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July 12, 2013

Ford's 2013/2014 Shelby Raptor is one-of-a-kind truck for one-of-a-kind women

Raptor2Although most women do not go for big trucks, much less those which would be considered ‘hardcore’ powerful trucks, there are still a few of us out there who would choose a hardcore truck over any other vehicle option – foreign or domestic.

While reviewing the 2013/2014 Ford Shelby Raptor truck it was hard to imagine the average woman giving a hoot about it regardless that it is what enthusiasts would deem as the ‘ultimate’ truck. However, for those of you who are even remotely interested in trucks believe me when I say that, although you might not be as truck crazy as I am, your significant other will be impressed by the insights (and your impressive knowledge) of this very rare vehicle – for only 500 will be made.

Bring on the Muscle

In the world of muscle cars, (both classic and contemporary) Mustangs are considered ‘the ultimate’ ride. But when it comes to changing a base Mustang into to a full-on kickin' version there is only one word that can instantaneously morph the vehicle while giving it additional respect: That word, or name, is Shelby... Carroll Shelby. Everything that comes out of Shelby’s aftermarket plant drastically increases the value of a vehicle – and most of the time its performance.

Shelby’s crew is based out of Las Vegas and has been known for pimping ‘Stangs amongst other rides since 1965. Although they specialize in Mustang upgrades Shelby has been known to customize a Dodge or two, (Vipers and Daytonas).

Raptor3In the last few years the Shelby/Ford duo decided to try their hands at taking the ultimate truck and adding some fairy dust, (Shelby accoutrements) to come up with THE baddest truck ever: The Ford Shelby Raptor, which in no way should be considered a ‘regular truck’! Anyone who owns a Raptor is definitely considered a truck aficionado. But one who would opt for their own personalized Shelby version (which will be a limited edition) will own a legendary piece of American truck history and be the coolest kid in town.

When I was honored with the opportunity to drive the Shelby Raptor for an entire day I decided to make the most of this amazing, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  As I drove through the city streets, highways, and backroads of Dallas, I eventually made my way to my favorite 4x4 testing grounds. There was no way I would let the opportunity to have this dream truck and not test her out. I call the truck a "her" because she was red with Shelby’s signature Splash graphics on the side. This Shelby version provided a ton of power, thanks to a 6.2-liter V-8 boasting 575 horsepower (Shelby/Whipple Supercharger – base Raptors are equipped with 411 hp), and many other powerful, shiny accessories, and extra special Shelby touches. They included; a Shelby Stinger exhaust, customized Katzkin leather, Boost and Fuel pressure gauges, specialized side fender heat extractors, and like all Shelby masterpieces, an exclusive serial numbered engine plate/badge located on the dash.

Adventurous women would love this truck

Aside from the fact that the tested version was red, the Raptor is even more of a truck lover’s truck which I believe is what it was developed to be.  So when entering into the cabin do not expect a side step (it’s optional though) or even a handle over the door. But, do expect to catapult yourself into the driver’s seat: Since I love trucks I’m ok with taking flying leaps to get in and out of them. With all of this said it does have a ton of interior space, especially with the crew cab, powered everything, and even performance racing (type) seats to make sure that when it takes off upon acceleration you are comfortably cushioned in one place.

I have driven both the Shelby Raptor and a stock Raptor and must admit, although the base model was equipped with less horsepower, it had an immediate acceleration response. The Shelby version however took a second to respond, but once it did the truck flew like Pegasus --just not as smoothly. Although it was equipped with special off-road suspension and high performance shocks, a passenger noted that it drove just like a truck - they were right.

Raptor5Even on smooth roads the vehicle was bumpier than other trucks I have tested. It did though include multiple performance and safety features such as an off-road mode which calibrates the transmission, stability, and traction control systems which helps synchronize these systems under high-speed off-road situations. Although the Shelby Raptor crew is much heavier than the stock Raptor, the Shelby handled amazingly – I barely needed to move the steering wheel during serpentine tests. While rock crawling the Shelby Raptor performed well in 4High and 4Lo and the traction held well on dry gravel, and wet limestone rock. At times there were 1-2 ft climbs and drops which of course provided additional fun for anyone who enjoys a little adventure – such as’s very own ‘Raptor Maven’ Sue Mead!

Base price for Ford F150 Raptor SVT (before Shelby customization) is $44,000, plus Shelby accessories for tested truck cost an additional $18,000. Mpg was not listed.




Shelby reference: wikipedia

Auto Photography by: James McClain

Senior Editor: Diana Merrill Claussen





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