The new Raptor is so capable, it doesn’t even need aftermarket tires to compete in the grueling desert race.
Apparently keen on juicing more mileage from its “Built Ford Tough” tagline—and also keen on flexing marketing muscle—Ford is entering an almost completely stock 2017 F-150 Raptor pickup in this year’s Baja 1000 desert race. The grueling contest is as fitting a litmus test for the off-road-ready Raptor as anything we can think of.
But first, what does Ford mean when it says the Baja-running Raptor is “stock”? Per SCORE’s rules (Baja’s sanctioning body), even to run in the stock full class, Ford needed to fit the Raptor with a safety cage, racing seats and harnesses, a fuel cell, and extra LED lighting. Of course, some sweet graphics were slapped onto the truck’s body, along with a nifty spare tire mount in the pickup bed, for that proper stadium-truck look. Ford says it slightly retuned the F-150 Raptor’s Fox Racing shocks and springs to account for the extra weight of the safety gear, but otherwise, the truck is as you can buy it in the coming months. It even rides on the factory Bridgestone K02 all-terrain tires. Sweet. The truck will make a stop at the SEMA show in Las Vegas this week, then hit Baja November 16–20.