Matt loves his Raptor. It’s a literal go-anywhere vehicle that is also comfortable on long trips. It can hold all our gear, and the off-road suspension makes it a very smooth camera car. The SYNC system is responsive, it has loads of storage space, and you can jump it. What’s not to love?
Well, the MPG, to start. On road trips, we average 12MPG, at best.With gas prices fluctuating like Keith Richards’ sobriety, 12MPG is a pretty expensive thorn in our side. That’s exactly why Ford sold over 200,000 EcoBoost F-150s last year. 43% of F-150 buyers checked that option box. That’s a lot. The reasoning is obvious: it makes roughly the same power and torque as the 6.2L V8, but gets about 20MPG. Sounds good, can I get a Raptor with it?
No. Ford didn’t make it an option last year, nor this year. Perhaps they predicted the Raptor market would be too gung-ho for V8 displacement, or thought a rumbly 8-cylinder fit the brand better, we don’t know. But it’s too bad, because the only complaint we have about the Raptor is the fuel economy. Left with no EcoBoost option, we’d accepted our future of eating Ramen and camping out in front of SVT Chief Engineer Jamal Hameedi, holding a candlelight vigil for an EcoBoost option. But our friends at SDHQ Off-road had a better idea: build one. That’s what they did, surrounding the twin-turbo V6 from an F-150 with all the best parts from an SVT Raptor, plus some more badass goodies. That’s what Matt drove on this week’s episode TUNED. He took the truck out to an OHV area in Arizona to see who got it right: Ford, or SDHQ. Will he have truck envy? Jump to find out.