Ford Pits F-150 Raptor Against Mars Rover
Some Similarities, Many Differences
Although Mars and the American Southwest are both known for their rugged terrain, it takes vastly different vehicles to traverse the two environments. In a somewhat far-fetched comparison, Ford released an infographic pitting the F-150 Raptor against NASA's Curiosity, the soon-to-land-on-Mars rover. While there are some similarities between the two vehicles, as you would imagine, the differences are far greater.
Both vehicles trace their roots to Southern California. The Raptor underwent research and development in the dunes and trails of the Anza Borrego desert, Curiosity in the advanced development labs of defense contractors in the Los Angeles metro area including NASA's own Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
On the performance side, the F-150 SVT Raptor is capable of a top speed of 100 mph, whereas the top speed of Curiosity is a snail-like 500 feet per hour, equivalent to 0.095 mph. Curiosity, however, is capable of eventually going to places the raptor cant. NASA's six-wheel rover boasts 43.3 inches of wheel travel, a amount that puts the Raptor's 11.2 inches of front and 12.1 inches of rear wheel travel to shame. On the powertrain side, the Raptor's 411-hp 6.2-liter V-8 doesn't stand much of a change against Curiosity's radioactive decay-based generator, which puts out enough wattage to deliver up to 500 lb-ft of torque per wheel.
Finally, there's the value equation, which falls firmly in favor of the Raptor. You can put one of Ford's off-road trucks in your driveway starting at around $44,000. By comparison, the Mars Science Laboratory mission that is bringing Curiosity to Mars rang the register at a considerable $2.5 billion.