Eager to prove the capabilities of the just-announced F-150 SVT Raptor, Ford is entering a race-prepped F-150 SVT Raptor R in the Baja 1000 off-road endurance race. The truck will compete in class eight for moderately modified full-size pickups and will be piloted by Baja veteran Steve Oligos with co-drivers Randy Merritt, Greg Foutz, and Bud Brutsman.

"Ford's commitment to using racing as a test bed for new technologies is expanding to the off-road arena with the F-150 SVT Raptor R," said Brian Wolfe, director of Ford Racing Technology. "Racing the new truck in the elite Baja 1000 is the ultimate off-road test and will allow Ford to evaluate how well the F-150 SVT Raptor will hold up under the most unique and extreme conditions."

Because the SVT Raptor has already been built with hardcore off-roading in mind, much of the stock truck was reused in building the SVT Raptor R. The Raptor R uses the stock Raptor's frame, brakes, transmission, axles, and a race-tuned version of the prototype 6.2L V-8 found in the first Raptors Ford has unveiled pumping out 500 hp.

"The race truck has even more suspension travel, better approach and departure angles, more horsepower, more ground clearance, and full racing specification seats, safety cage, and harnesses, all of which combine to make an even faster, more visceral off-road experience," said Jamal Hameedi, SVT chief engineer.

Ford says the Raptor R will be a test bed for developing off-road performance parts that will later be available through Ford dealers. The truck will also serve to showcase the SVT Raptor's durability and off-road prowess to potential buyers.

"You can say the average customer is not likely to take his vehicle and enter it in the Baja 1000, but if you look at the things that happen in that 1000-kilometer race, over the life of a vehicle, you just might repeat those events," said Hameedi. "Maybe not all in one day, but over that 100,000 miles, knowing the vehicle will stand up to the Baja 1000 is important to off-road enthusiast customers."

The Baja 1000 is a 1000 km off-road endurance race across Mexico's Baja peninsula. The grueling course runs from sea level to as high as 7000 ft in the mountains and back. Competitors race over dirt, sand, rocks, and mountain passes in the remote Baja desert. This year's Baja 1000 will run from November 20 to 23.

Until then, you can watch the all-new F-150 SVT Raptor in action in our exclusive video HERE .

Source: Ford