In case there was any doubt, Ford is taking the development of the second-generation SVT Raptor very, very seriously. The Blue Oval recently completed over 1,000 miles of testing in the boiling heat of the American southwest.
Apparently, that mileage was accrued over a 66-mile route designed to mimic the torturous terrain encountered by racers in the Baja 1,000 off-road race. The prototypes, which were built from a mix of existing and next-gen Raptor components, were tested with "fast sandy washes, deep-rutted silt beds, steep climbs in deep sand, and slow meticulous crawls through tight trenches."
Ford claims the new truck managed to run the circuit 25-percent faster than the current F-150 SVT Raptor, averaging 50 miles per hour while going as fast as 100 mph in stretches. That said, Dearborn didn't release any dedicated times, so it's unclear just how quickly the 66-mile stage was completed.
We do know that durability was a big part of the testing. Ford claims each lap was completed by what sounds like a pretty significant jump, with the trucks ascending a steep ramp onto a two-foot plateau and then completing a step-down to level ground. We have to take Ford at its word here, though. "Steep" can mean any number of things, and we've no idea just how fast the trucks were hitting the ramp or how much air they got. Hopefully, the jumps were aggressive enough to prevent future frame issues. Still, Ford boasting about how rough the Raptor's testing is can be taken as a positive sign for fans of the next-generation of SVT's rugged pickup.