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When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

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A red 2022 Ford F-150 Raptor is shown from the front at an angle while driving off-road.

Meet the 2022 F-150 Raptor: Where Brawn and Brains Collide

If you’ve ever been to an off-road rally where enthusiasts venture off the beaten path during the day, then you know models like the Toyota 4Runner, Jeep Wrangler, and Toyota Tacoma are staples among veteran off-roaders. For years, the 4Runner, Wrangler, and Tacoma didn’t have many rivals, at least not until the off-road segment flourished. Today, competition is fierce, with models like the 2022 Ford F-150 Raptor proving big trucks deserve a place on the trail as well.

But what makes the F-150 Raptor so enticing? Off-roaders will spend thousands of dollars modifying their rigs to meet their trail needs, but the F-150 Raptor comes ready for adventure right out of the box; no assembly required. And in a world where convenience is appreciated and instant gratification is addictive, the 2022 F-150 Raptor easily fits the bill as one of the biggest, brawniest, and most capable rigs on and off the road. It’s the original full-size off-road truck and still the best in the business.

The F-150 on Steroids: Dimensions

To truly appreciate the size of the 2022 F-150 Raptor requires looking at a standard F-150 for comparison. Since the F-150 Raptor is configured as a 4WD SuperCrew with a 5.5-foot box, it only makes sense to compare it to the 2022 F-150 Tremor with the same configuration. So, what’s the difference?

The 2022 Raptor and 2022 Tremor sit on 145-inch wheelbases, offer seating for five, and come with 66-inch pickup beds. However, that’s where the similarities end. The Tremor measures 231.7 inches long, in contrast to the Raptor, which stretches nearly an inch longer at 232.6 inches. The increase in length is further enhanced by the Raptor’s power dome hood and blacked-out grille. In addition, the Raptor’s headlights stretch from fender to fender, showcasing the truck’s broader 86.6-inch width compared to the Tremor’s 79.9 inches.

For an off-road rig, it only makes sense that the 2022 Raptor sits taller and offers more ground clearance. This advantage is twofold since it also allows Ford to add optional 37-inch tires to this adventurer, the largest factory-fitted option to come on a full-size truck. These beefier tires and the truck’s larger platform give the Raptor 13.1 inches of ground clearance, a noticeable improvement over the Tremor, which offers 9.4 inches of ground clearance. In addition, this height and the 37-inch tires improve the Raptor’s off-road angles, offering a 33.1-degree approach angle, a 24.4-degree break-over angle, and a 24.9-degree departure angle.

A red 2022 Ford F-150 Raptor is shown from the rear at a low angle.

The Backbone of an Off-Roader: Finetuned Suspension

The defining component of any solid off-road rig is its suspension, and that’s where the 2022 F-150 Raptor shines. Ford relies on a double-wishbone front suspension to improve stability across the entire F-150 lineup but distinguishes the Raptor with an exclusive five-link rear suspension that replaces the traditional leaf springs with more modern coil springs. The result is phenomenal.

The multi-link rear suspension is precision engineered and features a Panhard rod and 24-inch coil springs. The extra-long trailing arms optimize the position of the axle, giving the Raptor more wheel travel even on rough terrain. Drivers get a greater sense of this behind the wheel because Ford coordinates the suspension with the Raptor‘s engine management software. Since the software constantly monitors wheel slippage, it can send torque to the rear wheels instantaneously, delivering immediate responsiveness and off-the-line acceleration without sacrificing stability, control, traction, and comfort at any speed.

It’s impossible not to talk about shocks when looking at the Raptor’s suspension. Knowing the Raptor will tackle harsh, technical terrain, Ford ups the ante and outfits the truck with FOX Live Valve internal bypass shocks that feature state-of-the-art electronic control technology. This combination provides over half a ton of damping per corner, keeping you from bottoming out the suspension even after a jump. But what does this mean when you’re in the driver’s seat?

The technology has position-sensitive damping adjustability to deliver optimal ride quality by reacting faster to changes in the terrain. Fortunately, this faster response doesn’t come at the cost of operability. Ford designed the shocks to resist heat buildup and uses low-friction shock fluid in the anodized aluminum shock bodies, which also prevents friction loss inside the damper for exceptional handling and ride comfort.

The Raptor’s Heartbeat: Powertrain

While the Raptor’s suspension is the backbone of its off-road performance, its heartbeat is its powertrain. Ford saves the race-worthy supercharged V8 for the 2023 Raptor R, outfitting the 2022 F-150 Raptor with a proven High-Output EcoBoost engine renowned for its capability and reliability. The twin-turbocharged 3.5L engine delivers 450 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque. This extra power is a game-changer on the trail and is a notable contrast to the 3.5L EcoBoost in the basic F-150, which delivers 400 hp and 500 lb-ft.

You can easily hear the roar of the Raptor’s heartbeat with the truck’s exclusive three-inch equal-length exhaust system, which features a trombone loop, active valves, and a patented built-in X-pipe. The unique design improves the engine’s sound as it travels to the exhaust. However, Ford doesn’t stop there and lets you finetune the Raptor’s throaty rumble using configurable sound modes like Baja, Sport, Quiet, and Normal.

The Raptor’s Tech-Savvy Side: Drive Modes and Beyond

The Raptor’s cutting-edge technology is just as impressive as its aggressive design, potent engine, and off-road-tuned suspension. Truthfully, the Raptor‘s technology distinguishes it in the segment, giving the truck a clear advantage over rivals like the 4Runner and Tacoma. Don’t believe me? The Tacoma’s interior is like a blast from the past, with a small center display and minimal tech beyond basic smartphone integration and traditional cruise control.

The 2022 Raptor outshines its rivals in every category, especially with its Terrain Management System, Trail 1-Pedal Drive, and Trail Control. Ford’s Terrain Management System allows you to tailor the Raptor’s performance to your needs using seven selectable drive modes that range from Off-Road, Baja, and Rock Crawl to Tow/Haul, Slippery, Sport, and Normal. When you’re on the trail, you can focus on the path ahead by engaging Trail 1-Pedal Drive, which combines the function of the brake pedal with the accelerator. Trail Control is even more impressive, acting as low-speed cruise control that allows you to focus on navigating the trail at a safe speed.

A red 2022 Ford F-150 Raptor is shown from the front while jumping off-road.

Rugged and Raptor-Like by Every Standard

The 2022 Ford F-150 Raptor might just be the perfect truck. It takes the F-150, America’s best-selling truck over the last 40 years, and makes it even better, blending practicality and functionality with a penchant for adventure. It’s everything you never knew you needed in a truck and everything you ever wanted in an off-road adventurer.

While the Wrangler, 4Runner, and Tacoma may be staples among off-roaders, the F-150 Raptor proves even new kids are welcome on the trail. The full-size truck uses its size to its advantage as an aggressive adventurer that can tackle every obstacle in its way without breaking a sweat. The Raptor’s exclusive multi-link rear suspension, oversized FOX shocks, and large platform guarantee its capability, while its state-of-the-art technology gives you the freedom and confidence to explore the road less traveled. For off-roaders of every skill level, that’s a win-win across the board.

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