Thanks to reader and SVTOffroad.com regular Matt Davis, who took delivery of his Raptor just last week, we were able to spend an entire day with Ford’s newest Raptor running it from the rollers of the dyno to the rollers in the desert. What we can tell you is that the story is more than just 6.2L V-8 deep.
The 6.2L is Ford’s newest gasoline truck engine, offering 411hp and 434 lb-ft of torque on 87-octane fuel in Raptor trim. To verify Ford’s power claims we headed over to K&N Engineering in Riverside, California and strapped our test vehicle to their Dynojet chassis dyno where we recorded a run of 344hp and 361 lb-ft of torque at the wheels, which is slightly better than the expected 20-percent drivetrain loss. It also means that the 6.2L puts out more horsepower and nearly as much torque at the wheels as the 5.4L V-8 does at the crank. Impressive.
Backing the 6.2L is Ford’s six-speed automatic, which is still tuned way too soft for our tastes, taking far to long to initiate throttle kick downs and lacking crispness between shifts. However, none of the gear hunting associated with the 5.4L model is apparent in the 6.2L truck. In fact, the 6.2L doles out big gobs of torque with a nice flat curve, making the Raptor deceptively powerful. While you won’t necessarily feel the power pushing you back in the seat, it’ll seamlessly be going 90mph in a blink. Passing traffic on two-lane roads is effortless, once the trans decides to kick down.
While it would be easy to only focus on the new engine, the truth is that the revised suspension feels much more supple and refined over the 5.4L version, as if the 6.2L is the way the Raptor was meant to be and the 5.4L was a stopgap to get the Raptor launched. The 6.2L's chassis tuning feels that much better to this sensitive tester. No longer do small choppy roads feel harsh and the highway ride feels more compliant than we remember in the 5.4L truck. Considering the 6.2L outweighs the 5.4L by a bit less than 200-pounds, all of which is over the front axle, this is a remarkable achievement.
If there are any complaints to lobby, it is that the leaf-sprung rear axle is susceptible to axle wrap under load and that there are no exterior cues to identify the Raptor is equipped with the 6.2L option.
After covering nearly four hundred miles of testing on a stormy and windy day, we recorded 10mpg in mixed driving and 14mpg on the highway. Our feeling is that 15mpg is a reasonably attainable highway figure without the headwinds and weather.