s more suited for both low-speed trails and high-speed desert romps.