Used to be, trucks would soldier on without major updates for a decade or more, but Ford's Special Vehicle Team apparently thinks things should be done differently now. After blazing a new trail with last year's launch of its ground-shaking SVT Raptor, the updates to the 2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor lineup improve an already impressive product.
The purpose-built pickup receives a number of mild revisions for the 2011 model year, the most significant of which is the addition of a Raptor SuperCrew model that we recently had a chance to drive in prototype form earlier this year. The larger cab won't benefit the driver or the front passenger, but those relegated to the rear bench will celebrate. In addition to the SuperCrew's full-size rear doors, legroom increases by a substantial 10 inches, while headroom grows by six-tenths of an inch.
Wheelbase increases along with the cab's length. Raptor SuperCab models continue to ride upon a 133.3-inch wheelbase, but that grows to 144.4 inches for the SuperCrew. Despite the stretch, SVT engineers say the longer Raptor performs just as well off-road -- if not better in certain situations -- as its shorter sibling. Coupled with incredible internal-bypass Fox Racing dampers carried over from the SuperCab, the SuperCrew's wheelbase is more adept at soaking up moguls. Better yet, the SuperCrew can tow up to 8000 pounds, approximately 2000 pounds more than a standard Raptor.
Regardless of the cab configuration, all 2011 SVT Raptors will utilize a common powertrain. Ford's aluminum-block, 6.2-liter V-8 is now standard across the Raptor line, blessing both the SuperCab and SuperCrew with 411 horsepower at 5500 rpm and 434 pound-feet of torque at 4500 rpm. A six-speed automatic remains the sole transmission, but it receives a new SelectShift manual mode that gives the driver some control over shift timing.